AllHipHop.com Editorial  

Ain’t No N***a Like…Dame Dash

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Sitting in the audience last night inside the crowded 37 Street Arts Theater in Manhattan Off Broadway, I witnessed another great Damon Dash contribution, one that takes hip-hop culture to another significant level of accomplishment.        Sony Entertainment and Damon Dash produced, “Hip-Hop Monologues: the Life and the Mind of Jim Jones.” It was a fantastic show that portrays the evolution of hip-hop through the life Jim Jones.    I have to say, Damon Dash is a hip-hop genius who should never be underestimated. I have watched Dame’s growth, development and entrepreneurship over the years–not from a distance but from first hand observation. He was one of the creative forces behind Roc-a-fella Records, the architect of Rocawear Fashions, he’s made significant culturally relevant films with Dash Films and made other creative cultural installments through Dash Enterprises.  On another great note… He’s the only husband beside one other that I know, who spent a small fortune developing a major talent and women’s brand by supporting his women to the hilt!!       In our early days, Lyor Cohen and I used to shout at Damon and he would shout back. Then we would hug and go handle our business. That was our way of communicating.  Eventually, Lyor got old and I did more yoga and we both stopped shouting so much. Dame eventually made a few bad choices and a few things went sour.  We know haters love a man who’s been hot to catch a lil cold. Hate spreads. But like Tony Montana in “Scarface” said, “two qualudes ….. And they gonna love him again.”         So haters, it really doesn’t matter about your blogs from the sidelines.   Dame’s gonna help heat the economy again!! If he got hit by a truck today remember this, Dame’s a giver by nature. That’s why he has already received so much. He was the biz leader,  architect and one of the creative forces that built Rocafella Records into an empire. I remember that it was Damon who came on my office after we signed Jay-Z to be on the “Nutty Professor” soundtrack with a bag of cash ready to put his money where his mouth was :-).  But the record “Ain’t No n*gga” didn’t need his cash. It was a masterpiece and so was his artist, Jay-Z the greatest rapper of all time.  I saw countless displays of vision and faith all the way up to and beyond his struggle to convince everyone (no one believed) of the artistry in Kanye West. In this business, in order to be successful you have to have both business sense and great creative instincts (The latter is intuitive and cannot be learned).  Damon has once again proven that he is a great innovator with amazing vision.       Now, he is helping Jim Jones in a powerful manner that combines their collective experiences–from being born and raised in Harlem. They’ve taken that culture to Broadway theaters with a live hip-hop band, dance routines, multimedia use and the dynamics of theatrical stage presentation to show the struggles of life through the lens of hip-hop. I have 2 responses:1) Respect Dame’s gangster. 2) Go see the play immediately.

-Russell Simmons

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