Russell Simmons Fronts For DeBeers


Related: Check out our interview with Kareem Edouard, Director of “Bling: Consequences and Repercussions”

Clyde at Pro-Hip-Hop is reporting that Russell Simmons has been hired by the notorious DeBeers corporation to combat all the bad PR that is supposedly going to cripple the diamond industry after the Hollywood movie Blood Diamond opens in theaters.

The movie, Blood Diamond, is loosely based around the diamond trade during the Sierra Leone civil war in 1999. Conflict diamonds are sold through companies like DeBeers (a monopoly) to fund rebel factions, who usually mutilate and kill children to get their message across. In addition, children are hired to work in diamond mines for little or no money, with all the profits going to companies like DeBeers. This has been documented by the UN and independent organizations.

Not so fast says Simmons. Apparently, he went on a “fact finding” mission to Africa and said that the UN is wrong and that his trip has shown him ” a view contradictory to what most Americans think is happening in Africa today.” In addition, Mr. Simmons used a Tuesday Press Conference in New York to “call out the Blood Diamond film and its stars to act responsibly and tell the whole truth when talking to the media.”

WTF? Look, I don’t mind artists shucking and jiving for Cristal Budweiser, but why in the hell would a icon like Russell become a bitch for a company that not only foster the conflict diamond trade, but may have contributed to the deaths and mutilations of millions African children. Oh, and let’s not forget that DeBeers supported apartheid. And don’t get me started on how DeBeers has brainwashed women to believe that they need a diamond engagement ring. Seriously, what does he have to gain by this?

Mr. Simmons, you’ve lost all of my respect.

However, Nas is becoming a true pioneer on the issue.