EXCLUSIVE: Dame Dash’s Rules For The Successful Businessperson

When Dame Dash starts talking you have two options: 1. shut up or 2. shut up and record. In AllHipHop’s exclusive interview with the always loquacious entrepreneur, Dash reveals to us his tips to becoming a successful businessperson through his retelling of good, bad and ugly business stories. Check out Dame Dash’s Rules For The Successful Businessperson below:

Don’t Invest Unless Your Heart Is In It

By the summer of 2010, Curren$y, Stalley and Big K.R.I.T. performed at Dame Dash’s Blu Roc Festival, made music videos with his Creative Control and were frequent visitors of Dame’s DD172 organization. By Spring of 2011, all had signed major label deals. By February of 2012, less than two years after first working with Curren$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.

Don’t Be Afraid To Sue

Dash’s old business partner Jay Z once said “rap game, crack game, ain’t that different, ya know” and could have interchanged “crack game” with “film game” and Dash might still agree. Following Roc-A-Fella Records’ 2004, Dash spent a considerable amount of his money investing in two movies: the Lee Daniels-produced The Woodsman and the Lee Daniels’ directed Shadowboxer. A decade after his first investment in a Lee Daniels project, Dash says Daniels’ duplicitous business actions have been so “flagrant” that he may be forced to break a rule he seldom has in the past: sue another Black man.

Be Corporate Without Being Corporate

Here’s an overview of the two sides of Dame Dash’s life from 2008-2013:

Side A

-Sold 50% stake in Rachel Roy to Jones New York (June 2008)

– Started DD172 and Executive Produced a Billboard Top 10 Rap Album Blackroc (November 2009)

-Relaunches Roc-A-Fella Records (w/ Curren$y’s Pilot Talk as first release) (May 2010)

-Started motor oil company called Dash Motors (September 2011)

-Opens 1st art gallery in Hong Kong, Poho 66 (March 2013)

Side B

-Wife filed for divorce (March 2009)

-Beanie Sigel Alleges He Has Documentation Showing Dame Dash Stole $11 Million From Him (December 2010)

-Admits He Owes Over $2 Million In Tax Debt (August 2011)

-Sued by Curren$y over illegally releasing Muscle Car Chronicles after Curren$y signed with Warner Bros.  (March 2012)

-Claimed To Be On Verge of Eviction Amidst Financial Debt (May 2013)

Both sides make up the entirety of Dame’s life, however what is not as publicized is Dame’s quiet formation of a mutlilayered media company:

What I have been doing the last five years is lining everything up where I can do every single thing on my own. From making music, making fashion, making movies, everything. I don’t want to have to ask somebody to cut me a check to make a record. I didn’t want to have to ask someone to cut me a check to make a movie. I definitely did not feel like asking someone to cut me a check to be doing fashion.

According to Dame, public perception is often times skewed and should not influence a successful businessperson’s actions too drastically. However, Dame also accepts the racial aspect of the skewing of public perception for successful Black businessmen but laughs it off:

Demand Respect

By 2003, Dame Dash’s legacy was that of a volatile record label head with a penchant for aggressive persuasion techniques(to put it lightly) and five years ago the world got a taste of that side of Dame. In the infamous footage of Dame Dash berating Def Jam employees, Dash claimed “they trying to take our franchise from us” as Def Jam execs held a marketing meeting regarding Jay Z and failed to inform Dame via telephone(he admittedly did not check emails back then).

You have to understand, I put Kevin Hart in business. I put Lee Daniels in business. I put Jay in business. I put all these people in business.  I don’t feel a way. I don’t feel no connection with making money with them moving forward but I do expect a certain level of respect.

Creativity Is King, Trust Is Queen

In the past 10 years, Dame has had former artists, directors, record label execs and even his ex-wife has had issues with him, but Dame still understands the value of trust. Dame’s continued trust is a result of a man who says his business model is to “do cool sh*t and then once I do it I figure out how to monetize it”. Dame understanding that paradox of being independent is that in order to truly achieve it you need other people:

I start companies, I create companies, but my agenda is not to run them because there are too many companies that I have under my umbrella. First, I’ll run the cash register, figure out how to run the store. Then I’ll hire somebody so I know if they robbing me or not. But, I can’t sit in the store all day.

Dash says his Poppington Art Gallery, curated by Raquel Horn, David Chang and Dave Barnett, is an example of the good that can happen when blind trust meets creativity:

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41 Responses to “EXCLUSIVE: Dame Dash’s Rules For The Successful Businessperson”

      • Troll_E_G

        What debts? The IRS or his mother?…If your answer is the IRS, then u can keep your reply because we on two different wave lengths

      • ThaLowLow

        Are you really that clueless? He’s being evicted, has countless lawsuits currently pending against him, owes the IRS millions, and has a non-revenue generating “art gallery”. All of his current ventures have netted no profit and have all failed. Bankruptcy court is next. Any fool who’s has money can see that from a mile away. And yes, I made and GOT money. I didn’t blow it like this fool.

