Dame Dash just laughs off stories about how he is supposedly in dire straits financially. He gets so much of a kick out of it that he doesn’t rush to defend himself against the rumors. These days, Dame is back where he started, making music independently along with brokering art and producing television.
Dash has a complex in lower Manhattan, DD172, where he has two music studios and an art gallery, and also publishes a magazine and maintains CreativeControl.tv. Mos Def has dubbed the building the “24/7 karate school” because of all of the artists that come through and work together, including Mos, the Black Keys, Jay Electronica, Jim Jones, the RZA, Raekwon the Chef and producer Ski (Reasonable Doubt) to name a few.
Dash says everyone is welcome, just as long as no one brings negativity.
“I’m not teaching violence. No beef! None of that. I don’t have beef with nobody.”
Dash’s name has popped up in headlines dealing with Beanie Sigel’s recent lash-out against Jay-Z . During some recent interviews, Beans accused Dash of shady business dealings when the two were putting out the State Property PRO-Keds sneakers.
“Him and the licensee who licensed Rocawear went behind my back and obtained the license to the company that was licensing PRO-Keds and stopped making the State Property PRO-Keds,” Beans said on Philadelphia radio station Power 99. “It was all geared towards Roc-A-Wear.”
Dame said he did not want to address any specifics regarding Sigel, but did say he did not want any beef.
“I love Jay, I love Beans — what’s the reason for beef?” Dash responded. “That’s stupid. What’s the reason for beef? People die, people don’t feel good — I want people to laugh. What’s up, y’all?”
Dame was shocked to hear Beanie on the radio.
“I was surprised. I was hurt for him, more or less, because I know that ain’t him,” Dash said. “But I don’t want to speak on that. Whatever [Beanie’s] going through where he’s got to do that … I could understand where he may look at things and feel that way. I can see that. He’s probably got a lot of people around him and nobody to really tell him what’s going on. It was a different environment for Roc-A-Fella back then. I feel bad for those cats. I love those cats. I hate that they struggle. I hate it. I hate to see anybody struggle. I don’t embrace that. I’m not one of those dudes that get happy when I hear something bad about somebody I had a bond with. I really loved those dudes. You see Ski down there, I knew Ski for 20 years. That’s my man. Sometimes people have different agendas for why they don’t wanna be my friend. But at the end of the day, I’m always there for them.”
On November 27, Dash releases the first album from his BlakRoc label — the next LP from the Black Keys, which will also be called BlakRoc. The album features Jim Jones, the RZA, Raekwon the Chef, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Billy Danze and Pharoahe Monch.