When Dame Dash talks, you better stop and listen. Not because he’s known to be a “volatile record label head with a penchant for aggressive persuasion techniques,” as AllHipHop puts it, but because the creative, talent and money prophet knows good business. And knows that in the business world, you have to take the good with the bad. And no one knows that as well as Dame Dash.
In a recent interview with AHH, Dash not only dishes out tips on how to be a successful businessperson, he finally admits to being the talent sniffing genius behind some of the country’s most talented artists, million dollar brands and profit yielding creative concepts.
At the top of his list, Demand Respect, Don’t Invest Unless Your Heart is in it and Don’t be Afraid to sue.
Kevin Hart recently admitted that Dash discovered him, but the shrewd businessman who lives on the motto of “being corporate without being corporate,” also introduced the music industry to three of hip hop’s future game changers, Big K.R.I.T., Stalley and Curren$y.
In this in-depth interview, AHH states,
By the summer of 2010, Curren$y, Stalley and Big K.R.I.T. performed at Dame Dash’s Blu Roc Festival, made music videos with his Creative Control and were frequent visitors of Dame’s DD172 [ ]. By Spring of 2011, all had signed major label deals. By February of 2012, less than two years after first working with Curren$y, Dame Dash was sued for releasing Muscle Car Chronicles following Curren$y’s signing with Warner Bros, which entitled the label to exclusive rights to his music.
“I only invest in my friends. I didn’t invest in Curren$y, or Stalley or any of them. They were just coming around and making music.”
Back in 2012, Dame’s attorney stated “Curren$y’s defection from DD172 caused my client to suffer damages in excess of $5,000,000 to his business reputation.
“All those guys, I gave them platforms, from K.R.I.T. and on, but when they got hot, I didn’t see them no more. [Laughs] I don’t know, I must be that creative sucker. They all came through, got deals and never came back and broke bread with me. I don’t know, seems like the artists sometimes turn into corporate once they get with corporate,” says Dash.
“On to the next one,” spitted Jay-Z in 2009 on the Blueprint 3. And Dash has had more successful, as well as bad business deals than any media mogul.
Dash is contemplating on suing director Lee Daniels because of over $2 million dollars he invested in Daniels’ The Woodsman and Shadowboxer.
“I put $2 million into The Woodsman. We got our money back and that was my money to flip for my movies. Then he asked me to put money into Shadowbox, but that was his directorial debut and I was like ‘I need this money to make my stuff.’ He was like ‘I promise you, you going to get your money back.’ Then he did whatever he wanted to do with it, showcase his directing platform. I even introduced him to the people who funded Precious. He didn’t even invite me to a screening, because he knew he had to pay me.”
“On the movie tip, Lee Daniels is on my sh*t list. He’s anti-Black. I don’t like how he does his business.”
On the good side of things, Dame sold his 50% stake in ex-wife Rachel Roys fashion brand to Jones New York in 2008. He started DD172 and Executive Produced a Billboard Top 10 Rap Album Blackroc in 2009, started motor oil company called Dash Motors in 2011 and opened his first art gallery in Hong Kong, Poho 66 in 2013. But on the flip side his losses have included Roy filing for divorce in 2009, being accused by Beanie Sigel of stealing $11 million in 2010, admitting he owes $2 million in tax debt in 2012, being sued by Curren$y in 2012 and claiming to be in jeopardy of eviction in 2013.
Dash says now he is lining all his ducks in a row, in order to never have to “ask someone to cut me a check.”
He also said that public perception has never influenced his business actions.
And did you know that he actually owns the Rachel Roy brand?
“I had to go build the foundation from the ground up with my own money by investing in other companies until I get that money back. It takes a real businessman. You have to remember, Rachel Roy is a $50 million company. Regardless of the work, nobody brings up that I own it. [Laughs] I don’t care. I’m not throwing it around neither. That’s her company. That’s her platform. She does everything for it. But, nobody brings that up that there’s a Black man from the urban culture that owns a fashion brand. But of course culturally, and perception wise to pop culture, they don’t want to make it look like an independent urban man can be in power or have the ability to empower other people.”
Dash also touches on Def Jam’s successful plot of stealing the Roc-a-fella franchise from him, and soon ruining his relationship with then partner Jay-Z.