Dame Dash: The Man That DISCOVERED & Built Jay-z & Kanye West! | E192 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Dame Dash: The Man That DISCOVERED & Built Jay-z & Kanye West! | E192".


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Intro (00:00)

Kanye's whole thing is I don't give a fuck. - Art is something that you really fight for if you love it. Even if your message is misunderstood. - Like what lies matter? - He's an artist that likes war. - Damn, that's in the fucking mouth! - One of the founders of Rockefeller, Rockaway. - He discovered Jay-Z, Kanye West, and so many others. - One of the biggest pioneers in hip-hop. - I took Jay-Z and shopped him to every single label and they all said no. - I had to do it myself. - I really want to understand why Rockefeller won. - I did partnerships with my art. - I'm giving you all the rights to my record, my art, and then you're gonna give me 10% of my art. That just didn't make sense to me. - That whole stint of your career, the Rockefeller chapter, do you have any regrets surrounding that? - I wouldn't have been so generous with Jay. It was more friendship for me and Moneyfam. But he did things that I thought he would never do. - What are those? - I'm just saying this, let me just say this. - What was the hardest moment in your life? - Well, Aliyah, that breaks my heart. - Singer actress Aliyah is killed in a plane craft. - I tried to play out what that would feel like. - Don't do it. - You don't want to build it. It's a pain that you couldn't understand. - Before this episode begins, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of our new subscribers. 74% of you that watch this channel didn't subscribe before. And we're now down to about 71%. So that helps us in a number of ways that are quite hard to explain, but simply the bigger the channel gets, the bigger the guests get. So if you haven't yet subscribed to the Dirova CEO, if I could have any favors from you, if you've ever watched this show and enjoyed it, it's just to please hit the subscribe button. - Without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett, and this is the Dirova CEO. I hope nobody's listening. But if you are, then please keep this yourself. - Dang.

Finding Success And Influence In Personal Growth

Context shapes character. (02:01)

I always believe that in order to understand a man, you have to understand their earliest context, because as childhood psychology often asserts, that's really when our character and our shape is formed. So can you take me back to your earliest context? The context that's most relevant to who you went on to become in your life, back in Harlem on 109th and 1st Street. My first real memory of who I am is I remember being like four, and I was in nursery school, and a teacher yelled at me, or I got in trouble, and I felt embarrassed. I felt uncomfortable. And I remember saying to myself as a four year old, I'm never gonna feel embarrassed again, ever. I didn't like the way it felt. You know, like when Fred Flintstone used to get yelled at, he started shrinking, and I just was like, I'm never gonna put myself in a position to let any adult teacher, whatever, I'm never gonna be embarrassed. I just hated that. I remember not liking that feeling. And I think that was the last time I felt it, pause. - And how did that, so that presumably impacts your relationship with authority figures? - It just means I don't care what anybody thinks. So no matter what, regardless to what, you're not gonna make me feel as less of who I am. I know who I am. So there was no way that teacher was gonna make me feel small just because they were a teacher, and I was a student. It was no way that they were gonna make me feel less of myself. I was never gonna let another person make me feel bad about myself ever again. The last time that happened, that was four years old. But what I saw was, as I got older, that this is the way people live their life, fear of what people think of them. And that's the reason why they don't say what they feel. That's the reason why they internalize, and that's the reason why they end up depressed. So as long as you're expressing yourself, as long as you don't care, as long as you're not hurting anybody, there's no pain to feel. It's almost like at that point, I sprayed this thing called, I don't give a fuck what anybody's thinking spray. And I think that's been the most important thing, is not to care about the judgment of other people. - What about your parents? Could they tell you what to do? - Well, of course, as a child, but my mom died when I was 16, so I was still a child. So at that point, I was making money. The last time anyone could tell me what to do, would be the last time someone was paying my bills. So if you pay my bills, then you could tell me what to do. And I've never put myself in a situation like that as an adult for someone to be able to tell me what to do. They could give me advice. My parents could give me advice, but at 16 or 17, after my mom died, I was getting more money in my bed. So at that point, it's hard to listen to people that are older than you that haven't got to the place you wanna go. And as a child, you become very arrogant when you can do adult things. But my mother was the one that taught me to never, ever, ever let someone tell you something that you don't believe without saying how you feel about.

Be a combination of the people who influence you (05:04)

And almost where made it to where me might've had almost a somewhat disrespectful relationship because I would talk back. But in school, I would talk back. If I didn't agree with you, I was letting you know. And I'd be like, my mother taught me that. You know what I mean? So I was basically taught to talk back. - You're a father now. When you look back on-- - I've been a father. - Yeah. - I should be a grandfather. I just, my newest child, I had one on 50. I'm 51. - Five kids. - Yeah. - Last time I counted. - When you look back on your own relationship with your parents and how, now that you're a father, you've got kids of your own, how in hindsight did that shape you, the dynamic between your parents, but also their relationship with you? Is there anything you look back and say, well, because of that, I became this? - Well, everything, I have a tattoo of my arm that says, "Thanks for making me the man I am." So yeah, I got my sense of humor from my father and I got my hustle from my mother, period. And yeah, you become a combination of the people that influence you the most. That's why you have to be important. I mean, it's important that your cognizant of what you do when you realize that people are actually influenced by you. You know what I mean? You never wanna do something that you don't want the people you love to do, 'cause they're gonna do exactly what you do. So I got a little bit of that. My mom, she was like an entrepreneur. She always makes sure I had everything. She sold things. I mean, not drugs, but like clothes. You know what I mean? But like a flea market and stuff. And she was real innovative about it. She did this thing once. We went to a flea market and she took a hula and put a curtain on it. And we would stand up and it made into a dressing room. And that day she sold all of her jeans. She made $1 that they are, I remember, at aqueduct. So, you know, I've always had that hustle and bustle from my mom's and doing things different. At an early age, made me know that that's the only way you could do it right. Like standing in, like if you don't stand out then you're just atmosphere in a crowd. But when you do things different then people are drawn to. - One of the things I've thought about since growing up is how a lot of the things that I value most as characteristics of myself probably came from what the world would consider to be mistakes that my parents made. So one of them being like not being around makes you independent. Or, you know, maybe being a workaholic, maybe makes the kid a workaholic, or maybe not having money gives you drive. When you think about the things that wouldn't be in that like parenting handbook of how to raise a child that ultimately served you and made you, you know, the man you are today, is there anything there where you go, a mistake made me brilliant. - Yeah, every mistake that I had to fix made me brilliant makes you a boss because that's a boss's job is to like untie knots. You know, your job as a parent is to make sure your children never have to go through the same problems that you went through is to break cycles. But first you kind of have to understand what that cycle is. So as an adult that had children I was, you know, I ain't gonna like shit on my dad, but if I were him I would have been in my life a little more. And you can look at it like, you know, there's this thing like, you know, if your father's an alcoholic you could either become an alcoholic because of it or just never touch drinks. It depends on how things affect you. So, you know, the way he parented and the way I knew and I was conscious about the way it made me feel, I knew what not to do to my children or what not to, you know, be absent or when I should be consistent. You know, the cycle that I wanted to break was that cycle where, you know, your mother tells you not to like your father and your father's telling you certain things about your mother and those are the people that you love the most. And only thing you want as a child is for your parents to get together. That's all you want. So, you know, it took me to have five kids to have a good relationship. A good, you know, one that's not so traumatizing for the child, a functional relationship. It took me five to be 50 to get there. But each one of those children, the other four children, I knew that I was like, damn, you know, even though I've been able to make it where they've never had to sell drugs and they've had the best educations and lived that 1% of life. But I wasn't able to break that cycle, the thing that hurt me the most was the separation of my parents. And the beef, I wasn't able to break that cycle. So, you know, I wasn't gonna stop till I did. It was almost like with every child, I became a better parent. But knowing that the breakup of my mother and father affected my mother for the rest of her life, which affected me, you know what I'm saying? And I didn't want to ever do that to my, to my, to my children. And then also being a visiting dad is wack. You want to wake up with your child. You want to watch your child grow and evolve, you know, buying and providing physical things, a kid doesn't even care about that. That's not currency to a kid. They don't even know about money until you tell them about it. All they care about is your time. And that's the most valuable thing is, you know, the love that you can give your child. So, you know, at some point you might think, okay, I'll sacrifice time with my child because I got to make money to support them. But the kid don't care about that. You know, the kid just wants you to be there to support.

Make mistakes to be successful (11:04)

- Did you learn, did you learn about emotions and affection and how to express yourself from, from your parents? Was that, was that something that you were able to do as a young man? Well?

