With making music being such a "sweet hustle," Roc-A-Fella records CEO Damon Dash says he doesn't see why so many rappers are beefing these days.
A couple of weeks ago, the much storied conflict between Roc's franchise player, Jay-Z, and Nas sparked up again after it was disclosed that Nas was going to take shots at Jigga during New York radio station Hot 97's Summer Jam concert on June 26.
After the Queensbridge rhyme king who was the show's scheduled headliner quarreled with Hot 97 about what he could include in his set (see "Nas A No-Show At Summer Jam, Denies Planned Mock Lynching Of Jay-Z"), he publicly lashed out, saying among other things that the station was protecting Jay (see "Nas Calls Cam'ron A 'Dummy,' Retracts Call To Steal Funkmaster Flex's Chain"). The man whom Nas referred to as "Dame Diddy" and "Dame Dummy" on "Ether" thinks the claims are ludicrous, but he nonetheless encourages the rapper to keep speaking his mind.
"It's all good, everyone has a right to their opinion," Dash said last week at P. Diddy's Bad Boy Independence bash (see "P. Diddy Declares Bad Boy Independence Day At Massive Shindig"). "I mean, as long as we keep it on vinyl, I'm cool with it. Big shout out to Nas, if you want to scream my name out again and put my name in your rhyme, I think it's funny. Let's make some money from it. Just don't take it so serious, man. We're here to make money, have some fun. Peace, black man."
Dash, who will begin directing the hip-hop satire "Death of a Dynasty" in the next few weeks in New York (see "Roc-A-Fella Sets 'Paid' For September, Plans Hip-Hop 'Spinal Tap' "), also clarified reports that he was saying peace out to the music scene in favor of Hollywood. With the Roc's roster diversifying and expanding with such artists as child singer Young Steff, alt-rock singer/songwriter Samantha Ronson (sister of DJ Mark Ronson) and, if he has his wish, M.O.P. (he's trying to work out a deal that would bring the Brooklynites from Columbia Records to Roc-A-Fella), the check writer decided he needed some homegrown help.
"I'm knee-deep into fashion, I'm knee-deep into movies," Dash began to explain. "There's only so much I can do. [Beanie Sigel] has his own crew, Cam'ron has his own crew, [Memphis] Bleek has his own crew. Now it's time for them to step up and be executives and take responsibility for the people that they're stepping up for, and I think they can do it. I think they're just as good at being executives as they are at being artists.
"I've got a lot of things to do," he continued. "If I can't do things to the fullest, I don't want to do it. So I'm gonna fall back. It's not like a semi-retirement. It's kind of like me passing the torch, because I think we all have the capability to be businessmen."
As part of the transition, Beanie and Cam'ron will take vice president positions and oversee projects by their respective crews, State Property and the Diplomats.
"Beans and Cams run the State Property part and the Diplomat part [of Roc-A-Fella] together," Dash said. "They make sure the albums get done, they A&R their projects and they do the marketing as well. I'm just there to advise them. They take care of their cliques."