This past Friday, co-founder of Roc-a-Fella Records and all-around hustler, Dame Dash was interviewed on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club after many requests and inquiries from listeners. Always candid, uncompromisingly forthright, and funny, he had a lot to say to hosts DJ Envy, Charlemagne tha God, and Angela Yee.
Things started off smoothly with the hosts conducting the show as they are accustomed to and in true Dame fashion, he took over all while dropping some gems, giving his take on manhood, and chin-checking Envy and Charlemagne in the process.
The most memorable part of Dash’s talk with The Breakfast Club was when he explained-and kind of belittled-DJ Envy on not being a boss. The short version is that Dame asked Envy does he own the station that he works at and Envy responded “yes,” because he does own shares of the company. Dame then asked him if he could give his son a job at the company and Envy said “No.” So, Dame then concluded that he is in fact not a man because a man should have no boss. Envy then lamented that he works there because he is doing something that he loves; but he doesn’t do it for free. Dash then said he doesn’t think that his son enjoys seeing him go to work for someone else every day.
Dame exclaimed “I do this for my children!…My son, he’s 23. He owns a restaurant, he has cookies. He has equity. He bust his a** so he could pass it on to his son.”
Is Dame Dash right? In my opinion, yes and no. Mind you, I love Dash’s hustle and the way he instills that kind of mentality into his children. In the second part of the interview, he said that he and his son eat cereal for every meal unless he can buy them all a meal. He has to sell enough merchandise (clothing) at his art gallery in order for them to do so. Dope.
However, this made me think of a few different things.
The first thing I thought about was my macroeconomics class my sophomore year in college. My professor said “Everyone raise their hands who would like it if everyone had wealth.” The whole class raised their hands. He quickly told everyone to put their hands down. “You’re business majors! Everything you’re here for is about unequal wealth! That’s socialism.” My professor was right. In a perfect world, we should all be bosses, masters of our own financial fate, and so on. But the free enterprise and capitalistic model that has made Dash rich is because there are bosses and people who work under them.
My second thought was about the idea of actually passing down something as a legacy. That could be relative. It is 2015, and we are just starting to see more rich and even a few wealthy blacks in America. It took us almost 400 years to get where we currently are. But we all do it for our kids. We work hard so that the generation after that can stand on our shoulders based on a foundation that was laid before us hundreds of years ago.
Many times, that wealth that is passed down from one generation to the next is intangible. My father is a musician by trade. The fact that this is all that he has done with his life to support our family means that he is one of the five percent who can say that he has made it in the music industry. Growing up, I wanted to be just like him. The harder I worked the more he taught me. I grew up in a house in which there were two studios because he had his and I had mine when I was in high school. While music may be just an expensive hobby to me at this point, the work ethic and drive is something not only instilled in me; but I use it as a freelance writer.
The other side of this token is that my father is close to 60 years old and still hustles. That means there is no pension for him and unless my sister and I do acquire wealth, he will have to work until the day he dies in some capacity. So I have built upon that kind of ethic with the intent of it allowing my children more financial freedom in which they could do whatever it is that they would like to when they become adults. That too, is a legacy.
Third, being a boss is also relative. As a parent, I am the head of my household. My daughter Cydney thinks she runs the show and I’m okay with that sometimes; but I’m the boss.
For those who are married or co-parent are partners who own your familial corporation in a partnership…kinda like Dame Dash, Jay Z, and Kareem Burke did with Roc-a-Fella. If you think about it, your family is a business because you file and write off taxes in the sake of your own name.
The Declaration of Independence says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Pursuit. In the words of Rudyard Kipling that means you are the “Captain of your fate.”
Depending on what you consider to be valuable is your legacy that you pass down to your family.