News: State Property's Omillio Sparks On Roc-A-Fella's Collapse, "There Was A Sheet W/ Names On It" [Video]
Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 5:55PM
State Property's Omillio Sparks has come forward to speak on the collapse of Roc-A-Fella Records and explain how it was decided which artists would go with Jay-Z or stay Damon "Dame" Dash.
According to Sparks, he sensed conflict happening internally around 2003 and 2004.
"Around the time we were about to shoot State Property 2, that's when it was like -- because we were State Property so we had the clothing line, we got the music, we doing movies -- so everybody's like, 'Yo what's up Mac?' and then I don't know what was going on with the powers that be," Sparks said in an interview. "You could just see the tension...Then we had a little drama amongst each other because we were trying to get on point with the business side, we talking with Beans and he ain't giving us no answers so now people are pissed off. We got clothing lines, we got movies, we making music, what's up? So now everybody doing business, bringing their lawyer to the table -- there wasn't even a choice [when Dame and Jay split]. There was a sheet with names on it ripped in half, one went to Jay and one went to Dame. That's what we were going with. So there was no choice." (Vlad TV)
Earlier this month, Dash said marketing pioneer Steve Stoute played a large role in the split.
"It was me and Jay and the two Russians voting on every decision, and I controlled the vote, because I always had Jay's vote." The two Russians were Alex Bize and Norton Cher, old-school clothing slingers from Manhattan's garment district who ran the day-to-day operations. "But one day," Dash says, "they brought me to a hotel." He takes his time with the story, replays it daintily. It's clear that reliving the scene is as painful as it is ebulliently cathartic. "I said, 'Why are we meeting at a hotel?' and it was because they didn't want anyone to hear me yelling. That was the day they told me they didn't want [celebrity photographer] Mario Testino to shoot the ads." Instead, they were going with someone cheaper, and they were going in a different direction altogether. "Here the Russians were telling me how to cater to my people! I wanted [Rocawear] to be sold at Bergdorf Goodman's, not Dr. Jay's!" says Dash. "In the end, Steve Stoute was making money off them. Jay stopped listening to me and started listening to him." Shortly thereafter, Jay-Z made their separation formal when he bought out Dash's stake in Rocawear for $30 million. (Esquire)
Former Roc-A-Fella artist Beanie Sigel recently accused Dash and Jay of shady business practices with Rocawear and his own clothing line, State Property.
"The clothing line that I had, I had 20 percent of State Property clothing, it's me, Jay, Dame [Dash] and the two other Russians that had the Rocawear owned State Property because I gave them an idea, pitched it to Dame at the time -- [Dame] was taking all the money from Rocawear and putting it into all his little companies, he did the same thing to State Property." (Power 99 FM)
Last year, Dash said former Def Jam president Lyor Cohen influenced their break-up.
"I'm very disappointed where Roc-A-Fella went," Dame explained in an interview. "I'm very disappointed, it's like the brand is compromised. I never thought that could ever happen where Roc-A-Fella is just not relevant. Lyor is a funny dude, he's a mastermind. He's not scared, I think his influences are what broke up Roc-A-Fella. It's just all business man and even though I'm not running it no more, you still don't wanna see something go down. It feels good but it feels bad, it's bittersweet. It's hard. I got love for everybody, really. But sometimes people do things that are uncharacteristic of what I thought they were." (Mixtape Monster)
Check out Omillio Sparks speaking on the fall of Roc-A-Fella collapse below: