The Beasty Boys Mercilessly Tease Russell Simmons
In the August 2004 Interview Magazine, the new "urban" Tom Cruise (whom, incidentally, we like) interviews Jada Pinkett-Smith, of all people, saying things like, oh, "that's my girl," and, "I don't know what a Virgo is, man." Very street, this new Tom; he's put aside his ego and showing us a more vulnerable Tom, which is cool. But, by far, the most interesting interview is the one between Russell Simmons and his old label mates, the Beasty Boys, who, arguably, made Def Jam, along with LL Cool J, back in the day.
The interview in Interview begins with a friendly banter, mixed with a game of "the dozens," circa 1984, but then, when Beasty Boy MCA strikes out at Russell's weak spot -- his vanity for clothing -- things get ... tender.
Actually, things go horribly awry. The Beasties can't stop busting. Simmons has many, many vanities, but when you bust on his clothes, I've noticed, he turns into a real pussy boy. The conversation begins harmlessly, as Russell brings up his favorite material possession and favored status item, namely, kids:
Russell Simmons: So how about the fact that we're all getting old? How many kids you got Adrock?
Adrock: I don't have any kids.
Mike D: I have kids. I got one that's 20 months old and another one on the way (both by his wife, director Tamra Davis)
Russell Simmons: Really? You aint even got a woman, though, do you MCA?
MCA: Why you gotta be like that, Russell?
RS: I'm just saying, do you have one?
MCA: Don't even start ...
RS: I don't see y'all. I just want to know.
MD: C'mon Russell, the man's a father.
RS: Oh, he's got a kid! (laughs) So, how old is your kid, MCA?
MCA: I have a daughter (with wife Dechan Dangdu). She's gonna be 6.
RS: Six. That's old enough to date.
MCA: See, why you gotta be like that?
RS: What? I aint gonna date your daughter.
MCA: So, who made those clothes, Russell? (Simmons is wearing a bright pink shirt, pink pants, and a pink baseball cap)
RS: You don't like my clothes? Does my shirt not match?
MCA: It's scary how well they match.
RS: Well, I got a pink seersucker suit, a pink silk suit, and a pink corduroy suit.
MCA: You got a pink hummer?
RS: Pink is a big color this season! Just like lavender will be next year. For Phat Farm, we have projections about what the next big color will be, and sometimes we add our own.
Adrock: You have heat seekers who hang out at 7 Eleven and tell you what the kids are up to?
MCA: Here's an inside tip: the people on the street are talking about beige
The Corsair softly chuckles, then sips Cutty Sark from his pimp goblet, whispering to himself, "It's on like Gray Poupon."
Russell quickly changes the subject, but, like a pit bull, Adrock goes right after Simmons' weak spot -- clothes, with a grim tenacity, and the rest of the Beasties gang pile on.
RS: You're a practicing Buddhist, Adam -- do you meditate (MCA nods yes) What about you Adrock? What are you?
Adrock: I'm a New Yorker, Russell. So, we don't get any free Phat Farm clothes?
RS: Y'all don't want no clothes man. Y'all wear smallboy shit. (points to Mike D) look at his shoes. Maybe we make some sneakers that you would wear.
Adrock: Yeah, I'm hip with the kids.
MD: Why don't you get us some suits? Adam (Adrock) wants his in pink, though.
RS: Pink is over.
(The phone rings. Simmons picks up)
Speakerphone: Russell, you need to wrap it up. The kids are here.
RS: The kids are here! Tell the kids to come in right now.
MCA: What kids?
RS: From Junior Achievement.
Adrock: I wish we had those suits. We could have worn them.
The corsair is three-fifths sure that Russell's happiness at the arrival of the Junior Achievement kids has more to do with their saving his clothes line Phat Farm from further humiliation at the hands of the merciless Beasty Boys than anything else.