How the death of DMX's mother changed him (11:14)

- Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't put a title on it. Like, oh, this is affection, but I've always been able to express myself in any way. You know, whether I'm crying or whether I'm cuddling. You know, I don't have any problems about being and showing what I feel in that moment. Unless it's the police. - You're 16 years old when your mother passes away? - Mm. - Yeah. How does that change? From everything I've read about that time in your life, she was everything. And I read that you'd said that that was your biggest fear when you were a young man was losing your mother. - Yeah. - Yeah, it made me a beast. It made me feel us. You know, it's like a gift and a curse of facing your nightmares early because then you have nothing else to be scared of. So, you know, my mom's died. Again, I didn't really care if I died because I'd be like, oh shit, I'd be with my mom's. So I didn't, I had no fear of anything at that point. And I knew how I would react. You know, 'cause sometimes you don't know how you're gonna react in certain situations. So I knew how I could get over it, not get over it, but live with it. And also it makes you appreciate what a real problem is. You know, like, after my mom's died, I was like, yo, if nobody's dying, I don't even hear about it. It could be fixed. I'm not gonna ever be unhappy unless it has something to do with health, death or freedom. You know what I'm saying? So other than that, nothing's gonna ever make me worry. Like I'm not gonna be, like a lot of people overreact to problems 'cause they never had any. They don't know what a problem is, and then they make something that's light feel like it's the worst thing in the world. And I'm not gonna ever do that because I appreciate when things are good. You know what I'm saying? It'd be like just in any second, some shit could happen that's fucked up. So in between those moments that you can't control, you have to enjoy life to the fullest. 100%, but sometimes you have to actually go through some pain early so you understand how to appreciate life moving forward. Same thing of me losing my girl, losing the lead. You know, it wasn't a pain I thought that I would ever feel of, you know, you don't anticipate like losing your girl. But once you do, once you get a girl again, you don't let go, and you appreciate love. You know, shit has to be taken from you things. Things that are free, you find are priceless when they get taken from you. Like freedom and people you love. You know, and then you be like, "What was I complaining about? "You know, I was rich, I was wealthy 'cause I had love. "And now I don't, and there's no money in the world "like I bring it back." You know, once your health is gone, it don't matter. You will spend any amount of money to get your health back if you're sitting in the bed compromised. Once your freedom is taken, you'll spend any amount of money to get out of jail, all of it 'cause you can't spend none of it while you're in jail other than on Commissary, which is, you know, and then again, lose a friend, lose someone you love. If you could do anything, you'd spend anything in the world to get that person back. But then you have to actually lose them to realize how much and how lucky you were to have them. So I try to appreciate life in the moment. I do appreciate life in the moment 'cause I'd be like, "What if this was taken from me? "Then I'd be sick." 16 years old losing your mom in that context in Holland, how do you grieve that? Nobody teaches you how to grieve. - So drugs. - So drugs. - Yeah. That's how I grieve. That was like, "Yo, I'm gonna gotta go get money." You know what I'm saying? At that point, in that moment, I thought, 'cause I was younger, that money meant happiness. So I would do anything for it in that moment. You know what I mean? Like, I was selling drugs, I was risking my freedom. And my life and hurting other people. So that's how I did it. You know, just occupying my time and moving forward. Period. - Is not grieving or is that a distraction? - I don't know what you call it at that age. It's calling and getting through it. So yeah, it's probably a distraction. You know, but again, like, what did you gonna do with 16? To me, you know, I didn't have the money for a therapist or the hindsight to go get one in that moment. So I just sold drugs. - Is that what you think in hindsight you needed? - If I didn't mean anything, I like where I'm at now. I think every lesson that I've learned to get me to this place has been perfect for me. And for the world. The world learns as I learn. That's the guy that I've become. I don't call them losses, I call them learning experiences. But when you do that publicly and you get always land or you always land back on your feet, the rest of the world learned from that. - Tim Grover, who trained MJ and Kobe said to me that, you know, you're looking to people's early years and you'll find trauma and things that have happened in pain.


And it will be often be responsible for their, as he called it, their light side. The thing that makes them great and famous and resilient and successful and win the gold medals. But then that thing is also responsible for their dark side, which can be the, you know, it can be the insecurities. It can be the things that are less admired. Do you agree with that? And if so, what is your dark side? - Well, you know, I think it's natural to be worried when things are going good for a second because it's happened where things are going good and I've been devastated. But in that moment, I say it's normal for you to think like that you've been through it. I think only dark side is people triggering me that, you know, when I feel someone's not doing right by me or by people that I love, I can get triggered pretty, I get triggered. It's hard to control that side. Why, why can you get easily triggered? I probably because there's been things that have been bothering me for a while, you know, when you're in the street, you have to make examples of people.


So any kind of weakness means that more people are, it makes you like a magnet for pain, like people trying to rob you or think you solve or whatever, especially when you run a crew, you know? So you always have to be the strongest, you have to be willing to do anything that you're sending someone else to do. You know what I'm saying? So in the street, you know, it's swing now, think about it later, it's survival mode. And what happens is just cause you're out of survival mode, your muscles and your natural instincts still do survival mode at times. So I've had to get therapy to, you know, be like, yo, you're not in the street, to be able to say that, like, yo, you're not in the street, so you don't have to deal with things that way anymore. But if you've seen in my career, you know, it'd be a lot of yelling because I would rather, like when I'm really yelling, it would be me like in the street, I ought to put my hands on you. So instead of me yelling, I mean, instead of me putting my hands on you and going to jail, just yell or snap. So I had to actually cause it's a different game in the street than it is in business. And the rules are different. Like, you know, being disrespectful is almost part of like traditional corporate business. The shit that you do every day in corporate business or it could get you put in a trunk in the street. And if you come from the street and you have to be like, ah, that hurt. Like I would have really, I can't hurt you, I can't hit you, I can't do nothing, I can't defend myself. I gotta go do a lawyer for this. It could become traumatized. And you have to internalize a lot. So disrespect triggers me. And, you know, people trying to control the narrative by tricking you into thinking you're not great when you really are. You know what I mean? People have tried to convince me I'm not a superhero and I know I am. I'm that man. - Why is that an important belief for you? Because I'm always fighting for the culture. That's what a superhero does. You know, or a general. Like, you know, back in the Roman days, no matter how much money you had, you were not famous unless you fought for your country and won a war, for your country, for something you loved. You know? And for me, I'm a person that loves a lot, not just country, I love culture, I love a lot. I love art. There's so much for me to fight for. You know what I'm saying? It's like, I just can't look the other way for things that affect me and my culture and things that people I love. It's hard. I think a lot of conditioning happens when you see things are wrong and you got to look the other way for survival. And I've just never been that guy and I don't come from a family or a bloodline of people that have ever been abused, that have ever been bullied. I come from a bloodline of people that bully the bully, that oppress the oppressor. Like, we look for people that think they tough 'cause we really think they are not. Just based on the overcompensation. You know what I mean? So it's not in how you like project yourself or act. That's really about what you do. If I'd asked you when you were 16, 17, after your mother passes, what you're going to be when you're older? I just said, great. I'm gonna be great. I'm gonna be dame-dash. I didn't know what I was gonna be. At 16, I just knew I was gonna be great. How could you be so sure? How could you not be so sure? I'm dame-dash. You know what I'm saying? Like, my narrative's never been losing. You know, when you start out winning and that's all you know, even when it appears you lose. If you're a winner, you're like, I just can't see myself losing. So no matter what, I'm gonna end up winning. I'll learn from it. It'll be patient, but I just don't see losing. You realize that not everybody has that mindset, right? Just too bad for them. I don't understand why. Do you understand where you got that mindset from? I'm from Harlem. It's just the Harlem thing.


I think my family, you know, and just winning. Like, you know, being that kid in school that was like good at all the sports. That could fight, could dance. Funny, you know what I mean? I just don't see myself taking a hell. That belief has that built over time. Like got stronger and reinforced by success over and over again. Like building, like this building of evidence about what you're capable of and who you are. Has it developed or was it just always solid? I just never thought I wasn't gonna win. I don't know. I mean, like, for someone to ask me and say like, that's crazy that you always think you're gonna win. I really think that's crazy that you don't think you're always gonna win. Like the way I see the opposite, I just don't understand why I get into a fight that you think you're gonna lose. And life is a fight every day. So why would I get into anything thinking I'm not gonna make history? I'm like a little behind schedule for me right now. What do you mean by that? Well, again, in the beginning of my career, everything I did was for money.

The hardest route can be the better route (22:28)

I was all about the money. And then this thing happened where it just became all about the art and being able to sustain, doing what I want, being happy and being able to create, becoming a starving artist and just being someone that not exploits artists, but actually is the artist. I was doing it the business way and I was getting where I needed to go as far as touching pop culture, but the people around me were making it where I wasn't happy about it, it didn't feel good. And I decided to do it the hardest way. So back then, I didn't know I would be like, "Fuck it, I just wanna be an artist." I thought if I was just doing things for money, like imagine what I'd be in the music business right now if I just was like exploiting everyone that's not smart. You know, and taking advantage. Like if I took advantage of Jay-Z, which I probably could've, he didn't know anything about the business. He might try to act like that now, but trust me, you know what I'm saying? So, you know, if I was that person that would do anything, no integrity, no morals or scruples, I'd have billions and billions and billions of dollars. I wouldn't have taught my artists how to leverage their celebrity for their own products. I would just leverage their celebrity for my own. You know what I'm saying? I teach my artists how to be independent of me. You understand what I'm saying? That's why the artists around me, like usually it's the business man has more money than artists, right? The artists are the ones that have more money than the business man. Obviously, I'm not the business man. You know what I'm saying? Or else I'd have the bread. I'm the artist. It's funny how artists become businessmen. They kick the art at certain points. Or who's really an artist or what a real artist is. But to me, a real artist is someone that won't do nothing for money, which is me. I won't do nothing for money. I make money off the things that I love to do, off the art. And I respect the process of art. You feel me? That's why you see when I came in, I know the process. But not of one art of a lot. So I know the fashion art, the music art, the comic, you know, even though I don't draw. But you know, all of these different things, I tried, I learned them from to where I could do it independently. And I don't have to outsource. At the cost of the timeline, which could have been, you're saying could have been faster if you chosen to exploit people. Right. And that's a trade off that a lot of people wouldn't have taken. They would have taken... That's very measurable. Now there are one pills. Now they're not happy. Now they're paying for sex. It's just, I won't do it. You know what I'm saying? For the first part of your career, you were... You were on the other side, right? You were the businessman. You were working with artists like Jay-Z and Kanye and many, many others.

