Russell Simmons is laughing off Geraldo Rivera's accusation that Simmons is hurting the black community -- as the ravings of a man who's desperate for attention after losing "Celebrity Apprentice."
If you missed it ... Geraldo attacked Simmons for spreading hip-hop culture which he believes cuts them off from mainstream jobs.
Simmons isn't losing any sleep, telling us Wednesday in Hollywood ... "After losing, he needs to just talk to get himself relevant."
Watch, there's a lot more -- including Russell's response to Geraldo calling him a "dear friend."
Hint: Would a dear friend say Geraldo "hasn't done s**t to help people" -- or intentionally mispronounce his name ... repeatedly? Yeah, that's what we thought.