Dame Dash Explains Why Roc-A-Fella Records “Had To End”


Former deviant mogul, Dame Dash, appears to have outgrown the “Champagne Dame” personality that he recently said he was embarrassed by to encompass a more empathetic embodiment of himself. In fact, in an interview with OkayPlayer, Dash not only speaks about his newest venture as an independent filmmaker, but he also explains why the dynasty that was Roc-A-Fella Records had to end.

In 1995, Dash, Kareem “Biggs” Burke and JAY-Z began the now iconic Roc-A-Fella records, which lasted until 2013. In those nearly 20 years, Roc-A-Fella conquered nearly every business venture it sought after and left a lasting impression on hip-hop culture while laying the foundation for record companies to come. And while this may seem like luck, Dame Dash insists that this monopolization was intentional.  When asked about the fundamental goals of Roc-A-Fella, Dash simply replied, “World domination.”

“My goal is exactly what we did – I accomplished that. My goal was for that to open the doors to do whatever I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

Even though Dame Dash, JAY-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records created an artistic empire, Dash went on to tell the publication that he “knew” the company was coming to an end once he began to have daughters. “Ain’t no ‘foresee it’ — I was leaving. I was done. I did what I had to do,” Dame said. “I had daughters, so I couldn’t have that environment around my daughters. I couldn’t have a bunch of aggressive men with their own problems around my child. I had to architect my life where I could raise my children.”

This rebuilding process led Dash to reconnect with Kanye West, who he describes as “like Michael Jackson today,” to aid in co-producing his independent film career.

“Being independent is everything. That’s all I know. Freedom is priceless. What I take pride in the most about [Honor Up] is that I paid for it. I did everything myself. I figured out how to get it distributed by Lionsgate, but still maintain ownership. I did this on my own. And there’s pride in that,” Dash said.

With countless successful business ventures and movies like Paid In Full under his belt, Damon Dash’s full immersion into filmmaking is guided by a sense of optimism, mirrored by his new-found humility and the fruits of his interactions with ‘Ye. “I think that the better sign of an OG is when he’s happy that the person that he raised got bigger than him and in a position where they could help. Because what do you really do it for? Put them in a position where they can help and not have to expose themselves.”