Chemistry in creating stars (25:08)

And you weren't in sort of artist mode as you kind of see yourself now with the comic books and the movies and the music and everything I was doing. Everything you were doing. Everything you were doing. The list was so long that I thought just... It's almost... It's like I said, it's insanity. It's ridiculousness, the amount of things that inspired me that I think I could actually do better than everyone else. When you look back though on that period from being that 16 year old, you go through school, I heard you got kicked out of school a lot. I got kicked out of a lot of school. I got kicked out of one school and then I dropped out of the next. But you got kicked out a lot of schools. I couldn't understand why from what you said about that four-year-old kid. Why would I want somebody that doesn't have as much money as I want to make trying to tell me what to do? And how do you think they felt when I would tell them that? Like my car is better than yours. I'm 16. You're the principal. You know what I'm saying? The unparked in the principal spot one time is wrong. That's what got me kicked out of two schools. It's so crazy because there would be kids that did real wild stuff in school that did not get kicked out. But question this entitlement of certain kinds of people. Just because someone gives them authority doesn't mean I'm acknowledging it. That journey that led you from there, from being kicked out of that school, to signing JZ, building that career and all of that success around JZ and Kanye, what was when you look back at why you? Why you versus everyone else? What did you have to spot JZ's talent, to spot Kanye's talent, to build them into stars, to create Rockefeller alongside them? What was it about you in hindsight, the characteristics of you as a person that made you capable of doing such an endeavor? I mean, I just wasn't taking no.

Have a clear dream without being obstructed (26:50)

Like, if I believe someone's going to win, I'm 100% sure that they will. And then I fight and make sure that they do. Did you have history in music before JZ? I mean, you've done-- you've been successful in the music business? Yeah. I was in the music business, I was 19. So I went from drug dealing to the music business. Do you need any qualifications to join-- to become part of the music business? No. You could be the dumbest motherfucker in the world. That's why so many people are there. Really? I mean, in the music business, the traditional music business, they are figureheads that, like, if you ask the average president of a label about P&L and quarterly, they won't know shit about that. They're just there because a white company or another culture can't say that they're running black people with a white face. So you need a figurehead there. Someone that will listen to what that person's telling them what to do. And that's why that industry was no bueno for me. I'm like, first of all, I never got hired in that industry. I came as a partner. But the funny thing is they couldn't recognize me as a partner because they were not. And I couldn't recognize them as generals. They'd be like, yo, how are you going to talk to-- you're a soldier. How could you talk to a general like that without thinking your teeth are going to get cracked? You understand what I'm saying? And they didn't understand it. Like, you don't understand. I own this shit. You work for somebody. Talk to me like the boss. And it's crazy how you will talk to the people that don't own shit like the boss. They just couldn't understand what that meant to own my actual equity. Like, own, have ownership, not-- had sell my rights to something and then let somebody else pay me for my work. That does not logically make sense. And it never did to me. You know what that means? Like, do you have a grown-ass man saying and being proud to say I'm signed? Does that actually sound right? I'm signed to another man. No, it doesn't. But they've actually programmed us to believe it is. You're going to give me an advance. I'm going to give you all the rights to my records, my-- everything that I've done, my art. And then you're going to give me 10% of my art. That's what the music business is, or 8% if you're lucky. That just didn't make sense to me. And I never did-- I did partnerships with my artists. With the artists I work with and the businesses that I do now, just because I want people to maintain their manhood. Like, I don't ever say you sign to me. I'm not letting-- I don't like the way that sounds. So even the verbiage and the whole thing, just your masters, you know what I'm saying? All of those things are like trigger words that unconsciously control us. Can we smoke in? If you want it, I can't smoke. Yes. Is that a far along? Yeah, that's a far along. That's the no. You're not even from here, man. I have no idea. Don't even get out of here. That's just you just do this without in the hotel, okay? Is it going to go off?

Nobody in the record industry wanted to sign Jay-Z (29:50)

You take a go? I have no idea what that is. That's a smoke. It should be fine. It is what it is. It is what it is. You know. I'm trying to-- I really want to understand why Rockefeller won. And you know, it's because it was real. Because it was real. It was real. And I wasn't having it. Rocco, they weren't-- no one wanted to sign-- think about how-- this is the record industry. I took Jay-Z and shopped him to every single label and they all said no. I had to do it myself. What did they send her? Either he was too old, he wrapped too fast, they just didn't have it. So we were like, we'll do it ourselves. So that's the thing. Remember when I said before, people been telling me I'm not a superhero and I know I am, right? So if someone told you that you couldn't sell companies and do the things that you did, because to them it's superhero shit. It's a dream that they can't come true for them. You feel me? Like you've done things that people want to do. And I guarantee you, if you came with that idea to certain people, they'd say give you 30 reasons why you can't do it. The reason why Rockefeller was good, the reason why it did what it had to do was because I knew how to have a clear dream without anyone obstructing it. I knew how to visualize winning. So if somebody told me, you can't do that because it is, get out my dream. Because that's not the last thought I'm going to have with my dream because my mind is powerful. And whatever I see in my mind, I can make happen. So what I'm living in is my dream. I dreamed about coming to London right now. In the past, this was a visualization. I didn't know exactly what I'd be doing in London, but I visualize doing a lot of shit, talking to a lot of people. You understand what I'm saying?

The 10% who are free thinkers are the wealthiest people in the world (31:40)

So if you can't visualize winning, then you will not win. And the average person, because we're programmed not to win 99% of us are, we don't think anyone can. So when someone does, it's amazing. But it's just a program. As soon as you're born, I've said this before, you don't know about fear or what to be scared of until someone tells you what to be scared of. And a lot of what people tell you to be scared of is to actually be successful and dream and be independent and be on your own. So if you were a conniving person that wanted to take over the whole world and you had that kind of power, but you had to program everybody, the first thing I would do was take everybody's kids as soon as they wake up and program them for eight hours a day on what I want them to do. I want you to go to college. I want you to get a job. I want you to work until you're 70. I want you to be unhappy. I want you to have debt. I want you to go get alone and go to college. And then I want you to work that off. And if you don't, if you don't go to college, then you make your parents dreams until a nightmare. Most kids only go to college for their parents. You understand what I'm saying? And then you pay for that. So when I look at hieroglyphics, I never see school. I think parents love their children the most. No one's going to love their kids more than the people that made them. Those should be the people teaching them. How would you put a kid in a room behind a desk when the sun is out for their whole entire childhood? Not put them in front of water or ocean or anything that inspires them. Dim lights, if you notice schools, jails, and hospitals all look exactly the same. Why wouldn't it be in something inspiring? Why? Because it's a program to keep us controlled. When you have to have order of masses, you have to have them all doing the same thing. So you can know what they're doing. You can monetize what they're doing. You know how they're doing it. So at a very early age, I was like, yo, all this shit y'all teaching me, first of all, none of it makes me think I'm number one. It would make me, if I believe that y'all are teaching me, especially back then, that I'm number two, that I could never be a boss, that there could never be a black president. They never teach us how to pass laws and lobby or be politicians, and that's the only way to make change. So it has to be strategic. So when the cycle continues over and over again without change, it's either insanity or it's intentional. Somebody's losing, which is us, but somebody's winning, which is them. And they're controlling the game. So now we have to make our own game, which behooves us. But the patterns that are implemented, like you said, the DNA of who you are starts when you're a child. What happens as soon as you're four or five years old? You get taught what to read, how to read, what to do. And you're also told that the only way you could break a social class is to be an athlete or be an entertainment. And both are provided for you in school. So you just cash out and don't go to school, get an education. You go and invest all your dreams and be an athlete, which is like Lotto. And when it doesn't happen, they build a jail based on those that don't graduate. That's how they build jail cells, which is an independent sector, meaning that it's not the government doesn't own it. And the intention is to keep those beds and those jails filled because you have a government contract.

