Dame Dash works for no one. Dame Dash is all about business ownership. For years, the entrepreneur has spoken about and exemplified having stakes in companies and owning as much as possible. However, as more African-Americans have stepped into and are thriving as entrepreneurs, Dame Dash feels that we need to step it up and do more in claiming business ownership. In doing so, the community will be able to call more shots.
Dame Dash was a recent guest on Fox Sports’ Club Shay Shay hosted by former NFL 3x Super Bowl champion and sports analyst Shannon Sharpe. During their unfiltered conversation, Dash spoke on the lack of ownership with Black people in specific spaces like in the NFL and other areas in sports. It is Dame Dash’s belief that members of the African-American community will not hold any type of control in any situation unless power is taken. “We have to visualize what it looks like when we win, not when we fit in,” said the mogul. “That’s what has to be seen. And it’s never shown.”
Now that he has “the bag,” Dash expressed his visions of doing what he did in the music and movies space into the sports arena. He also revealed his plans to bring more awareness to HBCU teams as well. “It’s just been something that’s been bothering me every time,” stated Damon Dash as he shed light on the fact that historically, there haven’t been many African-American coaches. “I just don’t like it.” Dash also revealed that he attempted to purchase The Raiders, but as per usual, “white board members” got in the way and said no. With the way the infrastructure is set up, Dash wants to bring effective change. He also refuses to “complain” about how things are but instead would complain about what he “did not do.” He also acknowledges that he may not be as “big” as the organization, but he will both “try” to do so and “win.”
The New York native is often highly vocal about the power of Black ownership. In a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Damon Dash stressed the importance of not giving our “culture” away to others only to have to purchase it back from them. Like other major brands, the entrepreneur stated that he knows his consumer. And if you relinquish your control to others, you have to “move when they say move.”
Not only does Dame Dash consistently talk the business ownership talk, but he walks it as well. Beginning as early as 1995, Damon Dash and his friends/business partners Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Kareem “Biggs” Burke started the legendary Roc-A-Fella Records. Several multi-platinum albums and singles were released through the label that held a grip on the Billboard Charts. It was the home to Jay-Z, Kanye West, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Teairra Mari, and more. Roc-A-Fella Records also housed the subsidiary ROC Films. In 1998, they began to release major motion pictures and documentary films that include State Property, Paid In Full, and Paper Soldiers.
In 1999, together Dame Dash and Jay-Z expanded their business efforts and created the successful fashion line, Rocawear. The brand would include t-shirts, hoodies, bags, belts, and more accessories. For what seemed like forever in the 2000s, you could not walk down any street in a major city without seeing someone wearing a Rocawear piece or being fully decked out in the brand.
However, things didn’t always end up great for Damon Dash. The relationship between himself and Jay-Z soon soured after years of atmospheric success. According to a 2006 NY Mag report, Roc-A-Fella Records’ parent label Def Jam entirely purchased the label after previously owning 50%. Jay-Z would soon become President of Def Jam, and shortly after, in 2005, Dame Dash was bought out of his stake in their clothing line by the rapper.
But his success has continued since their fallout. Together with his ex-wife Rachel Roy, they created the fashion and accessory company, The Rachel Roy Company. However, things got ugly after the divorce, and Damon Dash purchased his stake in the company back, revealing it to be worth $6 million.
Along with his “Damon Dash Studios,” the entrepreneur has partnered with Fox Soul to launch his own streaming service. According to Black Enterprise, Damon Dash Studios will take over the channel every Saturday to play content he labels “deprogramming.” The programs are all centered around creating wealth in the Black community, healthcare, therapy, and more. Dash is also keeping his word in exposing other Black creators to the world with his recent partnership with film distributor Homestead Entertainment, which is also Black-owned.