Russell Simmons and Kanye West Join Occupy Wall Street Protest

| by Michael Allen

Rapper Kanye West joined hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons at New York City's Occupy Wall Street to show support for those protesting against big business.

West and Simmons caused a brief frenzy in the crowd of protesters before Simmons went to appear on Al Sharpton's radio show and West took off, after being mobbed by fans.

On Sharpton's show, which was being broadcast from the park, Simmons said that as a member of the wealthy "1%," he is willing to pay more taxes: "I'm happy to pay a little more taxes if it means better education for our children. I don't pay enough taxes and I know it."

Simmons, whose work often glorifies wealth and conspicuous consumption, praised the protesters who have camped out in Zuccotti Park for 24 days: "People are here with an honest heart and honest intentions. These young people are our future leaders."

Simmons later tweeted: “I just walked @kanyewest thru the #occupywallstreet. I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd.”

Rapper Talib Kweli, Roseanne Barr, former couple Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon and documentary maker Michael Moore have appeared at the New York City rally to show support. The Occupy Wall Street campaign, which began three weeks ago in New York, has now spread to 72 cities.