Harnessing Vision And Determination

School Jail -- The first business around the world (35:09)

It's nothing but a hotel that you want to keep. So when you get to that jail, based on the fact that you didn't get your education, they make sure that you come back, no rehabilitation at all, and serve you bad food, no therapy, none of that shit. And it's obvious if you study people, which people do, that you should do that different so that there would be a different result. But because there hasn't been any change made by anyone, the change has to come from us. And that's the reason why Rockefeller was successful because I wasn't with none of that. Not the education, not the programming that we should be signed, none of that shit. Not them telling me J was too old. All of that. You understand what I'm saying? So basically everything I've been told has not behooved me, but everything I do has. So when I don't listen, my family eats, when I do, we don't. One of the things they don't teach us when we're young is about money, especially if you don't come from it and you haven't got a... And that's a business. Holding money is a business within itself. They don't teach you how to pay taxes. They don't teach you about capital gains. They don't teach you about trust funds. None of that shit. They don't teach you how to have money because they don't expect you to get none. Why isn't there a class on how to have money?

Facts Before Feelings (36:39)

How to invest it, how to pay your taxes. Yeah, I mean, I destroyed by 18 years old. We have this thing called a credit score out here. I think you have the same sort of thing in the US. I don't have a credit score. I destroyed mine very early. And then I got these two CCJs, which is a county court judgment, which sits on your credit score for six years when I was 18, because I was shoplifting pizzas. My parents weren't speaking to me. I was trying to start these businesses. How do you shoplift the pizza? You just walk in, you get bagged. I'm just as smart as you can. They don't look... You're still black, so they're still going to look at you walking in the shop. But you're just as smart as you can. Go around the back, put it in the bag, walk out. That's what I was doing. I just didn't have any money. But I destroyed my financial credit before I knew what it was. It didn't bother you because you still did what you had to do. I was convinced I was going to make millions anyway. So in the street, there is no credit. There's no contracts. Your world is your contract. Your honor is... And if you come from that, that's the way I was introduced to life was the honor, not the contract, not the paper, but the heart and the soul. And that's another reason why I was like, "Yo, I can't be a businessman because it means my honor game is out the window." How did you learn those lessons of business? You start Rockefeller, but you haven't gone to business school selling drugs. You got to market, you got to be consistent. You got to call it top. No one else could use that color. You protect it. You brand, you work, got to be good. Marketing, man. Well, that's... See, that's the thing about hustling. This is another thing. It's like, because it's illegal, you can't do no ads. You just got to put out. You got to give samples out. And once they're addicted, then you raise the prices. But the marketing of Rockefeller, that was something. It was just the brand. We were just active, bro. And lately, I don't know. I look back at tapes that I have of when I was 19. I had merch, but I didn't call it merch. The things I was doing, I didn't get taught. I didn't have a title for them, but it was just logical to do. If you deal with logic, as opposed to waiting for somebody to tell you, I mean, that's the difference between being a soldier and a general. Soldiers get... They wait literally to be told what to do. Generals give orders. There as well, the naivety seems to be playing in your favor, because if you'd gone to business school and learn about how to build a record like... While I was in business school, I'd have been missing building the... Bro, I paid for my daughter's college, right? But I told her, you don't have to go to college. She wanted to be a model at the time. Those four years, it would have been the prime years for her. You understand what I'm saying? Now, she graduated, and it's like... I would have preferred... Because her education cost a quarter of a million dollars. I would have way preferred to just give her a quarter of a million dollars as a salary, or at least invest a quarter of a million dollars in the business fund. I tell my son Lucky, he's in college right now, and I'm telling him, I'm like, "I just did this with your sister. If I'm paying for college, you're going to listen to your professor, but you're going to have to listen to me too. I have to be able to... Now, this is my first lesson. Tell me what your dreams are. What's your dream? And it's the hardest question for him to answer. They don't teach dreaming in school, which is why we make books that aren't going to be mad about it. I'm part of something called the OSG, and there's also... There's 200 principles, and most of these principles are from places where most people are economically challenged. And what we do is we discuss curriculum, the things aboard education's not doing, we'll do it. They do that on Thursdays, and on Tuesdays, I teach the principles in entrepreneurial class, because none of the principles knew how to dream. I'm like, "How y'all teaching your teachers to teach the kids how to dream if y'all don't?" So in order to teach these kids how to be fearless, y'all got to be fearless, and they have, and they've been there. So I'm not just the person that talks about problems. I'm actively trying to fix them.

Dream and Visualize (40:47)

I read that point about dreaming. I've heard you talk about visualization and dreaming and the importance that plays. And I've also saw you on an interview before. You asked, I think he was the host, the guy that said he wanted to be an actor. You remember? Yeah, yeah. You remember? I thought that was brilliant. I watched it last night. What's the right type of dream to set? The one that you love, what inspires you, but don't dream cheap because they don't cost a dollar. You got to dream big. Why would you dream small? Pause. You know what I mean? Like why wouldn't you have the perfect best case scenario, and it has to be a selfish dream, because you can't help nobody unless you can help yourself. Period. Unless you're 100, you can't help someone else be 100. Have you always had a really crazy dream in your head? Yeah, I've been living it. Rockefeller was a crazy dream in my head. But so was DeeDee 172. You know what I'm saying? These other art galleries, everything I'm doing right now, being a director. You know, what I do is, like as a creative person, I like look at my life like a movie, and I like to play different characters. So I got to play the gangster character early, got that out the way. I got to be a music mogul years ago. A fashion designer, a fashion mogul. You know, I started oil, I sold oil for fun, you know, just to do it. You know, we're up three metaverse, the galleries, you know, with netvork, you know, that's where I got my land and netvork because of the utilities that it could do. It could do a lot of shit. Just playing these different roles. I'm just focused coming to this because this is a... No, no, I'm insane. I don't have any focus. That's the problem. If there is a problem, that is it. I drive my staff and my crew crazy. Every day there's a new idea. I'm inspired and I want to make it happen tangible or it bothers me. And I have the wherewithal to make it happen. I'm a starving artist, but starving is relative for me. You know, I'm always have a staff that could make my dreams come true. So while I'm in London, trust me, the third edition of the magazine is being right as we speak it right now, I can feel it actually being drawn and written. You know.

Knowing when to F around (43:11)

What I came to learn probably the hard way about this point of focus is like, I have all these dreams and things I want to do, but they all come at the cost of the things I'm currently doing because there's 24 hours in a day. Even my team's time is finite. So if you're well aware that focus is an issue for you and that, you know, you can't do everything. How do you, how have you not sort of stops, range yourself in a little bit with all these ideas and projects you have going on? Because as I said, I read the list and I was like, Jesus, sometimes I have to like completely detach. So the last three months, I just left LA. I've been trying to stay away from creative things. I've been hiding my cameras from me. You understand what I mean? I'm staying away from people that it's fine. I'm telling you, you know what I mean? I'm in the house looking at a lake, me and my girl and my baby. For the last couple of years, maybe I'd say nine to 10, I've just been a creative and I've been creating and I haven't been outside. I haven't been trying to promote or do any of those things, but I have so many tangible physical assets, goods that need to be sold right now, that it's time to be great. So I've proven to myself that I can be an artist. Now I need to prove to myself I can make money off being an artist. Why does that matter? So I can pay the bills. So I can make more art. To be able to have every single thing physically that everyone that sold out has is important to me so people can know they could do it on their own. So if you see that, Dane did it and I'm like a regular guy to me besides the superhero shit. But if I could do it, most people believe that they can as well. So it's important to lead by example. You know, a lot of people give these like classes and this, that and a third, I'd be like, "Oh, just look at what I'm doing." I'm not talking about like, as I'm talking, I'm like, I don't make a living from talking. I make a living from actually talking about the things I'm doing, but the living comes from the things I'm doing. You understand what I'm saying? Like I got shit I'm doing. I got magic. I got a movie to show you right now. Three. I got a magazine to show you right now. I got a comic book to show you right now. I got a children's book to show you right now. You know what I mean? I got a whole, I got so many different fashion lines. You know, I have an album out right now. Cameron, me Cameron, and A track is called You Wasn't There. It was number one on the rap charts last week. I forgot I put that shit up. It is enough enough. Enough what? Fun? It's never enough fun. I'm not talking, again, it's not like I got a bunch of bread. You know what I'm saying? If I had crazy bread, then it'd be like, oh, I'm not doing it for the money. I just do it every single day. There's just new shit to do.

How driven are you D? (45:58)

You said before we started recording, you're busy in your mind, almost to the point of insanity. And when I spoke to Rock, who's your fiancé? She said, you're crazy, crazy motivated, the most driven, motivated person she's ever encountered in her life. He just never turns off. He doesn't sleep. I mean, how sustainable is that? How sustainable has it been? You tell me. You tell me. I'm 51, 52. I'm chilling. Almost to the point of insanity though. He doesn't turn off. He doesn't sleep. I'm just having so much fun. It's not like I'm like, I don't leave her though. It's not like I don't leave. I don't leave the house. I'm working. It's like, oh shit, there's music to make. Oh shit, there's a movie to make. This is so much to do. I'm having mad fun. My dream, like, literally physically when I go to sleep and dream at night, my life is better than anything I could be dreaming about. Literally, I wake up like, I'm glad I have to stay in that. Am I still in my house? You know what I mean? I love it. If God, listen, for me not to take advantage of all the opportunity that God has given me based on where I'm from, it would be disrespectful to the opportunities that are presented for me to sleep right now. It would be disrespectful. It's too much. I am very aware that I live a privileged life compared to most people because I can actually do things based on art all day. So it just would be disrespectful to art. If I was coming up, right, so I hadn't done anything in my life when I was a young kid, 18 years old, and I'm saying, "Dame, I've got all these ideas. I've got this book, a comic book, the TV, the movie, what advice would you give me in terms of-- I'd say focus. Interesting. But the thing about it is the difference is when I say I have all this, I say I have all these ideas. I'm also showing you tangible things. Can you execute? People have ideas all day. Not many people can execute. I can. See, that's where there's a gift and a curse because I can finish, because I actually can do it, because I will do it. You understand what I'm saying? It's a curse, isn't it?

