2013′s Dame Dash is definitely not like 1999′s Dame Dash. In a rare interview with Combat Jack, the 41-year-old entrepreneur chops it up for two hours with his former lawyer, touching on topics ranging from Aaliyah, the old Roc-A-Fella days, his ego, past insecurities, being “broke,” family life, what he has going on today, and where he sees himself in 10 years.
On leaving the music business:
“The music business isn’t really real business. People have titles but they’re all fronts. You’re told that you’re something just so someone else can tell you what to do. Like so many people out here are bosses or suppose to be presidents or chairmans or whatever, and they always have to ask somebody to cut a check. Me, as a boss, I’ve never had to ask anybody one time in my life. I wanna do something, it’s done. There ain’t nobody I gotta ask. I’m the boss.”
“I’m not really trying to be in Hip-Hop at 42 and 3 and looking like the old man at the club. I never wanted to do that. I always wanted to do fashion. I always wanted to do movies. I enjoy business… of being an entrepreneur on every level. But I really enjoy it. Like I really enjoy my independence. I enjoy doing business without anyone’s help.”
On his infamous ego:
“That was a role. Me, the hip hop mogul, that was a ‘thing.’ It was funny to me. Not to say it was a joke but it was a part I was playing 100%.
“I feel like I push people to excellence no matter what and that’s undisputed. So everyone that was around me, the work ethic I instilled and the taste that I gave them, it’s all reflected in a very positive situation for people’s whole lives.”
“I don’t think there’s an issue with him. I just think we took different paths. I’m proud of everything that he’s done and I’m proud of everything I’ve done since then. I feel like I’ve done a lot and I feel like whatever his dreams are, he’s made his dreams come true, but my dreams aren’t the same as his.”
On people thinking he’s broke:
“My quality of living has never been compromised. I got galleries all over the world. I did start Rachel Roy and sell half of it to Jones New York and I don’t see anybody else doing that right now. I’ve done so many other things. I just haven’t tried to advertise it. So I guess people’s perceptions are different but I just don’t care.
“I know some businessmen that are never known for what they’re doing. I know billionaires that rock coach. Everyone that I know with real money is low-key. Me being an authentic businessman, I just wanted to be an authentic businessman. I’ve lived the Hip-Hop mogul dream. Shit is old. You can’t do it past 35.”