Deborah Solomon's Interview with Russell Simmons: The Remix

At least since Meet the Press caliph Tim Russert's fatwa against her for the total misrepresentation of his feelings about his moms, we've all known that Times Mag interviewtrix Deb Solomon's job basically involves rearranging words that were once said by some person at some time into patterns that make all involved — but mostly the reader — deeply uncomfortable. So given her obvious affinity for, you know, the "sampling culture," why is this week's Russell Simmons chat so damn boring? We offer this "Ignition (Remix)"-style transcendent version of Solomon's dull album-track slow jam:

D. SOLOMON: Are you dyslexic?
R. SIMMONS: Oprah renamed the book. It was like God calling. She gave me a better title.

I prefer reading in bed. That for me is meditation. So at the end of the day, he's controlled, too. That's my point. He's a mouse, too, like everybody else.

Really? That's pretty generic.
I think it's all God. I say that all day long. The real process is doing you and having a truth that you live up to. Donald [Trump] is different than a lot of other very rich people. He has a good time. He is always laughing. He's into doing him.

You're known for dating models. What do they offer besides flawless skin?
I talk to John Edwards more than I talk to anyone. He has said more things about the conditions we need to think about. He went to yoga with me. He did the whole class, an hour and a half. He sweated like crazy. He's in good shape, but it was hard on him.

Are there any presidential candidates who inspire you?
Why? You think I'm crazy?

Your book basically advocates for old-fashioned American values — i.e., work hard, don't give up.
No. I can read. But I can't understand anything. I just read "The Autobiography of a Yogi," by Paramahansa Yogananda, over and over again.

What do you make of Barack Obama, who recently said that rap musicians should reform their lyrics?
We're separated. She works upstairs. People do think it's inspiring the way we handle our partnership.

In the years since you sold your stake in Def Jam, you've gone into the fashion business and developed clothing lines like Phat Farm and Baby Phat. Do you still run them with your wife, Kimora Lee?
Unfortunately, I do. My nickname is Rush, but I practice yoga every day so I can rush less.

You write extensively about your devotion to yoga in your new self-help book, "Do You!" Is the title your own coinage?
What we need to reform is the conditions that create these lyrics. Obama needs to reform the conditions of poverty. I wish he really did raise his money on the Internet, like he said. I wish he really did raise his money independently.

Why did you, a self-proclaimed seeker of spiritual truths, ask Donald Trump, of all people, to write the foreword to the book?
A professor? I can barely read.

No, but you seem to have a heightened need for stimulation.
No. It's an old hip-hop expression: "Do you!" It's just something we say all the time. It means do what you want to do. Do what inspires you. Don't be a sheep. Keep it real. The book was originally called "Russell Simmons' Laws of Success."

Do you see a therapist?
They're better than actresses. Actresses are kind of a little crazy.

There are other women besides models and actresses. Why don't you try dating, say, a professor the next time around?
No it's not. It's noise. It's the opposite. To be awake is to be fully present, no noise, just you and God. Most of us only have seconds of full consciousness. To live in a state of samadhi — that's what we're here for.

Hip-Hop Guru: Questions for Russell Simmons [NYTM]