Jay-Z Talks Signing Kanye West & Dame Dash

blame it on Shake September 4, 2009

Apparently Jay-Z’s cover issue of XXL is on newstands in NYC and Low felt the need to put up yet another excerpt (I feel like I’ve read the entire thing now haha). This time Hov talks about the speculation that has always floated about whether Jay or Dame made the executive decision to bring Kanye West on board to Roc-A-Fella Records.

Jay-Z on not receiving credit for Kanye West, Ne-Yo, Rihanna & Young Jeezy..

“Let’s first clear this thing about Dame and Kanye and all of us. We all had a conversation about Kanye and whether to sign him. No one knew what would become of Kanye. Not Dame, not me not Biggs. So we all sat down and said, “Let’s at least sign so we can keep the tracks in-house. It’s only good business.” And Dame said, “We can put Beans and Cam, surround him and make this type of album.” I wasn’t saying don’t sign Kanye, I was saying, at least keep the beats in-house, if anything. I don know. Maybe, maybe not. Let’s keep him here. Dame came up with the idea of surrounding him with Roc-A-Fella artists on his album, which never came out, ’cause when the album came in, everyone was like, “Oh this is good.” He stood on his own. If anything, I should be credited for wanting to sign him for his tracks. So even if Dame did sign him, he was gone at that time. I engineered those album. In my years there, even if Tina Davis signed Ne-Yo, she was gone. They were gonna drop Ne-Yo until Ty-Ty [Tyran Smith; former Def Jam VP of A&R] put his hand up and said, “I’ll do that project”.” So there’s no Ne-Yo if I’m not there. I scrapped on of his videos that no one knows about, pulled Hype Williams, pulled June Ambrose, my stylist, made the “So Sick” video, and he’s outta here. Rihanna, there’s just no getting around that. So in three years, I’ve worked on Kanye, Ne-Yo and Rihanna. I don’t even wanna talk about the Fab record that was mine [“Money Goes, Honey Stay (When The Money Goes Remix)” off Fab’s latest LP, “Loso’s Way], Jeezy doing “Go Crazy (Remix)” in my office. It doesn’t even make sense to [list] like that, cause it’s childish.”

Jay-Z on the business mindset of Dame Dash…..

“I don’t want people to take this wrong, but if that’s my opinion. that’s my opinion. Dame is good at starting something. I don’t know if he gets in his own way at a certain point. You know, the fights you had coming up aren’t the same fights when you’re on a different level. What would happen is, a lot of times, I would have to go fix. You know, it was time-consuming, going back and just doing three meetings, when we could have had one. Nothing got accomplished, because everyone was screaming at each other. It got to a point…..John Meneilly (Jay’s manager) is not even the same type of thing.”