You have to learn to turn your brain off (48:17)

Yeah. But I love it. The reason I'm really obsessing about this topic is I've been talking to my team. It seems like it must be a similar relatable problem. That's exactly why I'm really picking at it because I-- Don't worry about it. We're told that we can't move in 10 different dimensions at one time, but we really can. But what about 20? You could do 50. But then it comes at the cost of one of those. And that's what I've been contending with. What life doesn't come with a curse? So I give you an example. This podcast here, we could start multiple podcasts with loads of different creators. So do it. But even 5% of my time thinking about that problem is taken from my companies. Let me show you. Let me equate that to you. So there are people that can cook very well for their family. But a real chef has to cook a thousand plates every fucking night. He does not do that on his own. He has other chefs that he teaches. So that's part of being a business person. Like, what if a Walt Disney? Like, look at Disney. They do a bunch of shit to insanity, but it gets done. So that's where the business comes. See, I'm lucky enough that I can understand my left and right side of the brain. But I kind of understand if you do two things both of them working at the same time, doesn't work out. Because when you're dealing with money, you can't be emotional. But when you're dealing with art, it's pure emotion. So when I'm shooting movies and people try to make me do business, I'd be mad. Like, get the fuck you don't. It's not going to come from a business man's plate. It's going to come from an emotional place. So, you know, identifying when to turn off, turn on, it's tricky. Have you ever, ever extended yourself in terms of taking on too much and talking to always, like, you got to remember, like, I don't have no support. So me financially. So all these things that got made got made from one pocket. You know what I'm saying? An independent pocket. So it ain't, it's never no money to look at. Like, I'm always racing a storm. When things happen to me in life, it's like, what's the message here, right? So we get, we had this crib in Florida. First two weeks lightning hit the crib, blew out the fucking air conditioners. And you can't be in Florida without air conditioners in the summer. And then this hurricane comes through.

Insights On Honor, Regrets, And Relations

the importance of honour (50:48)

So the hurricane is on its way. I got to go to the Black Caucus in Washington and have a commission meeting and do a panel for the Congressman, Andre Carson, in the, in the commission. And I'm like, yo, I'm not going to be able to fly out of any Florida. So we go to Hilton Head, we got a crib in Hilton Head and Rocky's parents are from Hilton Head. So we go to Hilton Head six hours away. The storm comes to Hilton Head. I got to go to Washington. So while the storm is coming to, is, is getting ready to go in the direction, I got to time it because we can't fly. So luckily I'm, you know, because I'm able to move around. I got a, like a sprinter, got to drive them like, yo, I'm a driver of it. So only eight hours away, but the hurricane's coming through. It might catch you. How many hours I got? Three. All right, let's go. We hear the winds catching us. We got to get, you know what I mean? But that's what my life is like. I felt no fear, which was crazy. You know what I'm saying? It was like fun. And what was crazy about it wasn't a pay gig. Now if it was a paid gig, I wouldn't have went. But because I made a commitment, because the commission is important to me. And the congressman threw a commission dinner in the middle of the black caucus and, you know, he also had a panel for me to speak on. And before COVID, I was supposed to speak on a panel and I missed my flight because of traffic. So I was like, I can't do that to him again. You know what I mean? So it was like, then you'll go out in a hurricane for something you believe in and for honor and for money out of my fucking money. You know what I'm saying? I know I would. But my point is my life is like that. It's like it's always close. You know what I mean? And I don't mind it. Quick one. As you might know, crafted one of the sponsors of this podcast and crafted are a jewelry brand and they make really meaningful pieces of jewelry. And this piece by crafted, when I put it on, for me, it represents courage. It represents ambition. It represents being calm and loving and respectful and nurturing while also being the antithesis of that, seemingly the antithesis of that, which is sometimes a little bit aggressive with my goals and determined and courageous and brave. The really wonderful thing about crafted jewelry is it's super affordable. It looks amazing. The pieces hold tremendous meaning and they are really well made. Quick word from one of our sponsors. I've got a tip for all of you that will make your virtual meeting experiences, I think, 10 times better. As some of you may know, by now, BlueJeans by Verizon offers seamless, high quality video conferencing.

closing deals on a handshake (53:18)

But the reason why I use BlueJeans versus other video conferencing tools is because of immersion. Their tools make you feel more connected to the employees or customers you're trying to engage with. And now they're launching one of their biggest feature enhancements to impact virtual events so far called BlueJeans Studio. I actually used it the other day. I did an virtual event using the studio, which I think about 700 of you came to. TV level production quality, all done by one person with very little technical experience on a laptop. So if you've got an event coming up and you're thinking about doing it virtually, check out BlueJeans Studio now, let me know what you think because I genuinely believe, I know this is an advert and I'm supposed to say this, but I genuinely believe it's the best tool I've seen for doing really immersive, simple but high quality production virtual events. One of the things that your fiance said to my team when we spoke to her was that you value that and loyalty exceptionally high.

The importance of Loyalty and Honor is EVERYTHING We DO (53:53)

It's everything. I could just tell you this where I'm from survival is honor. So if you don't play the game right, you end up deader in jail period and you have to play the game right. Unspoken laws. Just honor. And I just always looked at people that were honorable and how cool it looks to be honorable. How fly it is because honor is not convenient. It's something that's challenging and it's something that you don't want to do, but you do it anyway because of honor. Give me an example of what you mean when you say honor. What is that in the streets? What is it in business to you now? Being a man of your word. So if you agree to something, that's it. Period. Is he in the street? If you give your word for what a real street do, that's it. You got to give it. You know what I mean? Talk to certain people and say you're going to do something that you're not. They come and look and fight. You said you're going to do it. You got to do it. When I agree to do something, even I don't even care about the money. It's your word. You lie to me. Your ass is out. You're a race to me because that could get you killed. That could get you put in jail. Those are characteristics of people that, honorable means you're going to tell on somebody to get yourself out of trouble that doesn't usually deserve it. I was watching an interview earlier on with Kanye and he speaks incredibly highly of you in every time he's asked. I was actually more compelled by you know, you're heavily credited for sort of discovering Kanye and seeing something in him again like Jay-Z at a time when no one else did. Kanye has become this brand now. And again, he stretches across multiple industries in an unbelievable way in culture and art. In fact, all these things, he's up on my wall upstairs. I've actually got a big painting from his show where he had that levitating stage. But what did you see in him back then that you know to be responsible for the monolith that he is today? What was it about him? What made him different? He would listen. Kanye listened. Like if I said, "Yo, have cameras with you? Yeah, cameras with you." He broke his jaw and I had to send him the equipment. With that, through the wire with his jaw broke, if I remember bringing him to London, I'd be like, "Yo, rap." He'd just jump on the table and rap. And the thing about when you say I discovered Kanye, yeah, but I gave everyone in Rockefeller the same exact opportunity. Like I fought for Kanye and protected Kanye, I did that for every single artist. He just chose to do and take the opportunity and the protection and run with it until he didn't need anymore. And no one else did. What is his brilliance in your assessment? That he's so confident in his dreams that they happen, period. But what John might not realize about Kanye, and I'll probably leave it that way, is that my personal experience with him, just watching him move around, is that he's completely committed to what he's giving you. Every single second until he passes out, he's working. He doesn't have a personal life that I've seen. Every second's devoted to art. And it's in insanity as well. He said it. He's like, "Yo, I'm Dame Dash with a whole lot of money." And he is. But the thing is, he has a whole lot of money because he talks and works with corporate. But look how it triggers him. I mean, so what it means is no matter how much money you make, if there's still somebody impeding on your art, you're going to be unhappy. And that's why my advice is always to do it on your own. Just for the happiness value of it. Fuck the money. If we all said forget the money, we'd make so much more. Probably not in the short time though, right? But in the meantime, you haven't made fun. When you're working on your dreams, money doesn't matter. If you really, truly love what you're doing. If you're doing it for the love of the art, you ain't really worried about the money in that moment, as long as you can continue to do it. There's a trade-off though, isn't there? I've experienced that in my life and it's kind of what you were speaking to there. It's the business side of you that keeps talking because you still love money. Me. Yeah. I do love money to be fair. That's why you're conflicted. Yeah. And I've taken, I think I've taken investment in all the companies. No, not these days. But before. It sounded like a four. The last ten years. And it sounded like it gets you uninspired. But that's why when we spoke offline and you said, "I quit my job." I was like, "Did you just say you sold a company? How could you still call it a job?" Yeah. So I saw the job. What is the job? It's not fun number. I don't got a job.

