Last week I heard about Dame Dash posting a public apology on his Instagram page. If you know anything about Dame Dash, you remember him as a co-founder of Rocafella Records. He along with Jay-Z and Kareem Biggs Burke created an entertainment empire in the late 1990’s. They signed artists like Beanie Siegel, Memphis Bleek, Freeway and Kanye West just to name a few.
They also launched Rocawear and produced and distributed a few movies (Streets is Watching, Paper Soldiers, State Property and State Property 2). Dame was always known as the businessman, Jay was the MC, and Biggs was the silent partner. Over the years, Dame gained a reputation of being an asshole. His aggressive no-nonsense approach to business rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Say what you want about Dame, but he always stood on his principles.
Rocafella disbanded in the early 2000’s shortly after Jay-Z announced his retirement. He went on to serve as President of Def Jam and eventually started Roc Nation. Jay was quiet about the split, but Dame was extremely vocal. He voiced his discontent with the way things went down, and blamed Lyor Cohen for ruining Rocafella.
Meanwhile Jay-Z came out of retirement, continued to release #1 albums, married Beyoncé, and positioned himself as a businessman and an industry heavy hitter. Dame Dash continued to do his thing without the backing or support of a major label. Over the years, he’s spoken candidly about the power and freedom that comes from being independent. It appeared that everything was all good.
Enter Kenyatta Griggs. The longtime friend and barber of Dame Dash founded a movement called Hip Hop Motivation. He and Dame eventually teamed up and wrote a book called Culture Vultures. In the book, Dame refers to both Lyor Cohen and Steve Stoute as culture vultures. He repeatedly accused both men of raping the culture and making money off of rappers sometimes to their own detriment.
The book, published in 2017 got great reviews. I don’t know what happened between then and now, but for some reason Dame felt the need to apologize publicly to Lyor Cohen, Jay-Z, Steve Stoute and Kareem Biggs Burke. I don’t have a problem with him apologizing to Jay or Biggs, but why apologize to someone who continues to rape our culture? I don’t understand what’s going on with Dame where he feels the need to apologize for telling his truth.
He’s said in the past that they don’t cut his checks, so he can say what he wants. What’s changed? I’m all for someone apologizing for things they said or did in the past. We all make mistakes. Sometimes growth and evolution require us to make amends. That’s called being an adult. But I question Dame’s motivation for this apology.
Apparently so does Kenyatta. He posted a video a few days ago expressing his disappointment with the apology. Not only did it appear that Dame was back pedaling on a stance he’s maintained for over 10 years, but it also damaged the credibility of the book they wrote. Kenyatta mentioned that he is already 6 chapters into Culture Vultures 2 and will now have to completely scrap the project.
Dame Dash has always been blunt and unapologetic with his opinions on the industry and how things work. I’ve never seen or heard about him apologizing for something he said that he believed to be true. I’ve also never known him to care about what other people think. So what happened?
He’s been blackballed for over a decade and never seemed to care. According to him, that never stopped his checks. Does he now want a seat at the table?
If anyone has an idea of what’s going on with Dame please fill me in.
Meanwhile check out Dame’s apology and Kenyatta’s reponse below