I tend to be of the opinion that none of these hip-hop moguls are the business geniuses they’d have you believe, though I think we all know I live to hate on shit. I mean, Jay-Z has managed to build a business empire worth upwards of $300 million or whatever, but so did the Olsen twins, and I don’t hear anyone calling them a genius.
But I think we can all pretty much agree that Damon Dash is decidedly not a very good businessman. Say what you will about Jay-Z, but at least that dude stays making money, whether it’s the salary he pulls in from Def Jam, or the windfall he received from the recent sale of his clothing line, to whatever else it is that he does. Damon Dash? Not so much.
According to a recent story in the New York Post, hardly any of his various ventures have turned so much as a dime since the two parted a year and a half ago. Both the State Property line of sportswear as well as his record label the Damon Dash Music Group have since been shuttered. And neither his own clothing line, called CEO, nor his wife Rachel Roy’s clothing line have managed to turn a profit.
Checkit: LESS THAN DASH-ING: FAILED VENTURES NOT FASHIONING DAMON IN MOGUL STYLE [New York Post]
The Pro-Keds brand of sneakers, which he licenses from Stride Rite, did manage to more than double sales in the past year, but here’s the thing: they probably only sold like five pairs in 2005, and then last year they managed to double that to 10. Huzzah. Think about it: When’s the last time you actually saw somebody walking around in a pair of Pro-Keds? Only on that TV show he had, right?
Supposedly his wife’s clothing line was featured on Oprah, so they’re counting on that being profitable by the end of next year, though I’ll believe that when I see it. And even if it does, I’m sure it’ll still be tough for him to accept. Hopefully he’s got one of those Russell Simmons-style arrangements where his wife’s clothing line doesn’t actually belong to her, in case she sould ever get any big ideas.
Meanwhile, Jay-Z never had so much money. The deal to sell Roc-A-Wear to the same company who sells all of that Joe Boxer shit to K-Mart was said to be worth over $204 million. Who knows how much of that Jay himself actually took home (you know that shit was secretly owned by a buncha TIs), but presumably it was quite a bit more than they gave Damon Dash when they fired him last year.