Russell Simmons is making sure the hip-hop community follows up on the initiatives that came out of last month’s Hip-Hop Summit in New York.
To see that the goals outlined at the summit — which include taking a more responsible approach to the marketing of music to children — are met (see “P. Diddy, Jermaine Dupri Help Announce Hip-Hop Initiatives” ), Simmons, the founder of the event, announced earlier this month that he has formed the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.
Many of the executives who participated in last month’s gathering of the rap community (see “P. Diddy, Luther Campbell On Hand As Rap Summit Begins” ), including P. Diddy, The Source magazine publisher Dave Mays, Def Jam president Kevin Liles and Motown president Kedar Massenburg, will serve as board members for the network, a Simmons spokesperson said.
First on their agenda is making sure the hip-hop community gets fair political representation. To this end, Simmons will be speaking on the “Hip-Hop and Political Empowerment” panel on September 27 at the Congressional Black Caucus.
“The hip-hop community has been incredibly receptive to our attempt to organize and mobilize their efforts toward making young people’s concerns a priority in Washington and in U.S. government, in general,” Simmons said in a statement. “We’re very excited and we are sure their input will help to shape a better America.”
Although he has yet to disclose names, the music mogul says he’ll bring some rap artists along with him to speak. Hilary Rosen, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, and Reps. Cynthia McKinney, Maxine Waters, Earl Hilliard, Bennie Thompson and James Clyburn have been confirmed for the panel, according to Simmons’ spokesperson. The Congressional Black Caucus, however, said no one has been confirmed for the panel.
Simmons also has plans for a Hip-Hop Summit in California in the coming months for West Coast artists who were unable to attend the New York event. Those plans have not been finalized.