Russell Simmons Says Bill Cosby ‘Bumped Me’ During Run-In
Russell Simmons ran into a little trouble with Bill Cosby, during the Jackie Robinson Foundation gala last week, resulting in a not-so-nice exchange riddled with expletives.
Simmons, who presented Sean "Diddy" Combs with the night's Man of the Year Award, approached the legendary comedian, and host of the event, to apologize for unflattering comments he made during his State of Emergency: Hip-Hop campaign last November, as well as to say "I love you."
Before Simmons could get the words out, the 73-year-old unleashed some verbal fury. "Get the f--- out of my face!" Cosby told the hip-hop mogul, who, despite the diss, remained awestruck even praising his next act.
"His next move was straight up old school pre b-boy hood s---," Simmons explained on his website GlobalGrind.com "He walked by me and bumped me with his shoulder as I walked off stage after presenting my award to Sean, just like the cool ass character in 'Let's Do It Again.' I then loved him even more. He's from the same hood I'm from, just got a lucky break like me, cause I am those suffering men. And after that elbow I knew he was too."
In the past Cosby has been very critical of hip-hop, announcing plans to release his own "socially conscious" album, which in turn prompted a public response from Simmons, a noted figure in the culture. In lieu of the heated exchange, Simmons revealed that he felt guilty for being judgmental of Cosby's opinions.
"When I look back, I feel remorse for judging him. And it has been a source of a 'rap beef' for years. He has been critical of the poets but I have maintained that the entertainment, especially most of the poets, are simple reflections of cultures of truth."
Simmons theorized that the divide between the older generation and the hip-hop community is rooted in a dual lack of understanding and need to place the blame for the negative state of black America.
"The debate about what happened to black America is ongoing and I am reminded of it every day on the website I founded, GlobalGrind.com. Certainly if anyone knew their way out suffering and into spiritual and economic freedom they would take it. Still I guess someone has to judge and someone has to hold out a liberal loving hand. Hopefully one day soon the decline in productivity by black men and the black community will turn around..."