Damon Dash Explains Why New TV Series On Roc-A-Fella’s Rise Will Be “Brutally Honest”

Damon Dash, Jay Z, Roc-a-Fella, Kareem “Biggs” Burke

Jay Z’s former business partner Damon Dash has signed on to produce a “brutally honest” TV series about the rise of their successful Roc-A-Fella business empire.

Dash has teamed up with reality TV producer Lemuel Plummer to tell the previously untold story of how the record label, co-founded by Dash, Jay Z, and Kareem Burke in 1996, came to be and the high cost that comes with fame an success.

DAMON DASH leaving Aura nightclub, Piccadilly. London - 21.07.04 Featuring: DAMON DASH leaving Aura nightclub, Piccadilly. Where: Ireland When: 21 Jul 2004 Credit: WENN
Damon Dash In Ireland circa 2004
Credit: WENN

“It means a lot that Damon trusts us to tell the true story of how two global music icons got their start and did nothing less than redefine pop culture,” Plummer says in a statement. “That story is so unbelievable and yet so true that we know we have an awesome responsibility as storytellers to get things right.”

While the project will not be a straight biopic about Dash, Jay or Burke, their personal lives will be touched upon, including Dash’s relationships with late R&B star Aaliyah and his fashion designer ex-wife Rachel Roy.

“What defined what we were doing is everything that was in my life equals Roc-A-Fella,” Dash adds. “Roc-A-Fella as a movement wasn’t revolving around one person, but that’s the way it was made to look.”

The series will also give a “brutally honest account” on the tense split between the co-founders in 2005, when Roc-A-Fella was sold to The Island Def Jam Music Group.

Jay-Z 1998 Billboard Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, Nevada - 06.12.98 Featuring: Jay-Z Where: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States When: 06 Dec 1998 Credit: Chris Connor / WENN
Jay-Z circa 1998
Credit: Chris Connor / WENN

Jay became President and CEO of Def Jam – while the ousted Dash and Burke went on to build their own label, Dame Dash Music Group.

Despite severing their ties as business partners, both Jay and Dash insist they bear no ill will towards each other, with the 99 Problems hitmaker telling New York’s Power 105.1 station in 2013:

“What people gotta (sic) understand is nothing’s gonna change the way I feel about Dame; no time or space, no separation or anything. I got love for Damon Dash the same way as I did before (we split professionally).

“I don’t know if we can be around each other in the same way because times have changed. He might be a completely different person; I know I’m a completely different person. But nothing can erase that era and those times and those memories and those fights that we had to get Roc-A-Fella where it was. It just is what it is. Nothing’s gonna change that…

“The relationship remains and those memories remain. We did something great; we built something that’s gonna be here forever, that’s gonna be talked about forever so there will always be love there.”