Russell Simmons and LL Cool J came to Jamaica on Thursday to launch an initiative to stem youth violence in American cities.
Simmons, a Jamaica native and a titan in the music and fashion industries, came to the Baisley Park Houses in Jamaica with the rap star and actor to announce the formation of RushCard’s Keep the Peace Initiative.
RushCard, a financial services company that Simmons founded, will fund programs in Queens and in four other cities in an effort to work with youth to stop violence and promote peace.
Earlier in the day, he and LL Coo J, who grew up in St. Albans, spent time at the Rikers Island Adolescent Reception and Detention Center, speaking to a group of about 500.
LL Cool J's success as a rap star has allowed him to branch out into acting. He currently co-stars on the hit CBS drama "NCIS: Los Angeles."
Simmons has been a long-time supporter of Queens-based programs like LIFE Camp, founded in 2002 by Erica Ford of the South Jamaica Cure Violence Program.
Among LL Cool J’s community efforts in Queens is the annual Jump & Ball Tournament, a month-long youth basketball tournament that takes place on weekends through the month of August, and is preparing for its 10th year.