While in recent years Damon Dash has shied away from the press, he recently offered Details magazine some time for an in depth profile that focuses on his come up and new indie hustle.
In the feature story aptly titled “Hard Knock Life: The Ballad of Dame Dash”, all the elements that make him are covered. From his early childhood in Harlem to his entry into the music industry managing Rap acts in the 90’s on down to his infamous split from business partner Jay Z.
Even though the two have since made nice with two separate instances of the former friends being photographed together, Dash seems to still criticize Hov’s choice of friends and business pals:
“Dash says he was never cut out for that world—he wants to be a Richard Branson-type entrepreneur-cum-magnate, creating companies and then getting other people to run them. He also heaps scorn on the Def Jam team that would later become Jay Z’s inner circle. ‘Those people are corny. You think I’m rolling to a club with Lyor Cohen or John Meneilly?’ he says, referring to the former head of Island Def Jam and Jay’s manager. ‘No disrespect to Jay—but every single person I see hanging around him is making money off him. They all conform so they can eat off him.'”
A main highlight in the read are his recent indie spirited business ventures including the Jim Jones co-owned Vampire Life clothing brand, his art gallery Poppington, Dusko Whiskey and a motor oil that have all yet to break through commercially:
“We’ve been in a recession,” Dash says by way of explanation. “These things don’t crack overnight.” Even as some of his businesses have limped along, he seems content to keep pumping funds into them until something—or many things—works. “I don’t respect anyone who does not give up their own money,” he says. “I don’t give a f— how much money someone else gave you to watch. That’s not the game I play.”
Dash also addresses the non-stop barrage of stories in the press painting the former million dollar mogul as down to his last couple of coins. Dame explained the messy abandonment of a mansion in Carmel, N.Y. as a “misunderstanding”, and says an old $237,000 loan from a former business partner has been paid off.
And the one lesson learned from the piece?
Dash, with his own monies invested, is his own boss. “I’m not looking for a boss or a master, I’m not hire-able.”
Photo: Alexei Hay