In an interview with Kenyatta “The Hip Hop Motivator” of Hip Hop Motivation published Saturday (Jan. 5), Dash spoke about the Surviving R. Kelly documentary series, which led him to reflect on Hov’s decision to collaborate with Kellz on 2002’s Best of Both Worlds.
Like many viewers, Dash was disturbed by the Kelly documentary, chronicling decades of sexual abuse against Black girls and women. “I watched some of it yesterday, as much as I could tolerate and I’m not gon’ lie, as a human, I was tight. I was tight about a couple things,” he said.
“There was a girl when she was even trying to talk about it and she couldn’t, and I remember Aaliyah trying to talk about it and she couldn’t,” Dash said. “She would just leave it at ‘That dude was a bad man.’ I didn’t really want to know what he did, to the extent that I would, you know, deal with it. Because that’s what a man does. But it was so much hurt for her to revisit it. I wouldn’t want to revisit it without a professional. Whatever got done was terrible.”
The 47-year-old entrepreneur also spoke about Hov embarking on a tour with Kelly, in spite of his child pornography case. Dash didn’t want to be involved in the BOBW project because Kelly “violated” Aaliyah and others, and Jay was aware of how he felt, Dash said.
In the end, Jay went forward with the project, while Dash had his name removed from the album credits. “I never wanted no parts of that,” the Harlem native explained, adding that he donated his portion of the proceeds to a breast cancer organization supported by Aaliyah.
According to Dash, Jay’s decision to work with Kelly contributed to the subsequent end of Roc-A-Fela Records. “I knew morally we weren’t the same. The moral fabric was compromised.”
Later in the talk, Dash gave props to John Legend “for being man enough” to participate in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary when other artists, including Jay-Z, turned own the opportunity.
Watch the full interview below (scroll to the 10 minute mark for the talk about R. Kelly, Jay-Z and Aaliyah).