Add one more thing to the continually expanding resume of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons: reality television star.
Simmons’ new show Running Russell Simmons may feature the 53-year-old entertainer and philanthropist, but it also introduces viewers to the women who help make his brand a national powerhouse.
“I like my staff, I like watching them,” Simmons told theGrio from his offices in New York City. “I learn a lot about them because they’re really stars and they work really hard and inspire me.”
One of the women helping Simmons’ brand grow is Tricia Clark-Stone, co-president of GlobalGrind.com, a website Simmons launched in 2007.
“You get the celebrity angle which is really cool to see that and then you get the real elements of interacting and working with this mogul,” Clark-Stone said. ”[Simmons] says it how it is. It’s always an interesting interaction [with him].”
Simmons said he can’t imagine his life without his assistants, one of whom has been with him for nearly 30 years. The women help Simmons look good, even if the “Godfather of Hip-Hop” can’t stand to watch.
“Sometimes I look a little goofy,” Simmons admits after screening a few episodes of the show. “I look really old in other shots and [say] ‘Damn, is that me?’ It’s always hard to look at yourself on tv.”
theGrio.com and Running Russell Simmons are properties of NBC Universal.