Russell Simmons Ain't Duckin' Around with Chicago

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Posted November 5, 2007 by Rachelle Owen

Everybody knows Russell Simmons is forward-thinking. The vegan founder of Def Jam signed all the classic cats: Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy (the list goes on). He knew they’d hit it big back when most people thought rapping had something to do with birthday presents. Now, the good-natured godfather of hip hop is using the power of the pen to school the Windy City on staying ahead of the game.


Photo credit: Salon/Creative Commons.

See, last year the Chicago City Council banned foie gras – a nasty dip that’s made by shoving sick amounts of grain down ducks throats with a pipe until they become painfully ill and their livers fail from being bloated and diseased. After killing the ducks, they take out the engorged liver, toss it in a blender, put it on a cracker, and charge rich people a shit-load of money to eat it. I know—it’s just the meanest, stupidest, grossest thing ever. French nobility came up with this “delicacy” during the dark ages, and that’s where it should have stayed.

Now that it’s the 21st century, foie gras production is banned in 15 countries plus, the state of California. But Chicago did even better than that by banning the sale of the sadistic substance citywide. But just one year later, industry groups are fighting hard to get rid of the ban.

Russell, being the ever-mindful mogul, found out about it and sent the city council a letter saying foie gras is “wretched” and “abusive.” He’s disappointed in The Chi for thinking about backing down on a landmark move, and he’s urging them not to give in to a handful of high-end restaurant owners and chefs who think they can do whatever they want.

Way to go Russell for keeping hip hop in the heart and the Chitown City Council in check!

You wanna force foie gras to flex? If you live in Chicago, holler at your alderman. If you live somewhere else, and run into foie gras at a restaurant or grocery store, holler at the manager.

Peace, y’all –

P.S. – For the rest of you humane hip hoppers, check out and see if you can come up with compassionate lyrics like these:

I don’t eat no meat, no dairy, no sweets
Only ripe vegetables, fresh fruit and whole wheat…

Life brings life, it’s valuable, so I eat what comes
From the ground, it’s natural
Let your food be your medicine
(From Dead Prez’s “Be Healthy”)


In the slaughterhouse full of germs and flies
Off with the head, they pack it, drain it, and cart it
And there it is, in your local supermarket
Red and bloody, a corpse, neatly packed
And you wonder about heart attacks?
(From KRS-One’s “Beef”)


Over a billion served
What they never deserved
So as they drove away they swerved into the curb
With their heads on the steering wheel
Kids blacked out in the back with a fucking Happy Meal
What a crappy deal…

The parking lot is now a burial plot
Where you can park and rot if you can find a spot
(From Mr. Lif’s “The Fries”)


Even if the meat wasn’t genetically processed
It’s all a bloody mess…

I’m a human being
Who doesn’t kill to get his protein
(From LMNO’s “No Eyes, No Mouth”)

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