Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Roc-a-Fella introduced Kanye West as a hip-hop heavyweight after he earned his name as a producer for making irresistible beats. But, Dame Dash, the co-founder of the label, stirred controversy after he claimed he had to fight for the Chicago rapstar with JAY-Z, who was against his entry in the group.
Sharing his views on Instagram Live, the 52-year-old shared, "I almost couldn't sign Kanye. I had to get a vote. I had to fight to put Kanye out. I had to fight Lyor [Cohen] and JAY-Z," he claimed. "They didn't want that man to come out."
Amid the tussle, the veteran music executive said he opted out of the label, "So the point was, I was like, 'Yo, I'm not gonna be in a place where I gotta fight to put that man out."
"The same way I had to fight to put Jay out, fight to put Rachel Roy out, fight to put Cam out. Everything that I've ever had to put out has been against nerds telling me not to put it out," he added.
On the contrary, the Empire State of Mind rapper dismissed the notion he objected to the Grammy winner's entrance, "Let's first clear this thing about Dame and Kanye and all of us. We all had a conversation about Kanye and whether to sign him. No one knew what would become of Kanye. Not Dame, not me, not Biggs," he told XXL in 2009.
He continued, "So we all sat down and said, 'Let's at least sign so we can keep the tracks in-house. It's only good business.' And Dame said, 'We can put Beans and Cam, surround him, and make this type of album.' I wasn't saying don't sign Kanye; I was saying, at least keep the beats in-house, if anything."
However, there is another facet to the picture.
In 2005, TIME Magazine focused Ye's outstanding career as a cover story, revealing when the 46-year-old floated the idea of becoming a rapper in 2002.
Jay-Z reportedly reacted to the thought, "We all grew up street guys who had to do whatever we had to do to get by. Then there's Kanye, who to my knowledge has never hustled a day in his life. I didn't see how it could work."
Nonetheless, it was generally believed the labels - initially - saw Kanye as a top producers and apparently passed over his rapper's aspirations, according to HipHopDx.