Trade-Offs Between Money and Happiness (59:24)

When you look at these people, in Kenya, I don't want to talk about him be on this point, but obviously it's made him a billionaire. The trade-off you're speaking to is that he's had these frictions with the corporations and stuff like that. But put some in a position now where he can, as he is doing, go it alone, be an independent. All I'm saying is, regardless of what, it ends up in war. So if you get either way, either you have to walk away from your company or go to war, one or two. Correct? Yeah. Most of the time for what a fund is. So what the fuck wants to do that? Yeah.

Dame Dash On Steve Jobs (59:58)

If you look at Steve Jobs with Apple, he got fired from Apple. Let's talk about you. Yeah, yeah. So it sounded to me. Like you got, went public and got uninspired. Yeah. Lost control. Exactly. You gave away your control for money. Yeah. Why would you give your freedom? Think about this, right? So when slavery became an America illegal, everyone that had slaves were still lawmakers that used to have slaves, they still were passing laws. So can you imagine this conversation? Yo, what are we going to do now? We don't have slaves. Well, we have to make it where they are slaves, but they don't know it. How do we do that? Well, let's oppress them and let's make them fight each other. So every time one kills, we get one killed and then one goes to jail. We get two for one plus. They all have kids. They have kids. So now they don't have parents to disenfranchise. So now the kids do the same exact thing because they have nobody to lead them. You understand what I'm saying? It's just the plan to make us think we're winning when we're losing. But what we really do is we give away our freedom. So what happens is you commit a crime, you hurt your brother, and now legally you're in chains, you're put in a cage and you're working for slave wages. And now instead of slave master or master, it's warden or seal. Well, at least that's what we call them in the States. I don't know what they call like a, it's called a correction officer seal or warden whoever runs the jail. It's a plan. So they always trick us into giving away our freedom by dangling a bag. The bag though can sometimes be very big. It doesn't mean it's man made. Money is man made. The value of money is made based on what a man says. But real currency is love and that's God made. So why would you listen just logically to man telling you that his currency is more powerful than God's currency, which is love. I'm going with God's currency every time, just because it's logical. And that's another thing logically. I just believe God has to be a woman. Why? Can you create life? But God creates life. Can a woman create life? So what would be the closest thing to God? The creative life would be a woman. But of course a man because they have muscle would trick the rest of the world into believing that man would be in. If war and people fighting is the least smartest thing in the world to do and men do that all day, it's the most destructive thing to do is bad for business, but it's good for someone else's whoever selling bullets. You understand what I'm saying? And men do this all day. So if men been running this shit for a while and shit is fucked up, I would love to see what life looks like with women running things. I would love that.

Dame Dash On His Regrets (01:03:02)

That whole stint of your career, the Rockefeller chapter, do you have any regrets surrounding that when you look back and think, I wish I'd done that differently? I wish someone had told me this thing. That's Rockefeller. That shit is art. Why would I want to mess with that? Look how it's impacted the world. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, it'll be certain things that just because I know better, I do different. But who cares, man? I was like a kid. What are those things? If you would give me advice? I wouldn't have been so generous with Jake. It was more friendship for me and money for him. And I always felt that, but I ignored it a little. You regret ignoring that. I don't regret it. I just, I wouldn't have, the things that I wouldn't have let certain things happen because I didn't think they could happen. You know what I'm saying? Like, he would never do that, but he did things that I thought he would never do. So now I would be like, oh, he would do that and I would make sure it didn't happen. So Rockefeller would probably still exist right now. I made those mistakes to you. With business. It was, it was. Actually, the life that I got after Rockefeller was so fuck, it's been so fulfilling and I've had so much fun. You know, I just opened up art galleries all over the world and made music with cool people. And I just, I just been doing cool shit for the last 10 years. I was, I was in, compelled by the way you said earlier and you said Rockefeller would still exist. Yeah. Okay. You tell me what was the end of Rockefeller and why it happened. From what I understand, and again, this is just what I've read, there was a dinner that took place between you and Jay, where Jay wanted to sell Rockefeller to death jam. No, that's not where. Okay, there you go. We had, we, we met at dinner because I had heard from LA Reid that Jay was like, I'll take the job of president, but Damon and Biggs can't be down with Rockefeller. And LA Reid was like, yo, and I thought John McNealia said this shit. I was like, Jay could have never said that. And we went and he did me like public place, the whole shit and told me this shit. I was just like fucking serious. Jay told you that. He said, yeah, I want to be looked at as a businessman. And as long as you're around, I can't be looked at as a businessman. But I was like, what's that got to do with Rockefeller? So he was like, yo, y'all could have Rockefeller, but just give me my reasonable doubt. I said, let me think about it. And I went and did a screening of the woodsman and I was like, yo, come with me to the screening so he could walk the carpet. He's like, now you're all dressed up. And I was like, it's never helps. But my point is, regardless of what Rockefeller still existed, it's just I didn't run it. So why isn't there still a Rockefeller? Rockefeller was sold, right? And Jay was, they gave Jay, it was sold, but they gave Jay to run Rockefeller. So Kanye was still there. Everybody was still there. Why is there no more Rockefeller? You tell me. Well, usually when a rapper runs other rappers, it doesn't happen. It doesn't work no more. It just means there was no Rockefeller unless I run it. That's it. So I would have continued to run it. I wouldn't have put that, you know, I would have dealt with it different. And how when you're going forward and like, but I didn't want to run Rockefeller no more. I was done with that. I was at that time, I was already at Rockware. My office was not, I wasn't fucking with music no more. And Rockware was making a load of money, right? Yeah, but it was just more, I was just inspired. I was just sick of being in that building and dealing with dumb shit. I was done with the music business. I wanted to do fashion. I was done with it. So I looked at it as an out, like I obligation, I would have still ran Rockefeller because I gave my commitment, but because they was at Kacily, I was like, yo, take it. I want to go anyway. You know what I'm saying? But you know, how do you feel towards Jay-Z now? I don't feel nothing. No bad feelings, no good feelings. No feelings. I have to deal with feelings and they would probably not be so complimentary.

Handling Challenges In Careers And Relationships

Jay vs Kanye (01:07:10)

He's obviously achieved, you know, tremendous success and all he's done and multi-industries and all that kind of thing. What is it about him that you think has put him in that position, his characteristics? I don't want to talk about it. You don't want to talk about him? Yeah, really. Like, you know, I know what Rockefeller was and how he did business. So it's hard to, I don't even try to figure that shit out. Okay. You have a really unique perspective in the sense that you, you know, yourself, Kanye, Jay, you got to see the characteristics that made them go on their journeys. And that's really what I was trying to get at is like, what are those... What's between Jay and Kanye and I say, Jay is about the money period and Kanye is about the art and the money, but it's the art. You know what I mean? Like Kanye is a real artist. That Kanye is in different dimensions. Like, you know, he really focuses on that fashion. I never saw Jay do that ever, not nothing near that. And he really focuses on his creative. He produces his own beats and then he's about, like, sonically, he's really into how things are like, like, I don't even understand what the fuck he's doing when he makes beats. You know what I mean? Like, I know what a beats sound, but then he does some other shit that makes it like where other people are respected. You know, he has an art to what he does. And Kanye obviously has opinions. You know, he's not trying to fit in. So Kanye's whole thing is I don't give a fuck. You know, he's an artist that likes war. But most artists, I don't know. I think if you were, it's like artists, something that you really fight for if you love it. Even if your message is misunderstood. Like what life's matter. Yeah, I don't understand it. You don't understand his message that? No. Kanye, how about me, bro? I think that went to... I didn't understand that one either. I did try and read after I saw his post, but I still couldn't quite grasp what he was... Actually, don't allow that, man. I don't want to talk about that. The only reason why I would want to talk to him is so I could know, so I could protect him. That's the only reason why. But other than that, it's like, yeah, that one went, that one there. I love Kanye. Seems to have bothered you. Seems to have bothered you that one. No. Nothing he does bother me. I've learned, I know about Kanye. I know that his thing is to trigger. So he's a trigger. So if I'm not going to be triggered, you know what I'm saying? He likes that shit. I don't... And I mean, it's fun to watch, but certain things I'd be like... But like I said, we have a relationship where if I don't agree with him, we have conversations. You feel me? And that might be why sometimes we don't speak for a while. But you know what I'm saying? Like, everyone that I love, I'm not going to just say things that are right if they're not. I'm going to tell you my perspective on it. And sometimes people don't want to hear that shit. I don't know what's going on, so I can't judge it, but I wouldn't do this shit. You know what I'm saying? I didn't like it. I'm telling you right now, but I'm not going to disown him, but I didn't like it. Just like that person in Thanksgiving, that uncle that you are, like I have, think about it like, you know, Stacy, I'd have Stacy Dash at my fucking Thanksgiving table. Imagine what that would be like. The elephant in the room gets addressed. You know what I'm saying? But that be the reason why a lot of times it doesn't happen so often, because I'm always addressed it. Not because I'm... You know, I just honestly would like to know curiosity. What did you learn from how Rockefeller came to end about business life people?

