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Jay-Z & Dame Dash Roc-A-Fella Breakup “Could Have Been Avoided” – Jim Jones Says


Jim Jones has frequently spoken about the Roc-A-Fella rift that all but changed the course of Hip Hop — but he still believes the split between the label’s founders, JAY-Z and Dame Dash, didn’t have to happen.

In an interview with Talib Kweli’s People’s Party podcast, the Harlem native shared his thoughts about the fateful fracture, and said he thinks Jay and Dame could have worked things out had cooler heads prevailed.

“When we first got there, it was a great thing, okay? It made sense,” he said, referring to Dipset’s tenure on Roc-A-Fella. “Everybody was on the same page […] That’s a family-oriented situation when we first got there. But we have nothing to do with what Jay and Dame got going on.”

He continued: “Their controversy and their separation led to a lot of the artists taking sides, which was kind of fucked up. I was never silent as a Roc-A-Fella artist, but I had to roll with what Cam was doing. It was a whole fucked up situation.

“And this is something that, looking back, I think could have been avoided. That shit was just some simple shit that could have been avoided, you know what I mean?”

This isn’t the first time that Jim Jones has spoken about the Roc-A-Fella split. During an appearance on DJ Self’s Apt. 5H show back in March, Capo claimed that the label’s dissolution did lasting damage on not just the Roc-A-Fella roster, but New York Hip Hop as a whole.

“The confusion at the Roc-A-Fella breakup did a lot of damage for New York music,” he said. “Remember, Roc-A-Fella had so many different types of music. They had The Diplomats, they had State Property, they had Brooklyn shit. They really had a strong hold on East Coast music, so when that shit started to happen…”

Roc-A-Fella’s time at the top of the Hip Hop mountain in the early 2000s was filled with classic albums, memorable beefs and plenty of success. At one point, the label was stacked with heavyweight talent such as JAY-Z, Kanye West, The Diplomats, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, State Property and more.

The magic didn’t last long, though, as the label went through some difficult moments during their prime. In 2002, JAY-Z teased his retirement following the release of The Blueprint 2, prompting co-founder Damon Dash to go on a spree signing several rappers to the legendary imprint.

Once Hov accepted a position as the CEO and president of Def Jam in 2004, the label would begin to lose its footing. The Roc-A-Fella breakup became official when Jay, Dame and fellow co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke sold their stake in the label to Island Def Jam.

Since Jay was president, he retained control of the label and his masters, leaving his former partners with nothing.

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