Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon “Dame” Dash has said he is willing to set aside his past differences with Jay-Z to work with him again.
Dash said Jay-Z is always a part of Roc-A-Fella.
“If Jay wanna come through and do something, he can come holla at me,” Dash said in an interview. “I ain’t got no beefs with Jay. Just off the strength that it’s Roc-A-Fella, I could never tell Jay he can’t be a part of something he helped create. So maybe it felt ridiculous that he said [me and Biggs couldn’t be a part of Roc-A-Fella once we sold the company] and a Roc-A-Fella purists didn’t appreciate that. If I walked away from Roc-A-Fella, then that would be different. But the option should always be there. So the option is there for him. He helped build that. And I don’t hold grudges. I think one of the most important things in evolving is forgiveness. If he did something wrong or if I did something wrong, we’d have to forgive each other, or we’d still be children.” (MTV)
According to Dash, tensions began to rise with Jay during their Rocawear Clothing run.
“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)
While Dame initially laid the groundwork in 1999, Hov recently said he has taken the brand to new heights.
“Dame did a great job when he was here,” Hov said in an interview. “I just feel that I have a different way of running things, which I think is working out well. I let people make mistakes, and push them to be creative. I let a design team design. When they feel good about something they have created, it makes them want to do more. It makes them want to do their best. People are happy here. I’m not a controlling manager and I have a great team that makes me confident that things can run well when I’m on the road, and I’m proud of that…Our goal is to make Rocawear a $1 billion company,” he said. “It may take us more time than we would like since the economy is in the shape that it’s in, but I’m confident that we will get there.” (Women’s Wear Daily)
Check out the Rocawear 10th Anniversary advertisement below: