As we move further away from the 2000s we are gaining a new appreciation for the music in that era. We’re remembering how much we loved The Ruff Ryders, Dipset, D Block and G-Unit. The one collective towering over all of them was Roc-A-Fella. A label that had Jay-Z at his best, State Property, Just Blaze producing and a hungry Kanye West. A lot of us have forgotten that Dame Dash was a huge part of that success. The loud mouth, fast-talking, arrogant Harlem native gave The Roc its style. Obviously, after the split, Jay continued to rise while Dame practically vanished. After Roc-A-Fella he has tried, and seemingly failed, to remain relevant and find success. I’ll be the first to say that Dame doesn’t matter much anymore, but I think because of what he started with Jay and Biggs back in 95 we can, at least, give him a listen. Dame has a ton of great interviews. My two favorites are the ones he did on The Combat Jack Show a few years ago. This past week he was on The Breakfast Club and given the platform to drop more gems. I don’t agree with everything he’s saying, but here are 4 important points to take away from his hour-long interview with the trio.
Honor & Manhood
“How can men say ‘social media’ with a straight face!?”
Now I’m going to bring all of these points back to race and the black community because, whether consciously or unconsciously, Dame is speaking directly to us. We have a serious problem with manhood among black people. Many of us are uncertain about what being a man entails and some of us know but are scared of the responsibilities. The black community is already full of smart and capable female leaders, but for us to make any progress men are going to have to do their part by embracing manhood to help us all. We need to define what manhood is and create the code of honor that we all know and live by. Dame clearly doesn’t have a framework for what being a “man” is. He thinks whatever it is he’s doing is manly, and we know that isn’t the case. I know I don’t need to say “pause” to maintain my image. I know I can work for someone else and still be a man. BUT I hear him loud and clear when he says, as men, we should be striving for more. Maybe we shouldn’t spend as much time talking about rumors or how much money other men have. Maybe we do have too many ChattyPattys around.
Being A Boss
“Do you think your son enjoys you calling someone else a boss!?”
During the interview, Dame and Envy got into a pretty heated argument about status and being a “boss.” Dame was being a jerk, but he makes a great point. We should try to strive towards ownership and wealth instead of only wanting to create wealth for others. Black people should be making all the profit to be made from Hip-Hop. It is our struggle that created it and we should have full ownership of it. We should be running studios and distributors, but because of our mentality we’ve been content with our status as high paid employees. As smart as Envy is, going from mixtapes to hosting one of the biggest Hip-Hop radio station in the country, why hasn’t he just started his own station? At this point, black people need to build wealth that can secure our families several generations over. All our hard work shouldn’t be to simply have kids so we can tell them to go to school just like we did. We should be passing them the baton instead of sending them back to the start line. Dame is wrong because most people can’t just quit and start “flipping their money” like he does. Also, a lot of people aren’t business-savvy and wouldn’t last if they began working for themselves. We should invest in ourselves with our 9-5 so that eventually we won’t need it. “Being free” is what we should all strive towards. Ownership, whether its publishing, land, or businesses, we need that mentality, but not at the expense of your current source of income.
No More Culture Vultures
“There’s always white men in charge of black people”
Hip-Hop has allowed itself to be run by people who weren’t born in, and have no interest in, the culture. There are white executives that don’t care about rap or its influence, that are profiting off of the music and lifestyle. From CDs to clothes, to liquor we act as the faces but have no say or ownership in these companies that suck the income out of us. We’ve failed in this regard.
Never Take Business Advice From Dame Dash
According to CelebrityWorth, Dame is worth -2 Million Dollars. It sounds like he spends a lot of his time in court, and as we all know his cultural relevance is pretty low. I think there are important points he discussed that we should think about critically, but seeing as he isn’t in the best financial situation… its hard to take him seriously. Of course, he would say his money is on the street, and it might actually be, but its hard to listen when he’s struggling like the rest of us. The main takeaway… Dame has always been entertaining and that will never change. Also, he doesn’t call Diddy, Diddy. Maybe we should all follow in his footsteps.