Dame Dash gets a bad rap. Since his breakup with Jay-Z a thousand years ago people have written him off as the disgruntled man jealous of Jay’s success. Fans chose a side. That side was the perceived winner’s circle of Hov & Company. Meanwhile the man who is partly responsible for the Roc-A-Fella empire seemed to fade to black. He’d only reappear in the press when there was news of him not paying taxes or going broke splashed across headlines. Today the 41-year-old business savvy former music executive is slowly creeping back on the scene.
Global Grind‘s Sharon Carpenter interviewed Dame at his art gallery about the umpteen businesses he has to which he joked, “Oh my God. Is the IRS listening?” There’s the art gallery, his online site–DD172, Bluroc magazine, america nu magazine, Dash Motors and Bluroc Records. A lot to manage, but this is the same man who took the music industry by storm when he started Roc-A-Fella Records in his 20s.
With age comes maturity. Back then Dame was a visible figure because he was building a brand. From music videos to industry parties he was there. Dame was a star in his own right. A different type of star than say his former comrade, but one with a recognizable face and name. Nowadays he’s content operating completely behind the scenes. “A true business person is not meant to be in front of a camera,” he says.
Does he miss the limelight though? The bottle popping. VIP sections. Flashing lights. Exclusivity. Women. “Hell no,” he responds insanely fast. “Oh my God no.” He’s much more fascinated with art and fashion than the often immature hip-hop scene. If you ask him if he’s made any mistakes along the way he doesn’t think so, and he’s using Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s success as a measuring stick. “Every success they have I’m proud of. Every time I see them on television I know what I did.” Some call him publicly taking credit for their achievements arrogance. Realists call it truth. Dame’s contribution to Jay’s success is inarguable.
On whether or not the two are secretly still friends who check up on one another behind the smoke and mirrors of fame, “Let’s leave that one a mystery.” What he said without saying: No. Dame understands business is business. On the business front the two parted ways and that concludes that story. But the fact is: They were friends whose split leaves a lot of unanswered questions. When pried by Carpenter on if he wanted to talk about it Dame (who knows the drill) replied, “Not at all. I need Dr. Phil for that one.”
Hate or love Dame, the mark he left on the music business withstands. Jay very may have still become the I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man without Dame’s influence early in his career. Maybe not. But sometimes it’s not just about the money or the business side of things. Props just ought to be given where they are due.
Dame Dash Says He Still Has Love For Jay-Z And Kanye [Global Grind]
[Photo: Getty Images]