Farrakhan Keynotes West Coast Hip-Hop Summit

Billboard reports Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been named the keynote speaker at the Valentine’s Day West Coast Hip-Hop summit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Also speaking at the event are hip-hop mogul Suge Knight and rapper/producer Dr. Dre. Russell Simmons will send a videotaped message to be played at the summit.

Q: Rappers Don’t Identify With Musicians Or Singers

Word magazine spoke with music legend Quincy Jones on a variety of subjects including rap musicians viewing themselves as “the 3rd entity”. Jones said, “I remember L.L asked me when I first met Russell Simmons in 1985, I went up to his place and L.L, who was 15 then, said, ‘Mr. Jones, what do the musicians and singers think about us?’ And I got it. That’s the first time I realized that rappers do not identify with musicians or singers. It’s the third entity. What they don’t know is their real roots are praise shouters, praise singers from Africa and griots — oral historians. Rappers have a platform that’s amazing, but they ain’t talking about nothing. I mean there’s always an exception, with Roots and Mos-Def, KRS-One, you know who they are.” Check out the full interview with Quincy here.

Russell Simmons Recalls Most Treasured Xmas Gift

The New York Post reports rap mogul Russell Simmons recalling his most treasured Christmas gift saying, “My brother Joey, before he was Run of Run DMC, gave me a Rock ’em-Sock ’em Robot set for Christmas, We played with it every single day for three years.”

Learn The Music Biz From From Nelly, Russell, etc.

Nelly and Def Jam’s Russell Simmons are amongst the musicians who are teaching aspiring musicians the ins and outs in the music business with MusicSessions, offered by Universal Music on CD rom for $119.90. Also in the set are Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst and Enrique Iglesias, amongst others.

Simmons Says Rappers Will Become Less Materialistic

Def Jam Records Chairman Russell Simmons is predicting recent terrorist attacks on the U.S. will cause rappers to rethink their current materialistic lyrics. Simmons says to the New York Times, “How big your car is is a boring subject right now. I think there’s a new consciousness in the hip-hop community right now.”

Simmons says the sense of patriotism will inject itself into the rap community adding, “This kind of incident reminds artists that there’s more than dancing or singing. It’s made people more patriotic, and I think a lot of people will be more responsive and aware of their power.”