    • MIIHP

      I would agree if he had started broke and stayed broke. But he’s been on a journey and seen the view from the top, bottom, and everywhere in between. You should take advice from a person who’s seen it all…

      • Terrance

        AGREED. You can LEARN from ANYONE… Even a DUMMY can teach you what NOT to do. I RESPECT what the man has ACCOMPLISHED in this game. Most will NEVER sniff his past success’… #HUMBLE

    • bigdoe6

      Donald Trump took losses and you won’t take advice from him? Even Jay took some losses in the industry with 40/40 club. Dame made, seen and had millions. Many business people take losses. So i have no problems taking advice from a guy who made millions. He been through it. He can teach me how to stretch my money instead of making bad decisions like he did. You’re a fool.

  1. Black Jay

    Dame Dash’s Rules For The Successful Businessman, huh…. More like rules to get your ass locked up. Either Dame has the purest heart on earth and people are taking advantage of him, or he is the dumbest dude to ever infiltrate the boardroom.
    But this article should read,

    1. Get a dope artist
    2. Ride his coat tails
    3. Make the biz connections f*cked up due to your sh*tty personality
    4. Get Dumped
    5. Try some more trick sh*t with different people
    6. Get Dumped
    7. Get Dumped
    8. Get Dumped
    9. Get Sued
    10. Run N*gga, Run!

    This whole article is suspect. Dash did some dope sh*t when he was a part of a team. But now? Lost cause.

    • superh8

      Oh, now u wanna tell dame how 2 b a successful business man, yet u claim 2 b a political major, yet ur broke ass on here every day spewing a gang of shit u no absolutely nothing about.stupid fuck.i bet u still live @ home with mommy dearest.smdh

      • Brindle

        you don’t like Black Jay do you? Last time he slept with my girl, I was pissed at him too, let him have it on all his comments, it made the pain only last a short period…

    • GQ

      A true hustler is never broke. A hustler takes losses all the time, but bounces back quick. Don’t downplay what this man has to say because he’s taken losses. You’re a student, so learn. Also, if anybody thinks Dame is broke, and didn’t stash millions Years ago, I got ocean front property in Kansas for sale for $500.

      • Black Jay

        That may be true bruh. You never know what someone is stashing. I cosign that to the millionth degree.

        But on the books? Legally? According to Uncle Sam? He’s broke.

  2. World Dominator

    FIRST RULE OF SUCCESS : Don’t Be Like Dame Dash!
    Muthf*cka F*CKED it ALL up royally, like dat idiot Suge, Dame did a bellyflop from the top of the Empire State building in a pool with NO WATER! A spectacular fall from SOMEBODY to a broke NOBODY, ‘giving advice’?!@!?? DO THE OPPOSITE OF THIS FOOL!

      • World Dominator

        He WAS somebody, but once Hov shook his azz, WHAT has his ‘big mouth’ done? Gone into MORE DEBT, lost more COMPANIES & got KICKED OUT of his home! He ‘shorted’ himself trick!

    • Brindle

      you sound stupid, to compare Dame to Suge, means you know nothing… and to call someone with more money than you broke, I aint even gonna continue.. you sound stupid…

      • World Dominator

        Look at THIS LAME, on Dame’s d*ck, saying ‘money’ equals intelligence! Like everyone with more money than you is SMARTER than you! THAT’S A F*CKIN’ STUPID COMMENT! Yes DAME & SUGE both had SPECTACULAR falls from grace! From mega-RICH to mega-BROKE, ousted from their companies, more debt than assets! YOU want to follow these FAILS, be my guest! oh ‘intelligent one’!

      • Brindle

        i didn’t say money equals intelligence, how you hear wrong if we typing? I didn’t say everyone with more $ is smarter, where’d you get that from… now that you’ve made yourself sound dumber, would you like to continue… and is far as Dame’s d*ck, you the one that got emotions in this… I stumbled across you making a fool of yourself, but you’ll all wrapped up in Dame’s success/failure, he owe you child support or alimony?

      • World Dominator

        You ASSUMED a man with ‘massive debt’ has more money than me! You thought WRONG. But unlike MOST of us that got a laugh out of the title of DAME’S RULES FOR SUCCESS,
        for the fact he’s never rebounded from the one successful run he has, he’d NOT be the one to take ‘advice from, YOU got all defensive for Dame…. YOU sleepin’ with him or workin’ for him?! Both Suge & Dame had HUGE FAILS, from the ‘penthouse to the poor house’, THAT was the comparison, nothing else! If he was so scary intelligent as to RULES FOR SUCCESS, why hasn’t he ‘succeeded’ since like Jay-Z; same for Suge after DR.DRE?! That’s all we’re sayin’! I’m rootin’ for him & all people, NOT A HATER, just SEEMS he’s going further in debt & the other direction……..it was a funny title!

  3. Lisa Diamond

    I remember Dame Dash Spazzing Out On Def Jam lol…Now he sounds like a Broke and Desperate half a man kinda guy…He sounds like one of them Harlem drug dealers that once had it all but now has to sell fake cocaine aka baking soda just to meet ends meet and get by lol…Dame at least dye them grey hairs ..Is life that bad? back to
    Sponla . c0m

  4. Brindle

    not taking advice from a proven business man, regardless of success or failure is like saying you wouldn’t allow any boxer to coach you accept Floyd Mayweather… advice comes from all places, its what you do with it…

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