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Sunday, April 24, 2005 

Trouble in The Roc-a-fella Camp: Is Jay-Z to Blame?

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIn case you're still living in Rap's stone age, the Rocafella trio of CEO's Dame "Loud Mouth" Dash, Kareem "Invisible Biggs" Burke, and Shawn "BIG Biter" Carter have officially parted ways. The Reason? Pesos, of course. The purpose of this article is not to straddle any of the aforementioned young Black entrepreneurs. I intend to do what many analysts, and writers alike have failed to accomplish - throw some neon light on the situation. I invite you to be the judge of this sad case of betrayal, mistrust, and believe it or not, irreparable insult.
Why do I even bother? Why does Riz, the great gospeller of Underground Hip Hop take such riveting interest in a mainstream label like Roc-a-fella? My answer to that question is as obvious as Freeway's goatie: In the last ten years, The Roc has made exceedingly positive contributions to Real Hip Hop. Not only did they arrest our ears to sizzling rhyme-slingers like Beanie Sigel and Kanye West, they also introduced the world to the propane-flow of a young Jay-Z, who will forever be remembered for creating a landmark Hip Hop album, Reasonable Doubt. Image hosted by
That's the good side. Unfortunately, Jay-Z will also be remembered as the man who abandoned his friends in pursuit of diamonds. But, the question Rap fans are either too forgetful or just blatantly lazy to ask is the same one Jadakiss has been asking since 2004 - WHY? What's the motive? A friendship of over a decade arrived at a dead end because all three parties contributed both positively and negatively.
Dame might have thrown his 300-and something pounds weight behind most of R.O.C.'s rap stars, but he also spit in Jay's face when he appointed a VP(Cam'ron) behind his co-CEO's back. Regardless of what the identity of that VP may be, the usual code of conduct demands that you have a bit of professionalism left inside your brain, enough to at least co-sign with other CEO's.
However, code of conduct is something that The Roc Family have distanced themselves from, as if it were leprosy. Take for instance Jigga's selfish dealings: allegedly refusing to feature on singles to help promote other artists, pushing his own line of sneakers and film production, and eventually yanking the name "Roc-a-fella" away from the other two who helped build the so-called dynasty.
As for Biggs', I don't know any Rap fan with the faintest recollection of his contribution to Roc-a-fella or even Hip Hop in general. Fancy that for an eulogy! Do not confuse my honest disposition for cruelty. Biggs' life is a strong affirmation of my lifelong theory - inactivity is the twin sister of failure. He might have made inputs in aspects of logics and A&R projects, but when it came down to decision making, he was always considered the "me, too" personality, a legacy he's carried into his recent partnership with Dame as the co-CEO of DAME DASH MUSIC GROUP.
Roc-a-fella's split is deeper than it looks on the surface. It only takes understanding to know why huge partnerships, like a major river, starts off smooth but winds up in disparate estuaries. Image hosted by

"Understanding is seeing things for what they really are, not what they
present themselves to be" - AZ

Who Run It?

  • I'm Rizoh
  • Reppin' Houston, Texas, United States
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