Somebody play "I am Dame Dash" from The Dream Team album right now.
What we can learn from Dame Dash?
WORK FOR YOURSELF
We all remember the infamous now classic Breakfast Club interview that sparked debates on every social media platform where Dame Dash said fuck working a job. The line that stood out the most was “There’s no money in this world that someone can pay me so I can call them boss, that’s like calling somebody daddy.” He was 1000% correct. You have no true security working a job just enough to survive unless you live your life as minimal as possible. How is there security when you can be let go at anytime? You can’t pass anything down to your kids from it except for the money you did make. It’s a scam for us to hand over 40 hours of our time a week to make someone else wealthy who wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire. Why let someone control your destiny? Work the job and figure out a exit strategy. The same things you do for a job go do them for yourself and prosper.
When Roc-A-Fella split Dame was low. Low as in he wasn’t in the public eye anymore. Being in the public eye is overrated anyway but you didn’t really hear about anything from Dame. It was because he was working. He left the big budget philosophy of the industry behind and invested in his own art space and started “Creative Control.” He found creatives of all kinds and they revolutionized how content would be distributed to the public. They shot all their videos with Canon’s not the Hype Williams cameras. They killed the big budget video. Everyone in the industry followed Dame’s lead whether they give him credit for it or not. Dame went left instead of with the crowd. It’s nothing wrong with adapting as long as you you do it in a unique way. Dame took it to another level and started an era. He even did this with the beginning of Roc-A-Fella. They shopped Jay-Z’s music to the labels and after a lot of “No’s” they said fuck a label we’ll just find a distributor for Jay’s first album “Reasonable Doubt” and do it ourselves and they did and every deal after that was a partnership deal or nothing at all which wasn’t normal back in 95/96. Fuck what the crowd doing. What works for you?
When Dame gave the speech about “Crews” on The Backstage Documentary it was the realest shit ever spoke. There’s this fascination with wanting to be the head nigga in charge instead of helping your entire crew become bosses. People are bosses but they’re teaching the people they work with to be dependent on them. It’s like Dame said, if the top nigga goes down then the whole crew crumbles because the crew was dependent on the head nigga in charge. Give your homies something to do. Figure out what they love and what they’re good at. It’s not a crew if one nigga is rich and everybody else is just okay. Don’t just depend on one man or woman. You should depend on each other. Dame said it best “If every nigga in your crew got as much as you got, you got a crew that can’t be touched.”
WE’RE THE PLUG
He said this recently on Power 106 recently I think but I remember him saying it years ago talking to Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Asher Roth, and a few more rappers where he told them that they did not need the industry and that they’re the plug already. It’s alarming how quick we are to give up our independence just to have a headache down the line caused by the people we gave our independence up for. We’re the plug already. We have the internet. Game over. We can have our own platform. We make our own content. We can distribute it ourselves. The pot of gold is right in front of us but the reason people don’t see it that was is because they know they have to work harder for it.
PUT UP YOUR MONEY
Money not meant to be saved. It’s meant to be spent and the most efficient way to really save money is invest it and double up and keep doing it over and over and save a percentage of every deal you make. Putting your own money up is a risk because you could lose it. It’s scary but when you put your own money up can’t nobody tell you shit. Scared money don’t make money. When you see a win from putting your own money up it’s satisfying as fuck. All these deals you see in entertainment are just glorified loans. You have to move the way the company moves when you don’t put your own money up. Your independence is priceless. Dame has been telling us the importance on independence his whole career. When you're independent you do what you want when you want. When you put your own money up you can do whatever you want when you want.
CALL OUT THE BULLSHIT
Some people like to let bullshit marinate. Dame is not one of those people. If you foul he’ll call you out on it. The most recent examples are Lyor Cohen and Lee Daniels. Lyor Cohen I understand because one he’s never done shit for our culture to the point that you’d see a black boy in the hood say “I wanna be like Lyor.” The reason you don’t see that is because he has no impact. He doesn’t build anything. He only destroys things and somehow there’s this strange romanticizing of him. Dame been calling him out on his bullshit for years. Lee Daniels I don’t understand because his skin is just like mine. How can he duck someone that believed in him when nobody else would? It’s disheartening to see. It took Dame pulling up on him at The Hollywood Ball yelling at him for him to finally say “I’ll pay you.” It’s so sad. You gotta call people out on their bullshit because you’re bringing awareness to people who might run into it. It shows that you care for the culture and understand the larger picture. I don’t care if it makes you unpopular. Fuck popularity. Your integrity and character should matter more than that. It’s a sacrifice that has to be made.
MAKE GOOD SHIT
At the end of the day is the product that you created good? It’s all that matters. Nobody gives a flying fuck about bout a logo. Nobody gives a fuck about who you know in the industry. Is the product that you’re selling good or not? It’s a black and white question. You spend all your money on the best looking logo you want but if your product fails to deliver that logo not saving it. No one says “Well this product is good but your logo is just not working for me. Sorry I’ll pass.” Dame went over this many times and he made a very interesting point about how desperate people get because they know their product not good. They have to be dependent on attention and doing things for attention instead of accepting the fact the product is lacking and working on making improvements to it. Just make good shit and you won’t have to resort to gimmicks and attention whoring.
YOU GOTTA BE UNCOMFORTABLE
“You cannot be great comfortable.” - Dame
I never realized this until I started podcasting along with maintaining this blog. Shit is stressful but this year is a year where I had the most opportunities. It’s because I’m doing more work than I’m used to. I’m out of a comfort zone. The further you go out of your comfort zone the more opportunities await you. You’re gonna struggle and it takes years to build creative companies and you’re gonna be uncomfortable doing it because it’s a risk worth doing. Anything worth doing has periods of struggle. If it doesn’t then something not right.
The bosses of companies that care about their employees spirit, mental health, and lives are the companies that truly mean something. Dame helped a lot of people to success. Kevin Hart, Cam’Ron, Lee Daniels, Rachel Roy, Jay-Z, Kanye West just to name a few. That comes from being selfless. That’s what I real boss does. They show you the plug. They want to help people get to their dreams and not selfishly keep them working on the companies goals.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Dame only does what he loves. He doesn’t compromise when it comes to that fact. Neither should you. If you don’t love it leave it alone. When I’m asked by other creatives “Where do I start?” I ask them “What do you love?” And that’s the only starting point that matters. What you love will be your foundation to build your life on. Do what you love and work won’t feel like work anymore.
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