Following a week full of call-outs and responses for and from industry veterans, Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Dame Dash spoke with Combat Jack yesterday (June 6). Opening up about his criticisms for Funkmaster Flex, Joie Manda, Lyor Cohen, and Steve Stoute, Dash explained why he decided to come out with them now.
“I mean it’s just time,” he said. “A lot of people have done things I haven’t liked and you know me. I haven’t forgotten about it. I’m not the kind of person that I’m gonna complain. I’m not the kind of person that I’m gonna leave my culture behind. They don’t stop none of my money. I don’t really make money off music even though I make music. That’s not how I make my money. I do it for love and when I’m inspired. I’ve been watching these people bully my culture and make money from it and I’ve personally witnessed them do things that…would humiliate the culture and people would die and people would be hurt. And they would make money from it.”
“These CEOs have made so much money off rap beef for so long,” he said. “It’s not like when two rappers have a problem with each other they sit them down and squash it. They actually put a battery in their back—sort of like how a battery might have been in Flex’s back—and have them beef with each other. Then they make money off the winner. As opposed to what I do when I see two people having a problem, I sit them in a room and try to talk it through.”
“I also noticed that these corporate people were trying to bomb on me,” he added. “Trying to make it look like I had a beef with a rapper to keep the beef off of them. But I couldn’t really answer right then and there ‘cause guys like Lyor Cohen were using people’s like Warner Brothers’ money to fund his personal issues. I can’t fight a man when he’s using somebody else’s money. Especially when I’m funding other businesses. So I was like, ‘I’m gonna let him get that off and let’s see what they do for the next five yeras.’ He got fired and now he kind of doesn’t have other people’s money to use to do all of those little corporate tricks that he used to do. I think he’s vulnerable. I think we should make money off CEO beef as opposed to them making money off rap beef. I just don’t see why we can’t.”
“Let’s have Hip Hop evolve and not have us fighting each other,” he later added. “Let’s deal with social issues, conscious issues. Let’s empower people and do right by the culture. Lead by example. Why do we have to be fighting each other? Let’s have an intellectual conversation about the issues that are social that are affecting people. I just noticed a lot of peoples talk a lot behind people’s back but they don’t say anything in front of them. With him being weak and not having Warner’s money to use anymore. I know he’s too cheap to use his own and I know he’s trying to get back in business. I just felt like it was time to air him out.”
Dame Dash Responds To Funkmaster Flex Rant
After Funkmaster Flex told Dame Dash to “stick to artwork and clothing and slippers” in a rant earlier this week, Dash detailed his view of the on-air deejay.
“What I do is I look at other people’s perspectives,” Dash said. “You have guys like Ebro—and I’m not calling him out. You got guys like Flex who have jobs. They’re paid. They don’t have any equity in anything that they’re working for. A guy like Flex has had the same exact job for 25 years straight. He’s 46 years old. A guy like Ebro I don’t know…but again he’s employed by somebody. He’s told what to do. He’s told to protect something that he doesn’t own. His mentality is completely different than Chuck D’s. Chuck D is a man that fights for freedom. He fights for what he believes in. For a person with a job—Hot 97 is owned by a parent company and those people culturally have nothing to do with Hip Hop. They make money from it all day long. Other people that work for Hot 97 fight for them but they own nothing. They have a secure salary. They don’t know about putting up their own money. They don’t know about fighting for what they believe in. They’re safe.”
Dame Dash Says Steve Stoute Is A Culture Vulture
Directly addressing his dislike for Steve Stoute, Dame Dash went on to share feeling like the executive inappropriately capitalized on some artist’s careers.
“I don’t like Steve Stoute,” he said. “Nobody really likes him He’s a culture vulture. But it’s worse ‘cause he’s Black. Again, it’s hard for me to have respect for a man—I met him. I was hearing about him first through Cease and all of them. They were laughing at him. They were always teasing him. I was like, ‘Who’s this Steve Stoute guy?’ I wasn’t from all that.
“When we got to know him, when he was with Nas, he was doing anything he could to salt our deals with Interscope or Sony,” he added. “It would be him that would be leaving that trail. He played like that. When we went #1 all of a sudden he was our friend. There was a moment that Nas wasn’t doing so well and I think LL, and I didn’t like how Steve was telling me all of their business…He would tell me about Will Smith’s business. He would just tell me when people were doing bad and just laugh at it. He just had no care for it. I was like, ‘That’s corny man.’”
“I think what he does is he pretends that he’s more cooler than he is to White people,” Dash later said. “Then he goes and tells Black people he can go and make money for them. But he doesn’t tell them that it could compromise their brand. So what he does is help corporate whore our their artist. The way he looks at artists is, ‘You’re hot now, I’ll pimp you out.’ I don’t like that. I didn’t like see Mary J. Blige doing a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial. Even though at the time I wasn’t in business with Jay, I was like, ‘Damn, I didn’t like seeing him doing a Budweiser commercial with a confederate flag.’ I never agreed with putting Jay’s whole name on a $40 sneaker—Sean Carter on a Reebok sneaker. Even though the deal was big and that’s good, but I knew all Reebok was using it for was promotion for their brand. They not making money off that. If you put your full name on something it should be expensive ‘cause you kill your brand.”
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