Russell Simmons Rebuts Jay-Z's Occupy Wall Street Knock

Hip hop moguls share opposing views on the movement.

Posted: 09/11/2012 02:31 PM EDT

Russell Simmons wasn't able to sway Jay-Z on the virtues of the Occupy Wall Street movement last year, but he's not prepared to give up just yet. Responding to recent comments by Jay that were critical of the movement and its message (or lack thereof), Simmons has penned a new op-ed that makes the case for Occupy yet again.

"If he understood it and endorsed the movement, it would make a big difference to poor people," he said of Jay in an article titled "Jay-Z Is Right 99 Times, But This Ain't One."

"I know he is a compassionate person who cares about the poor, so I'm certain if I had two more minutes with him, I could change his mind."

The Def Jam founder admitted that for Occupy, "There was never an official agenda or media-friendly talking points," instead calling it a "true people's movement" that stood for a panoply of noble, grass-roots causes, including taking money out of politics, fighting the prison industrial complex, ending the war and improving access to affordable higher education.

"So, Jay, here's the deal," Simmons concluded. "You're rich and I'm rich. But, today it’s close to impossible to be you or me and get out of Marcy Projects or Hollis, Queens, without changing our government to have our politicians work for the people who elect them and not the special interests and corporations that pay them."

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(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

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