Dame Dash is that dude. You see him in the videos
with his lil’ patented dance holding onto a bottled of Armadale equipped
with a cocky smirk.
Still, on the other side, he’s that dude
that holds down several businesses along with his Roc-A-Fella cohorts. But,
on yet another side, there is a more private, equally important Dash: the father
of a young boy and girl.
Dash’s son Boogie (Dame Jr.) and daughter
Eva are his true pride and joy (in addition to his accomplishments as a businessman).
The mogul even has his young ones on Roc-A-Wear
ads that overlook his home-borough of Harlem, USA. Many of his personal exploits
have been vilified in the news headlines, but he emphatically declares the tabloids
have it all wrong. AllHipHop.com takes a rarely seen glimpse off Dash, the father.
AllHipHop.com: Can you talk about you as a father
and how you want to raise your children?
Damon Dash: I want my kids to be regular. I want
them to have the same opportunities as regular kids. He’s not the average
kid just because of my life and because of the circumstances of my life. I’m
a single father as far as my son goes. I got custody of him and I have to find
time to put in that real father work. I got nannies, babysitters and tutors
and I think its really important that I install personally the right values,
so he does thing the right way, but then so on another level. I try to provide
an atmosphere that is normal even though its not a normal circumstance. My kid
is a reflection of me and if he goes through some kind of pain, I am going to
feel it two times as worse. I try to protect him from certain things and make
him aware of certain things. At the same time I want him to grow up respectful.
I want him to know that he has to work for everything he has. I want to instill
a lot of the hunger I have, but the thing is he has nothing to be hungry about.
He's a wealthy kid, but I still want to teach him 110% to be the best at what
he is good at.
AllHipHop: How do you maintain the regular aspect
DD: It’s a control environment. He still
gets to be with the kids that don’t have what he has, so he get to appreciate
it. He also learns to have that sprit of competition. I feel like if you can
survive in Harlem than you can survive any where. Also his style and the way
he is being as though he comes from Harlem.
AllHipHop: How does he react to having a bodyguard
around him all the time?
DD: When I first got the bodyguard my son did
not even know how to cross the street. He does not even have keys. I was taking
the bus when I was eight and he’s eleven now, so I had to teach him how
to cross the street. Its certain things that you can't take for granted. Everything
I know I got taught. I had to get taught how to cross the street and how to
go to school by myself. Being as though he does not have to cross the street
a lot, no one taught him, so I still have to make that effort, to make sure
he learns normal things.
AllHipHop: How were their early years, when they
DD: Mostly what I am talking about is my son
because my daughter is in a better situation. My daughter’s mother is a
little more receptive to my situation and we have a better relationship, so
thing are a bit more normal. My son was there in the beginning of the transition.
He was born eleven years ago when I was first getting in the game, so he actually
been with me through every success that I had. He knows how it was for me to
make my first hundred thousand and my first million, then my first couple million
thousand, so he’s been there, He lived with me in Harlem and he lived with
me in Fort Lee, so he’s been through every step of the way. My daughter
is three years old and I was pretty much well off when she was born, so she
is somewhat like a princess and that’s pretty hard as well to keep her
in check., cause she is pretty smart and knows how to manipulate already so
I got to make sure she doesn’t.
AllHipHop: What is your view of the media since
you have had some glaring headlines regarding your kids?
DD: My whole custody battle has been in the
papers. No one is looking at it like what am I really fighting for. I am not
trying to hurt my son or his moms. I am just trying to provide him with the
best life I can. I have to stop and fight just so my kid can be alright cause
I feel like he is better off with me, instead of looking at the negative part
about it. Like when they said I got arrested and my son got arrested for smoking
weed with me, whatever or brought weed [to school]. That was all bullsh*t. I
could not even react to it. That was just his moms trying to make it look like
I’m a bad father. They wasn’t doing any kind of fact check, they was
just saying what they wanted to say. This sh*t was in Vibe Magazine like it
happened and it really didn’t. Then when he was vindicated no one said
anything about his arrest. Say I am going through a custody battle or having
problems with my child. I should be able to deal with it privately just for
the kids sake. Its just the press wants to carry whatever they can to make money.
AllHipHop: Does the business interfere with your
DD: I run about four or five companies hands
on and everything that I’m doing is brand new so I have to pay close attention
to it,. A lot of times I do parenting at the same time I’m working, so
in that respect yea, but it’s cool. I think my son gets to get a real education
watching me do what I do. I made a conscious decision to be at the forefront
of my culture, which means that a lot of times I sacrifice being a father to
him, but I’m trying to be a father to the community. If I can empower people
and help the people around me by doing what I’m doing, I have to figure
out which one is more important. I’m trying to open up the doors for the
whole culture as well as him, so sometimes it gets taken from him. Right now
I guess I’m in the grind, but in a minute hopefully I won’t be and
ill be able to delegate and pass the power to somebody that can do right and
then take care of my kids. If I don't do this who is going to do it?
AllHipHop: Is it overwhelming to take on that
kind of responsibility?
DD: It is what it is. It’s the life I choose
so I can’t complain about it. The positive aspects out weight the negative
by far. The fact is, I can not only affect my family but two hundred others.
Every time I have a success, I can higher people or open the door. Any business
that I open up means I going to be able to generate jobs for people who wouldn’t
get it. I’m trying to build a legacy. I want the Dash name to be like Kennedy.
Just because someone's last name is Dash, they will be honored just because
they are the third cousin of Damon Dash.