Dame Dash: Changing Lanes Part Two

You read Part One of Dame Dash’s exclusive interview with AllHipHop.com, here’s the fiery Part Two…

AllHipHop.com: You said earlier that once you reach a certain point that you have to change, evolve and expand. A lot of the criticism that I’ve heard in relation to you is that it seems like in the past you’ve presented success to mean, “I’ve expanded to where White people accept me now, that’s how I’m on a new level.” But today, in speaking on your expansion, you’ve spoken a lot about African-Americans.

Dame Dash: My take on that is I never asked anybody to give me anything, I earned. When I went into a room, it’s not for somebody to cut me a check, it’s for me to employ somebody. I didn’t want anyone to give me a sneaker deal; I wanted the whole company. When I do that, I don’t have to be accepted by anybody. The only thing people accept is red ink and black ink. If you’re in the red, you’re losing. If you’re in the black, you’re winning. That’s it for me, I went and hired a president I didn’t go and look for a president to hire me. I go through with the hat tilted to the side and I’m Dame Dash. I don’t wanna have to kiss nobody’s ass to do nothing, ever.

AllHipHop.com: What’s your and Biggs’ connection?

Dame Dash: That’s my best friend. He and I do Block Savvy and Armandale together. Overall, every boss needs a consigliore, and I’m not saying Biggs is my consigliore, but we’re each others’. We’re both bosses, and that’s the reason why at Roc-A-Fella, I think everything worked. He’s the only guy that’s from where I’m from that can actually tell me, “Yo Dame, you’re buggin’,” and if he’s buggin’, I can tell him, “Yo Biggs you’re buggin’.” We’re partners on a lot of things, and we’re both each others’ consigliore on a lot of things as well.

AllHipHop.com: Speaking of friends, you appeared on a song with Jim Jones called “Kingdom Done”, going at Jay, which sparked the whole situation which had been bubbling for quite a while anyway between him and Diplomats.

Dame Dash: I don’t think that sparked it, but just so you know, I didn’t make the record. I’m not an artist, I would never do that.

AllHipHop.com: So you weren’t dissing Jay?

Dame Dash: Did it sound like I was dissing Jay?

AllHipHop.com: No, but it seemed like a co-sign…

Dame Dash: All I spoke about was Jimmy and Jimmy’s album, and again, I’m telling you now that skit got made months ago. I think Jimmy even said so. Again, Jimmy just took that and edited it. Those are like my little brothers. He called me after to see if I was mad about it or whatever, and I just don’t even care, ’cause I’m not involved. I’m 35; I’ve chosen not to be in rap no more. I hear about things and I see records that are being made about and stuff, and I’m disappointed, ’cause I would never do that, you know what I’m sayin’? I will never have a beef with anybody on vinyl. I’m not a rapper, and for me to try to would be corny, ’cause I’m compromising my brand. But on another level, what am I gonna do, have a beef with Jay-Z? Look at everything we did, that would be dumb. That would be the stupidest thing on the planet for me to have a war with Jay-Z. Actually, for me to have a war with any rapper would be dumb, but for me to do that would be retarded. Now, I could look and see what’s going on, and it’s entertaining. I could see what moves are made, and the next move, entertainment-wise, but keep me out of it. I’m hearing my name in a lot of little things, and I’m very surprised at it, ’cause that’s not the cloth we’re cut from.

AllHipHop.com: You weren’t upset at all? In essence, Jim threw you into the fire…

Dame Dash: If Jay had a problem with me because of our relationship and the dynamics and the men that we’re supposed to be, men talk about things. We don’t go and do things on records. I seen Jay after Cam’s thing, and I heard he thought I had Cam do that. I said “Yo, you wanna talk about it?” He said, “No,” Aight, keep it moving, we ain’t got nothing to talk about.

AllHipHop.com: He did on the record.

Dame Dash: That’s not how men holler at each other; I’m not a rapper. They always do that, Jimmy and Cam I love them to death, but they’re doing what women do. I’m definitely not gonna get angry at them about that. I’m not starting a beef with them, but I’m not starting a beef with anybody.

AllHipHop.com: Did you hear the “Lost Ones” record?

