Damon Dash Talks Jay-z & ‘Reasonable Doubt’: ‘I Said He Would Be The Greatest Rapper’

Everyone remembers the good ole days when Jay and Dame Dash were tight and Rocafella Records was on the come up. The Duo eventually fell out, Jay became President of Def Jam and Dame Dash sold his stake in the company to Def Jam Recordings.

On the 15th Anniversary of the release of ‘Reasonable Doubt’, Dame Dash sat down with VH1 and reflected back on the beginning of Jay-z’s career, people labeling Jay as the worst rapper and why ‘Reasonable Doubt’ will always be Jay’s best album.

Because we believed in [Reasonable Doubt] so much, you couldn’t even tell me that it wasn’t going to be the best album that was ever made. It’s funny because it became that. Years later when you reflect, you’re like, you were so arrogant and everyone said you were a f*cking asshole because you were so arrogant but I was right.

I said ‘he will be the greatest rapper of all time’. I said that 15 years ago not to put it all on me. It was a lot of fighting. It was at a time when people told me he was the worst rapper. I had been shopping him and everyone told me he raps too fast so I said I’ll just do it myself. I always go back to that now. Once we got into business, other people made money off of what we did and we had partners. All we did was become a slave to their agendas and we didn’t even realize it. I just remembered being manipulated just because we were young. I remember certain little things that were done to manipulate…some worked and some didn’t. I’ve seen a lot of people that I care about get twisted. Those days were fun because I respected everybody 100% so it was unconditional love, no jade. I miss those days.

On his current business relationship with Jay-z
No matter what, we’re still in business together because me, Biggs and Jay still own “Reasonable Doubt.” That was our independent record and that was the one I fought so hard to own and it’s the only one that still sells because it was that good, it was when we were pure. If it was coke, it was pure A1, grade A, uncut coke. The other ones were like, “we’re just trying to sell records”. That one was like, “I’m going to make an album and quit” and that was that. Alright, that was gangsta that will be the best one ever made’. We fought hard for that one; that was the one we fought the hardest for, so yeah, it’s the best.

Jay-z pegs ‘Reasonable Doubt’ as his ‘baby’. In an interview with XXL, he revealed that if he was given 100% ownership of the masters to ‘Reasonable Doubt’ he would have given up the rest of his masters, his position at Def Jam and Roc-a-fella Records.

So I was like, let me get Reasonable Doubt and I’ll give up [the rest of] my masters. I’ll give up Roc-A-Fella Records, I’ll give up president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings—everything. Just give me my baby to hold on to so 10 years down the line, I can look back and I got something—I’m not empty-handed. And I was the one being offered everything. I thought it was more than fair… And when that was turned down, I had to make a choice. I’ll leave that for the people to say what choice they would’ve made. That’s about it. I don’t really wanna talk about Dame or Biggs. I don’t have nothing negative to say about them.

Check out Dame’s interview below

On why “Reasonable Doubt” is Jay-Z’s best album

Check out more over at VH1

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