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Russell Simmons Designs His Support for President Obama

This past Thursday (Mar. 2), blocks away from Madison Square Park, President Obama hosted a magnificent fundraiser dinner for his top campaign contributors at New York's famed ABC Kitchen. The crowd was filled with a mix of both artisans and philanthropists. Campaign supporters were treated to a customized menu by celebrity chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and an after party hosted by Comic-In-Cheif, Aziz Ansari and music from The Roots. 

Russell Simmons, the prolific Obama supporter,  was on hand at last night's festivities and shared his thoughts on the 2012 Obama campaign exclusively with VIBE.com --Robbie Sokolowsky

VIBE: You are supporting the Obama election campaign for a second time. What is the biggest difference between 2008 campaign and 2012 campaign? 

Russell Simmons: 2008 was great!  The 2012 campaign is only different in that now we’ve got something to protect – which I’d argue is even more motivating. We need four more years so President Obama can continue to fight for the middle class and underserved communities.

You recently designed a custom polo shirt for the "Runway To Win" initiative alongside fashion elite Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs and Jason Wu. Talk about the strategy and success of this initiative. 

I designed a shirt for the campaign in 2008 and agreed to participate again when I was asked this year.  Like I’ve said before, I am really inspired that we have a President that appreciates the artistic community and “Runway To Win” was the community’s way of showing its support for the President.  Culture has always led the way for great change to occur in this country and once again artists are using their expression to raise awareness about what we believe is important.

Will you be collaborating with any recording artists on a similar music initiative for the Obama campaign? 

Nothing is in the works yet, but we’ll just have to wait and see. The President inspires so many Americans – who knows what will come together.

Which issues do you see as the most important to be addressed during this campaign? 

I think it all comes back to this issue of values and compassion. The President is fighting to restore that basic sense of security and fairness that so many people feel we’ve lost. President Obama is a guy who believes that we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper – that we’re all in this together.  The President has made tremendous progress on a number of issues from ending the war in Iraq to job creation and Wall Street reform, however there are many of his policies that need time to go into effect and we have a lot more work to do.  It’s my hope that in his second term, the President will turn a significant amount of his attention towards getting the money out of politics and returning our democracy back to the people.

What is the most effective way for our VIBE readers to show support for the President and his re-election campaign and get the message out? 

Well, the easiest thing you can do is to talk to your friends and neighbors - on the street, at the dinner table, anywhere. Talk about what’s at stake in 2012. Listen, President Obama can’t do it alone – he needs us again this time, he needs us out there working hard to get him re-elected. And stay informed. I always tell people to go to the campaign’s website -www.barackobama.com - to see people’s stories from across the country and get the latest.

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A 'New York Undercover' Reboot May Be On The Way

Nostalgia seems to be the name of the game these days. As networks flirt with the idea of rebooting beloved television shows birthed in the 90s, the return on investment appears to be two-fold: being able to tap into the fanbase that helped catapult the show to success, while exposing the series to a new audience.

According to Deadline, ABC is not only rebooting NYPD Blue but also considering bringing back New York Undercover. Created by Dick Wolf, the cop drama starring Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo was the first series that featured two actors of colors as the lead.

Yoba and DeLorenzo played undercover detectives J.C Williams and Eddie Torres with New York's fourth precinct. Later on in the series, Lauren Valez joined the cast as a detective and Torres' love interest. Originally housed on Fox, the series lasted from 1994-1998, with the unsuspecting death of Torres who perished in a car bomb.

Wolf's agent spoke to Deadline and hinted about the reprisal. "Wolf  is reviving one of his shows from years ago – it’s a franchise you can redo” that “doesn’t necessarily have to have the same cast.” Reportedly there are multiple networks interested.

If the show does make a return, will you tune in?

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Awww Here It Goes: Kenan Thompson And Kel Mitchell Would Do A 'Good Burger' Sequel

Millennials rejoice! It looks like 90s television staples Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell would be down to do a sequel to their cult-classic film, Good Burger.

During a visit to Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, SNL star Thompson was asked a phoned-in question about the possibility of a "full-on sequel" to the film. A few years ago, Kenan and Kel reunited on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon for a resurrection of their All That sketch of the same name. It looks like the same question has crossed their minds before, and they are both open to the opportunity.

"We’ve been talking about it for a long time, and we’ve had meetings about it," Thompson revealed. "So, it’s in the higher powers’ hands, because we both said were down to do it."

He also elaborated on the viral Good Burger reunion seen on Fallon.

"Thanks to Dan Schneider [All That's creator], he called me and he was like, a friend of his was working on The Tonight Show, and they had that idea to do the reunion. He reached out to me and then I called Kel, and then we talked, we played phone tag for like three days… it was a nice, 40 minute conversation that we had… it was nice to reconnect because it was like picking up right from where we left off.”

Let's hope that we can see a sequel to the film in our lifetime, as we expect it'd be welcome with open arms.

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50 Cent offers his condolences to a deceased member of the 'Power' crew.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Rest In 'Power': Crew Member For 50 Cent's Show Killed On Set

50 Cent offered his condolences to the loved ones of Pedro Jimenez, a crew member who was killed on the set of his hit STARZ show, Power, earlier this morning. (Monday, Dec. 10).

"I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning," wrote the media mogul in an Instagram post, which accompanied a black screen. "My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family."

According to TMZ, "Pedro Jimenez was setting up parking cones for a location shoot in Brooklyn around 4:20 AM when he was struck by a 2006 Ford Explorer. Police responded and Pedro was transported to a Brooklyn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

Jimenez was just 63 years old, and had reportedly worked on the series since its debut in 2014. Reports state that investigators have spoken with the 64-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck Mr. Jimenez, who is also a crew member on the show. No arrests have been made.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning. My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family.

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Dec 10, 2018 at 9:29am PST

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