Once the money counting sidekick of Jay-Z and co-founder of the Roc-A-Fella legacy, Damon Dash has made a 172-degree switch in careers. Three years ago Dash started DD172, an organization comprised of every artistic angle feasible, yet residing on a semi-musical foundation. The company came complete with a Dash Gallery, where artists, photographers, musicians, and everything in between could showcase their work and thus further Dash's migration from the streets to the museums. Now all of that is flying to Hong Kong.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Dash will be working with Chong Kwong-yan aka Asian rapper MC Yan, along with American turned Asian resident Shelly Pecot, who was Dash's neighbor in New York City. Shelly was the ultimate catalyst for the Asian Invasion, as Dash suggested she scope out the music scene in Hong Kong for opportunities and set up shows. Once Dash flew over to Hong Kong, he fell in love. Likewise, he brought primarily Asia-touring artists to the U.S. “The point of these shows – these collaborations – is to bridge the gap between Western and Eastern music,” Dame told WSJ. “Music can break any barrier, be it cultural or language.”
The next step obviously includes starting an Asian chapter of the Dash Gallery, which Pecot and MC Yan are working on. Due to stringent rules of bidding on space, that process is the hardest. However, taking cues from New York City's sudden fascination with pop-up stores, the two will continue that trend over in Asia as well.
While Damon Dash isn't the first to fuse American Hip-Hop with Asian aesthetics (read: Kanye West and Murakami), he is making great strides by re-building an entire movement there.
Photo: Raquel Horn