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Dame Dash: Of course I heard it. Again, honestly, I was just surprised, like, “Damn.” On two levels I was surprised: on one tier I was like “Damn, this n***a killed The Dynasty because he felt I wanted to be famous?” Number two, if that’s the case, why he ain’t never pull me aside and say that? “Dame, you buggin’.” Number two: makin’ records about your man like that? So you gonna assassinate my character to sell a record? I was disappointed on a lot of levels.

AllHipHop.com: I believe it’s the next single.

Dame Dash: I know it is. Again, I’m not gonna get into that. We just kinda laugh at it. But I definitely was surprised and disappointed. Think about this: did you ever think that five or 10 years ago Jay and Nas would be making records about Dame Dash? I’m not gonna be a part of that, because that’s the ultimate level of corniness. I will never compromise the history I made by doing something that corny.

AllHipHop.com: What are your thoughts on Jay’s album?

Dame Dash:What are your thoughts?

AllHipHop.com: My thoughts are the thoughts of the people.

Dame Dash:Well, you’re the people. What are your thoughts?

AllHipHop.com: My thoughts are it could’ve been better. My expectations were way up here and it didn’t really meet my expectations.

Dame Dash: I can’t even objectively speak on it. I would be a fool to come back and make a record unless it’s as good as or better than anything I’ve done. Unless I make history, I’m not coming back, that’s my thing. I’m gonna go and make history with other things, I already made history here. How many times can you make history at the same place? That’s like thinking lightning’s gonna strike twice. “Oh. it hit here, so I’m gonna stay here.” Nah, I’m gonna go somewhere else to find lightning. That’s what I’m tryna do, but again, I look at things differently. I have confidence in myself; I believe I can make it big anywhere. I don’t think I’m just a big fish in a little pond; I’m a big fish in anybody’s pond, urban and non-urban.

AllHipHop.com: What’s the problem with our culture and what’s the way to fix it?

Dame Dash: The problem is that we glorify people outside of the culture and we consider that aspiration as opposed to saying we’re the ones that people keep exploiting and making money from. We’re the ones that are the strong ones and know how to make the money. I think that’s the thing that there’s always been a problem with. I don’t respect certain people because they pretend they’re bigger than they are.

AllHipHop.com: Is that your problem with Steve Stoute?

Dame Dash: My problem with Steve Stoute is he went and testified against somebody; I don’t like that. [In] the cloth that I’m cut from, that’s considered a rat bastard. I don’t do business with rat bastards. I don’t care if he gets me billions, the fact of the matter is if you’re getting money with a snitch, you’re a snitch. Just because it ain’t drugs, you testify and try to put another man in jail. You sue a n***a because he hit you, that’s a snitch to me. The reason why I’m gonna publicly say that against another Black man is because I don’t want people to think it’s alright to publicly get money with a snitch. I’m gonna make people really understand what that means. Sometimes I ask people, “Yo, you understand what a snitch is?” Testifying. If a n***a hit somebody in the head with a bottle and tries to hit him in the head saying, “Unless you pay me some money, I’m putting you in jail,” or you try to get the n***a who don’t got no money put in jail which was Puff’s bodyguard and all them. It ain’t for me to be talking all that man’s business really, but that’s a rat.

AllHipHop.com: So are you happy now that you aren’t in the music business?

Dame Dash: You don’t even understand. The thing is, again, I don’t have to worry anymore. What I used to be yelling about was I used to be like, “Yo, I need to get this done.” Next day, did it [get] done? No. Next day, did it get done? No. Next day, I’m calling, and no one is calling me back, now my ego is f**ked with ‘cause I’m like, “Yo I’m Damon Dash, you ain’t called me back yet. Did you get it done?” “No.” “Yo! You messin’ with my money!” Another thing I used to get mad about was people trying to take the credit. People remember in Backstage when I got so mad at Kevin Liles. I was mad because he was compromising my brand. He was trying to get branding on something that I built, I was building my brand. Roc-A-Fella does this, not Def Jam. I’ve always protected my brand, so if you do something to compromise my brand, which in turn is gonna take care of my kids, I get upset. Again, you know how long it takes to build a brand that’s consistent at something? If I’m known for being the best, unless I’m the best, I ain’t doing it.

(Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur contributed to this story.)

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