Why Damon Dash Hates Mondays
Under Dash's supervision as his manager and business partner, Jay-Z recorded nine No. 1 albums and won four Grammys. West—Dash's discovery, Jay-Z's protégé—sold 3 million copies of his first album, The College Dropout. In 1999, Dash put together a 54-city sold-out tour with Jay-Z and other artists (DMX, Ja Rule, Redman, Method Man, Eve) that netted $19 million in profits and revolutionized touring for the hip-hop business.
But even happy couples aren't immune to divorce, and with two swift strokes of Jay-Z's pen, the rapper broke up his union with Dash. The first came in 2004, when Def Jam Recordings, which since 1997 had owned a 50 percent stake in Roc-A-Fella, purchased the label outright and Jay-Z agreed to take a job as Def Jam's president. Then in the fall of 2005, Jay-Z divested Dash of his last ties with the Roc when he bought him out of Rocawear, the hip-hop clothing line they'd started in 1995.
Def Jam has, since its inception in 1984, been rap's preeminent label, and it is owned by Vivendi Universal, the world's largest record company. Jay-Z was going corporate, accepting a corner-office job that, if you'd followed the Roc-A-Fella group's history, you might have expected to go to Dash. Instead, Dash got the intellectual-property equivalent of a lump of coal, as the bulk of Roc-A-Fella's artists followed Jay-Z to remain on the label.........