James - Simmons did not START anything. And what he was involved in the early stages of had very little to do with the aspects of the culture that are currently viewed as problematic. NY Hip hop in the late 70's / early 80's was, for the most part, about parties and MC's one upping each other. Russell had nothing to do with gangsta and videos hadn't even been invented yet.
Here's an article that perhaps can shed some light on him that I read not too long ago - fyi.