by EbenGregory, Nolan Strong and Remmie Fresh
Rocawear was established in 1999 and has grossed over $500 million dollars since its inception. The move all but seals any further business dealings between the two former Rocawear/Roc-A-Fella co-CEO’s. “Rocawear was my point of view, a Harlem swagger," Dash told AllHipHop.com of the sale. "They gave me $30 million and 75% of Team Roc. I’m real happy with the deal. I got $22.5 million in cash and the rest in companies (like State Property, Team Roc, Pro-Keds and other entities)."
Rumors of Dash making an exit from the Roc brand started to circulate shortly after Dash and Jay-Z sold Roc-A-Fella Records in 2004, a venture which they established in 1995. By the late 1990’s, Roc-A-Fella Records was raking in over $50 million dollars annually, releasing hit records by Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and others.
In 1997, Island Def Jam bought a 50% stake in the label for $1.5 million. The success helped launch Rocawear and Roc-A-Fella Films in 1999, Dash Films in 2001 and Armadale Vodka in 2002. The label was sold back to Def Jam in 2004 amid rumors of a rift between Dash and superstar rapper and co-CEO Jay-Z.
The remaining 50% stake in Roc-A-Fella Records was acquired for $10 million dollars, giving Island Def Jam, a unit of Universal, 100 % ownership of the label. Roc-A-Fella executives had renegotiated their deal with Island Def Jam several years prior to selling the remaining stake for $20 million dollars, bringing the total selling price of Roc-A-Fella to over $30 million dollars.
Dash denied rumors of hostile feeling towards his former business partner. “When the original Roc-A-Fella broke up, it was time for everybody to do their own thing,” Dash said. “We ain’t no bitch-ass n***as taking sides. All that shit is petty and s**t."
While the move marks the end of Dash’s relationship with the Roc-A-Fella brand, Dash is involved in several other high profile ventures. He holds investments in the Tiret watch company, his film production-company Dash Films, America magazine, State Property clothing, a licensing deal with Pro-Keds sneakers and his record label, Dame Dash Music Group, which is distributed by Island Def Jam.
“Now that I know the business world, I don’t need partners,” Dash said. “I got my own connects with the bank."