What did you learn from Roc-a-Fella? (01:10:56)

I didn't look at the music. I didn't look at that as business. That's why I was like, it's not real business. So you got to think about it. At that time, I'm a real businessman. That means I want to be strategic. I want to make plans. If nobody wants to do that shit and I'm doing it on my own, it becomes very frustrating. So I had to fight for rocker wear. You know what I'm saying? I had to do it on my own. I had to fight for rocker for. I had to do it on my own. It was just too much fighting and for the fighting with the people that I'm fighting for, it just was... It was just like, I'm not fighting for a bunch of dudes. It's just you can't get... There's nothing to get from to gain. So just like, yo, it's a bunch of ungrateful dudes. And I can't have my daughters around these dudes. Do you have trust issues in business?

The Reality of Trust Issues (01:11:47)

Oh, yeah. There's no trust issues. I trust no one. You got another drink? Yeah, yeah. Can we pour up another drink? Safe. Yes, please. We can just keep talking. It's okay, isn't it? Yes, cool. We can just keep talking. Yeah. You said you got... You don't trust anybody. Do you? Yeah? Cool. My girlfriend. If you make her really mad, you think she's going to... You trust that she's going to be fair? Fair? What do you mean? If you do something unfair, will her reaction be fair? Mm-hmm. That's a nice question. Yes. I trust my... I mean, I trust my girl, but... I trust Jack. Oh? Jack. Well, how much you trust him? He has your bank account numbers and shit? I'd give him my bank account numbers. He would? Yeah. My assistant, Sophia, I trust her as well. My brother runs his works full-time for my company, Jason. I trust him. The advantage is all my finances, my bank account, all my investment portfolio. When I do Shark Tank Dragons then. We'll see how that works out. It's going well so far. We don't... No, no, no. I'm just saying this. Let me just say this. Of course, I have people around me and everyone has to deal with those things. But the trust thing is I'm cut from a certain kind of cloth. So what may not be honorable to people because they're not from the same experience as me, it may be different version than what I see. So I don't trust that people look at things exactly the way I do. Like some people don't think things that are disrespectful are because they're not a boss. You understand what I mean? If you're not a person that's actually paid people for service, if you've never done that, which a lot of people have not that judge me, which I don't care, then you can never, never understand what it is to pay someone and then not do their job. You just never know what that is. So you don't trust people? Nah. People don't even trust themselves. There's no one in your life that you trust. Your fiance. No, I mean, there's a level of trust. Yeah. Yeah, I trust her. Yeah. I trust my girl. But family, it's like whatever. If they fuck you over, they do. It is what it is. That's their burden to bear. You know what I mean? Like, comically. But people that I don't have to trust, I don't. Like there's always, I trust people like, yeah, but there's never, you know, it'll be like, you never know what someone's doing when I love him, bro. People are different. You know, when you're a person that's cutting the checks, it's hard to trust people because they're just showing you what they have to show you to get the money. You feel me?

Understanding Real Racism (01:14:54)

You know, I was saying this, I was, you know, being in Florida, you understand real racism. Like my fucker is racist out there. You know what I mean? Like broke my fuckers too. The crazy shit about like racism, it's like being a wealthy or what could appear to be a wealthy black man with a staff and you might get someone from another culture and they'll be like, but you still not white. No matter how much money you got, I don't want to be white. You know what I'm saying? But they still have that chip. Like, but you know, it's that one thing that's like, I'm not trying to be that. You think that's what it is. I don't. You feel what I'm saying? But what I understood is I've never had to feel racism because I'm always the person that's hiring and firing people. A racist is never going to act like a racist in front of me. He'll get fired or worse. You know what I'm saying? But if you're a person that's not in that position, you have to deal with racism. Imagine someone that's racist, you're a boss. And that's a lot of people. So the only way to really combat racism is economic empowerment. You have to either own the bricks. You have to be the boss. And then you select the people that you want around you. And if they want to be racist, they better internalize that and go get some therapy because a black man's telling you what to do. On that point, if the people you have around you, how do you pick those people?

What are you looking for in the people around you? (01:16:14)

What are you looking for when you're hiring somebody? Were you looking for someone to partner with? What characteristics are you looking for? They got to be the best at what they do that I need to hire them for. And I prefer a certain kind of discipline. What kind of discipline? That every hour of the day that you work in, that you love what you do, you know, that you respect my time and my money. But you know, it's just really at this point, like when you're looking to invest in somebody, you look at potential. But when I'm hiring somebody now, their potential has had to have already realized itself because I'm paying. It's like a professional team. So there's favors, there's certain relationships that I have that are completely personal. And I'll work with you because we have a personal relationship. I'll help you. That's personal. But when I'm really paying you, you just got to be at this point. You need to be the best at what you do. So I'm going to just look at your work. You know what I mean? I just need to see your work. I need to see what you've done before you work with me. So if I hire a DP, I need to see they real.

How do you feel about pessimism? (01:17:24)

What do you think about pessimism in people you're working with? Because I've seen from watching your interviews that you seem to have a real problem with people that I hate negative people. If you negative, you got to get away from me. And there are people that come negative pause because that's just what they've been raised, but they're skilled. And it hasn't worked out because of that. Because it's just like you just lead with negative first. The first thing, if I have an idea, the first thing you want to talk about is the problems with it, then we got to issue. There's a time to talk about problems, but not while I'm dreaming.

Dame'S Vision And Advice For Future Generations

What's the importance of work-life balance in achieving ambitious dreams? (01:17:58)

And hard work. You know, in our culture, there's been a bit of a, I guess a bit of a movement around hard work that worked life balance and these kind of conversations. What do you think about work life balance and the importance of hard work and achieving big dreams? Our work is everything. And if you look at the people, this is misconception that black people could only have black people work for them. You know what I mean? Like in the US, more so than here. Probably. Yeah. And that's what I'm coming from. That's PTSD. Yeah. You know, what I find is I'm not trying to only hire my culture because I know my culture. I know my culture. I'm trying to take over the whole world. So I'm going to have Benetton and I have Benetton, like it's black, white, Chinese. It's every kind of person in my, in my crew because I want to speak every language. I don't want to be wrong. I don't want to be good for somebody black. It's time to be good for being, I'm the best human. I'm going at everybody. And there's also this thing where, you know, it's always like black people should only have education for black people. And I think there should be new education for black and white people. There just needs to be new education. It needs for us to figure out how to come together as a human race because it's been strategic that we've, for the last hundred years, we've been saying the black thing. Always, it's always separation, which gives fear, which is what causes racism. But I just believe if we're at least the landlords and we can make a curriculum that everyone can fuck with it, it's us making it. It's just about us being the ones to make the shit. I believe it would be good for everybody. No fear because, you know, we're not worried about someone else and them taking over what it looks like. We already know what it looks like. You know what I mean? Let's keep everybody happy as long as this division is open, nothing gets done. And again, that's another thing that I feel is strategic. So when I make a movie, I'm not like, oh, this movie's for black people. I'm like, this shit for everybody. This ain't just good for black people. This is my shit better than everybody should. You feel me? I'm not just trying to educate us. I'm trying to educate everybody because if we're the only one educated, then we really going to have a big fight because once we get enlightened and people actin' stupid, we ain't going to have it. So we have to evolve everyone. You know what I mean? Who is everyone needs to catch up? We're all human. Forget the past so much. Learn from it. But let's talk about how to move forward in the future collectively. You mentioned at the start this conversation that you went and had therapy to understand yourself a little bit and to understand your triggers and what was triggering you and where that came from. What age did that happen?

The importance of therapy (01:20:45)

Well, being a child like myself, I was always putting therapy no matter what. I didn't talk. But as I got older, when a leader died, I just always was looking at it like I might need a consultant that didn't have a dog in the fight to tell me if my actions were right or wrong or to give me advice, sort of like a consolary. But what I understand about therapy is black people don't get it. So the study of therapy doesn't come from our trauma. It comes from other people. So when we finally do get it, it's in the wrong language. So we have to find therapists that actually speak our language that come from similar traumas in the United Talk to us. So that's why I have a program called Healing is Gangster, Tige. He's also in the commission. He's a therapist that's been through everything if not more. And now he's actually a dog guy that's a doctorate and he's a therapist. You know what I mean? And that's the person I talk to barely. Like any time that I'm unsure about how to react to certain things, the times I'm the most unsure is with my children. And that's when I call him. But then I had to fight to even be able to see my daughters. So I had to go to court order therapy. And I learned a lot there about how to raise my daughters. So the difference between 25 year old Damon and 50 year old Damon, 25 year old Damon would have thought, because I had boogie. I was a single father. No one ever talks about that. Went to court and got him. But I used to bring him into my environment and thought that was fathering. But with a child, you have to go to your child's environment. And I needed therapy to actually show me that how much better it is for me to become a seven year old than for my seven year old, you have to become a 50 year old. And then as Aaron was saying and being in a place that they don't care about. See the things that you care about as an adult, your kids don't care about. Just think about what you care about at certain ages. So you'd be like, oh, none of my kids care about any famous people. They don't even know them until they get older. They don't care about anything that I have, but that's all they know. It's not like a big deal. It's not like a comparison. They're not in another life where there are some social class below. And then they're like, oh, you know what I mean? It's just what they know. They just want time and they want you to do what they're doing. And they want you to speak in their language. And that's what I've learned. That's why I've made all of these with my girl, for my son. She's made children's books and syllabuses from the womb to three years old. And all this programming on how to interact with your child. You understand what I'm saying? So I'm a way better parent now, which is most important.

