Damon Dash was once head of Roc-A-Fella records, and although he says he didn’t have problems with Jay-Z, he openly acknowledges butting heads with white music executives who used divide and conquer strategies to make money off black culture. During an interview with VLAD TV, Dash explains that the main problem with hip-hop is that people who could never be successful in their own culture are allowed to infiltrate black culture, encourage a toxic environment and extract wealth.
Dash clearly believes that black people should control their own work product and that white executives who extract money from black culture and never give anything back are pariahs. Urban hip hop culture is being managed by white men who don’t know or care about black people, and that’s a recipe for disaster, says Dash.
In his interview, Dash names the worst offenders, calling out CEO of Warner Music Group (which oversaw Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella), Lyor Cohen, among others:
“My beef was with Lyor cause I think he’s a fake CEO. And I think he’s fronting on my culture, but he can’t front on anybody else. And I’m calling him out publicly. And I want him to stop trying to rape my culture. Go make some money with some other people. Like stop having your agenda be Hip Hop…It was like they have people that their job is to create beef. So, that they can monetize it. Pause. But they don’t let their culture feel it. But they make money from it. And they can’t make any money or get any respect in their culture. That’s why they’re in our culture. Because the minute that they were allowed to be there, they would go. But they just can’t…Never had a beef with Jay. Always with Lyor and his whole crew. He’s the one that ruined Roc-A-Fella. Lyor Cohen.”
Dash wonders why black people are taking orders from white executives about the urban culture blacks created:
“Of course you don’t see the puppetmaster,” he said. “So, it’s time to see him. Bring em out. Call out Todd Moscowitz…Ask them why they got their jobs. That’s what I want to see. How did Joie get the job president of urban? And what does that mean? I need to see credentials. And culturally anyone that’s taking orders from that man should be asking ‘Why should I be taking orders from you?’ Period…’I don’t care.’ He said it. Joie said it. ‘I don’t care.’ ‘How you feel about the culture?’ ‘I don’t care.’ ‘How do you feel that someone relevant from the culture thinks you’re robbing it?’ ‘I don’t care.’ And nobody’s gonna question that? Aight. That’s why I’m Dame. I’ll just continue to be Dame. I’mma have fun being Dame…Too much divide and conquer. So, that’s it, man. I’m just saying reverse the prospective. Let’s stop talking about rappers beefing. Let’s start talking about these people and educating the culture.”
You can watch the interview here.