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Russell Simmons: It Was "A Hard Blow" When My Label Lost the Beastie Boys

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons feted the launch of his latest offering to the fashion world in Manhattan last night -- but also took time to reflect on his failed business ventures.

    The co-founder of the Def Jam label said during the launch party for his Fall 2010 ARGYLECULTURE Menswear at Ampersand Studios Tuesday night that he took one of his toughest hits in the music industry.

    "The label ended up losing the Beastie Boys," Simmons lamented to Niteside.

    "That was hard blow. We had to sell their contract, and it was a very sad day. I try not to regret any of those moments though; hopefully, it made me who I am today.”

    While most of Simmons’ endeavors have been fruitful, the entrepreneur who has tried his hand at music, clothing lines, charity, Internet ventures, reality TV and even the banking industry said he doesn’t mind talking about the few failures, because he’s learned from them.

    “I did an internet company, 360degreeshipshop.com, and I think I ran through $35 million launching it just to watch it crash," he said. "We eventually just ran out of money. Now we’re doing globalgrind.com. So far that’s open still, but 360 ended before the investors saw any profit so that was a pretty bad experience.”

    While attendees at the fashion event were there to catch a glimpse of the new clothing line, it was hard not to spy the bevy of cameras on site, filming Simmons for his upcoming Oxygen network reality series called “Running Russell Simmons.”

    "It’s about all the women in my life,” he said.

    That should be easy, as there are plenty of them. Russell is one of the most constant staples of New York nightlife, most likely because all the industries he’s involved with, and he always is in beautiful company. Whether it’s a Cinema Society premiere or Playboy’s 50th Anniversary he commonly shows up with model types like Heidi Allende and Selita Ebanks on his arm.

    “We give an inside look at what it takes to run the various brands I’m involved with. Putting the people behind me in the spotlight. The Russell Simmons brand isn’t just Russell Simmons,” he assured. “And of course there are a lot of pretty women in my life. The producers like me single. It makes the best television.”