What was the hardest moment in your life? (01:23:14)

What was the hardest moment in your life? When my mom's died, when I leave died, when people die, that's the shit that's the hardest, but everything else is easy. When I read about, well, I actually remember the news, the global news, when I lived, died. But when I read about it before you came here, now that I'm in a relationship with someone I love, I tried to play out. Well, I played out in my head what that would feel like for them. Don't do it. Yeah, I just couldn't. I couldn't get that. My brain wouldn't let me go that way. You don't want to go there. It's a pain that you couldn't understand. But surviving that pain has made me very cool. What was that period of your life like? It was sad, but things were going on. So it was like me, it was me organizing myself to still be strong, because when people see that you're weak, they attack and people are actually getting cute. It was me proving to myself that I'm a real general, that I could work with a broken heart. Is there a cost to that always being strong? No, I'm not saying that I didn't feel. I'm just saying I had to learn. I had to lead by example. So in that moment, I was like, the way I reacted to this is how every single person that looks up to me is going to react when they lose someone they love. You understand me? And being at, when you're running or you're not to say, when you're the head and you're a lot of different people are depending on your strength, it's a life I've chosen. You feel me? So when you choose to be a certain way or take a certain role, like I would rather do that and sit around and be sad. You know what I'm saying? Like I don't want to sit around and be sad. You know, for me, it's like life, I have so much fun that when natural tragedies happen, when things happen that are going to happen and people just, you know, a matter of when, I can't let that fuck up my front. It's just the test. But, you know, it takes reading and therapy to organize, to be able to move at a professional level.

What lessons are you imparting on your children? (01:25:49)

But, you know, you're five children. If they're to be successful and happy in their lives, what are the, what lessons are you imparting on them to set them up for success and happiness? You know, the people that are the hardest to talk to are my children, you know. But I think my daughter, Ava, who's been through every, you know, as a youngster, been through the wars and all that. But like where she is now, I really feel good about my parenting skills because she knows what happiness is. And she's just so, she just loves the family so much. I don't really think that way with my children. You know what I mean? It's just like I just want them to be happy. And I just feel like it's my job to make sure that they're happy. But if they don't find it on their own, anything about children, when you have children, is after a certain age, they're not children no more. So you can be like, I got children. I don't have five kids. I have like three adults. You know what I'm saying? At least two. But they're still my kids. So if they're not happy, then I want to make sure they are. If their dreams, like my job is to make my kids dreams come true. But they have to know what they are. Do your kids know what their dreams are? Nah. It's a conversation I have often with them. And I'd be having like, "Yo, write it down. They don't even listen to me." I'd be like, "Hmm." Should I get paid to say they don't listen to for free? You know? But they're still perfect to me. You know, it's hard because the good part thing about like baby Dusco, my son is that Rocky is instilling everything that I'm instilling. There's no contradictions. Like if I say something, she's not saying I'm wrong. So there's no choice that has to be made. We're both instilling the same thing. So I'm curious to see how that one's going to work out. All my kids are different.

Dame's visions for the future (01:27:57)

All of them. You visualized your visualized for your whole life. I was reading about how when you were building Rockefeller, you would pull up at houses and go and view houses that you knew you couldn't afford. Because one day you knew you'd be able to afford them. And this sort of thread of visualization... I still do that. Really? You still pulling up at houses? Yeah, but I can always buy them. I promise you, once I go look at the house and I want it, I figure it out. My question is, what are you visualizing now? You talked about living in that neighborhood where people sold out. But what is Dame's vision? Right now, as far as business, a personal. Both. Personal, I'm visualizing a hundred acres, having a farm and a studio and just frolicking. But having a private jet, you know what I mean? And maybe it's in Hawaii. You know, there's a lot of things there. Business is turning Dame-Dare studios into what I call like a Disney. You know, I'm visualizing, buying schools, going into marketplaces where they might think it's dilapidated and taking something, a building that's messed up and turning it into something creative and bringing kids in there and teaching them. You know, there's a couple of laws I'm visualizing passing or getting passed. I'm visualizing what our culture looks like in the web three space. Getting past the monkeys, you know, and making it more about creativity and not some static, you know what I'm saying? That's not creative. That could have, you know, racial implications and connotations. With all these things going on, you still said earlier that you feel like you're behind schedule in your life's roadmap. If you were on schedule, what would that look like? All those things would be true. All of those things would have been realized. All of those dreams. Yeah. It's crazy because I think what I'm most bothered about is the fashion business for me. Because, you know, I did a lot with Rachel and then like, it's like we flushed that one down the toilet and I really love fashion. So I think the next thing that I want to get back in fashion and also my age, like I'm 50 and I've always wondered like what I would look like fashion wise at 50 because, you know, styles change and I'm not trendy. I'm more like, I'm kind of, but not really. You feel me? And a lot of the people that I've molded or at least that I worked with when they were younger are now doing very well in fashion. So I'm like, I always liked the fashion world. That was always my favorite world. So I got to get back. I think I want to get back into fashion.

What Are You Missing Most in Your Life (01:30:39)

We have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest asks a question for the next guest. They don't know who they're asking it for. So, and I don't get to sit until I open the book. The question that's been left for you is, what are you most missing in your life? That actually says, what are you missing most in your life? Right now, I've been missing my children because they're all doing their own thing. And I can't never get them all at one time. You know what I mean? Like, I got to get like a day a couple times a year that all my kids, like I'm always with three at a time or two, I never have them all in the same house. I'm missing that. I'm missing my daughters a lot because I've been on the road. I'm missing Leah. I'm always curious, like if Leah and Rocky knew each other, what that would look like. You know what I'm saying? Because I see so much of like Rocky has a lot of similarities to a Leah that people would not even understand. You still miss her? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. She was the coolest. You know, unless you were able to experience her, you could be hard if you'd understand. She still is. She was magic. But again, the type of magic she is, it was like, well, I never thought I'd see that magic again, but I saw it in Raquel in a very unsuspecting place, which was odd. But yeah, she was different. And, you know, to me, like in history, I think she'll go down as probably the coolest woman singer, coolest of all time. And when she was alive, she was like, had that aura of coolness of being the coolest. And she told me I was the coolest. You feel me? So, you know, what does your life look like? Or how do you feel about yourself when the Leah tells you that you're the coolest and a Leah? You understand what I'm thinking? You understand what I'm saying? Yeah. What kind of confidence do you have? It's a big word. What kind of validation do you have when you could really be like a Leah told me I was the coolest person she ever met? A lot of people have told me that. But a Leah told me that. I'm so inspired. I'm really inspired by so many things you've said, but really the dedication to art and being an artist, I think is something that people don't speak about enough because everyone's trying to get the bag and business and build. But the art is obviously where the emotion, the love and the expressions. The bag has always been the distraction. Money is the devil, bro. Makes you forget everything that makes you happy. There's no way to get both at the same time. Yeah. Be art. Be art is. I'm doing it. I just told you it comes with a fight. But you're an artist, right? A DJ, I write books, I have a musical that tours the country. That's my art. That's the piece of me where I go, I ain't doing this for money. And if we make money, we give the money to charity. So that's my goal. Is that when you're having your most fun? Yeah, 100%. I mean, this is art for me. Exactly. So why not make money off what makes you the happiest? Yeah, that's a good point. Usually because you don't have confidence in the fact that you could. But that's what I decided to do, have complete confidence in my artistry. I just want to make money off me. I'll help people get money. But first and foremost, a guy to be about me.

Closing Remarks

The Dame Rap Interview Close (01:34:17)

Dame, thank you. Thank you for your time. Thanks for coming here. You're someone that I've admired from afar for many, many years from an art perspective, a business perspective. And I've watched your videos and your mindset, I think, is the thing that I think everybody can take the most from. Because a mindset and your mindset really is like a fishing rod. It's like a way to maneuver life in order to orientate yourself towards success and get outcomes. Dame, thank you. Quick one. It's so crazy that in the last couple of months, I've had so many people tag me on Instagram, even on Telegram and in my Twitter DMs in a picture of them starting their fuel journey. And it's one of the most amazing things in my life that I get to do a podcast, which of course needs money to fuel. And I have a sponsor like you who I genuinely believe is going to help every single person who starts their fuel journey, change their life. Because this podcast, the central intention of this podcast is to help people live better lives. It gives me my protein. It gives me my vitamins, minerals. It's plant-based. It's low in sugar, gluten-free. It does all of that in a small drink that tastes good. There are other products. There's foods. There's the hot and savory collection, many other things. But for me, this ready to drink is the absolute saviour of my diet throughout the week where I'm moving at such pace. Look, I don't want to labour the point, but if you haven't tried, you'll give it a try. And if you do, tag me, Instagram, wherever you try it, give me a tag.

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