Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Russell Simmons Wants More Kids To Pick Up Pen Than Mic

NEW YORK (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Although rap is what Russell Simmons built his empire on, he thinks America’s youth should give a lot more attention to poetry.

Simmons, who many credit with bringing hip-hop culture mainstream, says poetry “really allows kids to dig deep.”

It’s something that rap isn’t doing that well with youngsters these days, Simmons says, because it’s thought of “as more of a profession” than as a way to express oneself.

He hopes he will inspire more kids to pick up a pen rather than a microphone by getting involved with “Be Powerful, Be Heard,” a spoken word competition where students in New Jersey write about the importance of voting.

The contest starts today and Simmons is hoping a young Edgar Allan Poe will emerge from the mix – adding adolescents who have won this kind of competition in the past are “usually better” than most of the adults in his Broadway show, Def Poetry Jam.

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