Russell Simmons, 52, hip-hop pioneer and founder of Rush Communications, helped bring the rhymes of Public Enemy, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys to the masses as a partner in Def Jam Recordings. He injected his hip-hop sensibility into clothing with Phat Fashions and moved into television with “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam.” Mr. Simmons recently created GlobalGrind.com, a Web site for the hip-hop community. A native of Queens, he has since migrated to a penthouse in Lower Manhattan.
MORNING MEDITATION I usually wake up about 7 on Sunday. I take a steam and a shower and I meditate. Some mornings at 8, the monk comes by. I call him the monk. He’s a T.M. (transcendental meditation) teacher, Bob Roth. He’s renunciative. We meditate, at least 20 minutes.
IN FRONT OF AN ALTAR? My crib, the whole thing’s an altar.
COMPUTER TIME I play on the computer and see what headlines we have up on Global Grind. We don’t do anything negative on there. If I see something negative, I pull it down immediately.
BIKE OR STROLL For breakfast, I have a shake. My nanny — I call her that, the woman who takes care of the house — makes it. I go bike riding up the West Side Highway. I go up to the 50s, then down past the World Trade Center, then go back up a bit to Liberty Street. It’s not exercise. I go slow. I have a little toy bike, a girl’s bike. It’s not a racing bike. I ain’t racing nowhere. Or I walk aimlessly around SoHo, looking at art, the people, stop at Cipriani, Da Silvano, Liquiteria, where I have the shake and have a green juice or two. I bump into 100 people.
CHANTING AND SWEATING I go to Jivamukti. Sunday I can pick what class I can go to. I’m free. There is a lot of chanting and praying and sweating like a slave. With Jivamukti, the teachers have studied the texts of yoga, the psychology, the anatomy; they have studied Sanskrit. They do chanting and discussions every month. They do the yamas, the social law, and teach the asanas, all eight parts of classical yoga.
VEGAN, MOSTLY I became a vegan about 10 years ago. Every so often I have fish when nobody is looking. I try not to. I do it for compassionate reasons. I don’t want to put anything in my body to obstruct justice. If I wanted, I could drink Coca-Cola. I just don’t want to. It tastes toxic.
MOVIES, IN OR OUT After yoga, I see a movie or something. I have a movie theater or I go to the movies. Michael Moore recommended one to me recently on Iraq, with Matt Damon. “Green Zone.” It was a thousand times better than “The Hurt Locker.” It was amazing. Everyone in the theater was going crazy. “Death at a Funeral.” It was so funny. “Hot Tub Time Machine.” It was really silly. I like those.
COMPANY CALLS It’s nice to have people come over. I’m not a big dinner kind of person. I like small stuff. We have popcorn and stuff. Vegan pizza from Viva Herbal Pizzeria. They have a veggie-based cheese. It’s not rice or soy cheese. It melts like crazy and it’s amazing. On 11th Street and Second Avenue.
TWEET PRAYERS, THEN TO BED I put on those striped Gap pajamas. They are like seersucker-looking things. I play around with the Bhagavad-Gita. I tweet a lot of prayer, quotes from the Bhagavad-Gita or the yoga sutras. I’m in bed by 12, if I’m lucky.[via New York Times]