Dame Dash’s Football League Will Give Black Athletes More Control
Hip-hop icon Dame Dash recounts her success in business from her early wins in fashion, music and film to her plans to dominate sports and the metaverse in this week’s episode of “Assets Over Liabilities”. Hosts Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings dug deep into the brilliant mind of the Harlem mogul to discuss the importance of property to culture.
Dash opened the interview with a powerful and succinct quote that explains his approach to business: “I always try to find the way to the least work and the most money. It’s my thing.
Early on, the businessman learned that thoroughly analyzing an opportunity helps him make better decisions. “I don’t want to bust my chops over short bread,” he said. “I like to know where the margin is best, then I can control everything.” This desire for control can be seen through his various executive roles over the years, including his new venture into football.
The Rocawear co-founder has openly discussed the logic behind launching his own football league. “It’s several rooms,” he began. “It’s a piece of real estate. It is a narrative piece. There are no black owners in the NFL, and I don’t like the way we’re treated culturally. It’s like systemic racism to me. Ultimately, Dash wants to see more black people controlling our collective image and our opportunities to earn a living. With his league, he aims to see fewer white men dictating what black players can and cannot do with their abilities.
“I don’t just want to be in the league, I want to show the world what it’s like when our culture is running something. When we’re actually the owners,” he said.
He continued, “Everyone is culturally scared when we own something. This is what racism is based on – fear. But do they really know what it looks like when we own something? It seems to fly. And it’s not like we’re going to be so afraid of oppressing another culture. We are so confident that we try to help everyone. So I believe if we start a football league run by us, for human beings, it will be better.
Dash’s vision for his football league goes beyond just sport. He intends to revitalize cities across the country while creating investment opportunities for the community’s elite.
“I want to bring everyone back to certain cities, I just want us to be the owner,” the famous businessman continued. “I can bring entertainment, I can bring entrepreneurship, I can bring healing, I can bring so many different things.”
He’s also forward-thinking, adding, “Everything I do in the real world, I also do in the metaverse, so I would also have IO for ‘MFL’… Metaverse Football League.”
The Harlem native has already claimed his position in the digital world. He is preparing to launch his first NFT gallery in the metaverse, with technology in development and a 4D digital rendering in his image. While still working on his strategy and rollout, Dash spoke about the complexities of the new world: “I thought it was a lot of freedom for a creative, but it’s a lot of freedom for a creative who almost has a PhD. For example, you need to have the attention span and a real understanding of how to do things. Language is so inaccessible that it could disable a creation.”
When asked if he had a mentor who taught him about the metaverse, the eager learner said he had a “sick team” around him who helped him break the rhetoric and make understanding of the new more accessible space. “There’s this woman Rita Lee,” he shared. “She was ahead of the game.” Lee helped rapper Lupe Fiasco produce a show at Dash’s studio, and it came with an NFT offer for fans and attendees.
This tribal mentality of watching over those around him is something that Dash is proud of. “I have to be a superhero because I always want to save the people I love,” he said. “I’m like Batman – but I’m not Batman, I’m THAT Man. And I got a that-mobile, I got a that-cave, and I’m that nigga too. That’s the trust you gotta have to go to war for the people you love.
Over time, Dame Dash has learned that the best way to protect her people is to own them. “I am a conqueror of the industry. So my intention when I enter an industry is not to fit in, it’s to screw it up. To fucking erase it, because it never belongs to our culture,” he said.
Elsewhere during the episode, he reflected on the process of creating his first feature film, Fully paid. Apparently, there were plenty of behind-the-scenes issues with the funding, production and promotion of the 2002 cult classic. Setbacks included stakeholders bringing in new writers to add inauthentic and culture-damaging scenes and details, withholding resources for promotion and publicity, and even having Dash come out of his own pocket to redo certain scenes for continuity. Luckily, the business mogul’s fighting spirit kicked in and he made waves to bring the project to the big screen in the right way.
While discussing these issues, Dash discussed his interactions with the infamous Harvey Weinstein: “His brother ran Dimension [Films]he ran Miramax. fully paid was on Dimension, but Bob doesn’t come out – Harvey does. So they were getting cute, but I was catching Harvey outside. I was catching him in Paris or I was catching him in Cannes and I was making him uncomfortable…really uncomfortable so they had to have dates with me.
As the film continued to make its mark on hip hop culture, Dash learned a valuable lesson in business. “I don’t want to be in this position and have to fight to get it right,” he explained. “If you have to fight to get it right, you have to go left.”
He went on to explain his need for constant evolution and showing up to preserve culture and merchandise from the black experience. “I have to make my own clothes. I have to make my own films. I have to create my own television channel. Me and my girlfriend, we make our own children’s books. It’s just art. We like to have a point of view.
The New York icon explained that her efforts were never about fitting in, but rather about showing what it’s like to never give up and have undying confidence in your vision. “When you can visualize winning, you win. If you visualize losing, you lose,” he said.
Dash went into detail about his secret to winning time and time again across all industries. He practices the art of visualization:
“First I have to visualize the perfect dream. In the perfect dream, because it’s a dream, everything is fine. It’s perfect. If someone around me says something to me that will distract me from my perfect dream, it has to get away from me. I don’t want to hear any doubt in this dimension. The next dimension, I put it on paper. It’s a second dimension. Then I make it happen, it’s another dimension. Then I make it happen in the metaverse, which is another dimension. But, it all starts from that clear visual of victory.
Watch the latest episode of “Assets Over Liabilities” in the video above to learn more from Dame Dash about authorship, Dame Dash Studios and controlling your own media narrative.