Co-Founder of Def Jam Records recently gave an interview to the New York Times discussing a mish-mash of topics such as hip hop and lyrics to politics. The article is especially amusing as Simmons discusses his opinion about politics and the candidates.
From Deborah Solomon’s interview:
What do you make of Barack Obama, who recently said that rap musicians should reform their lyrics?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.
What are you saying? I think about one-fourth of his campaign contributions came from small donations made over the Internet, even though he collected more than any other Democratic candidate from Wall Street people. So at the end of the day, he’s controlled, too. That’s my point. He’s a mouse, too, like everybody else.
Are there any presidential candidates who inspire you? 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.
Simmons goes on to give props to Oprah, Donald Trump, and God. Although he sounds like he is on the Edwards bandwagon, Newsmeat.com reports Simmons has contributed more to Hillary Clinton than to John Edwards.
As for Newsmeat.com, this is a pretty interesting site! It has a searchable database of every American Federal political campaign contribution of at least $200 from 1977. Data is reported from the Federal Election Commission. To get a listing of contributors, you can either type in their name or zip code. Celebrities are listed with their contributions and you can also check out the entire 2008 Presidential Donor List. I enjoyed clicking on random names on the Hall of Fame ticker.
Clyde Drexler gave $2,000 to Bush-Cheney Primary in ’04
Robert DeNiro has spent $66,200 on Democratic donations and $1,000 in special interests
Tommy Lee Jones has spent $12,000 to Democratis candidates including Al Gore’s campaign in ’99 (Guess college roommates are friends for life.) But alas…$300 to the Republican party?
Paul (I did not give my girlfriend a job AND a promotion) Wolfowitz has donated about $3,500 to Republican candidates.
Anyway, check out the site. You’ll enjoy snooping into the political pocketbooks of celebrities. Not so private lives huh?