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Russell Simmons Writes About Not Imagining His Daughters in Prison

No parent wants to see their children locked away behind bars. Russell Simmons is no exception to the rule. The hip hop figurehead never imagined his daughters in prison. During Aoki and Ming's lives, he's never once imagined them rocking an orange jumpsuit. Simmons penned a passionate essay to share his stance on the prison pipeline for kids their age in their community and announce his position as the Executive Producer of a new television ad from Californians for Safety and Justice.

Here's a little of what it read:

Never once have I imagined either of my daughters ever going to prison.  Never have I had the image in my head of my children getting finger-printed, photographed and processed by police officers at the local precinct. Never have I imagined Aoki or Ming in an orange jumpsuit walking through in-take at LA County Jail. This is not their reality.  This is not in their cards.  This is not the eventual outcome of their dream deferred.I moved to California about a year and half ago to be closer to my two beautiful daughters.  As they got older, I wanted to be part of their lives everyday, and being on the other side of the country just wasn’t working.  I know that these two girls are blessed. Their education is best in the world.  They have the best mother a kid could ever hope for and they have material advantages that other kids their age do not.  However, what I admire about Ming and Aoki is that they recognize that kids from other neighborhoods, places that look more like where their daddy grew up, have tremendous obstacles to overcome that my daughters don’t have to worry about.  So, I try to teach them to not just worry about their own welfare, but also worry about the well-being of all children living in their state, their country and their world.

For far too many children who live just a few miles away from where my daughters are being raised in Los Angeles, going to prison is a norm.  And this standard is sadly reinforced by the investment, or lack thereof, of our taxes in their future. In the state of California, we now spend $62,300 per prison inmate per year while only $9,200 to educate a child in a K-12 school.  If that statistic doesn’t disturb you, consider this: since 1984, the state has built 22 state prisons while only one new University of California school.  As a taxpaying citizen, I find it deplorable that our priorities are focused on expanding our prison system rather than expanding the mind of a child.  As I have stated many times in the past, I have no problem paying taxes, as long as it serves to uplift people and keep them out of the justice system, rather than further create space to put more into that system.

Read it in full over on Global Grind.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

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"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

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Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)

 

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Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

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