Damon Dash wants artists and Black people in general to get past what he calls a “slave mentality” when it comes to ownership.
The Roc-A-Fella records co-founder is one of the mentors on the new BET show “The Next Big Thing,” along with producer Zaytoven and Tina Davis, vice president of A&R at Empire Distribution. The competition show follows artists who want to make a huge splash in the music industry.
Dash spoke about the show during an interview with TheGrio and said he only took the gig as a favor to Davis. But since he did accept the job, it’s important to him that his message is passed on.
“As of yet this industry has been built to exploit us for our benefits or for us to get our benefits taken for us not to be able to reap the fruits of them,” he stated. “
“It’s a different time. We’re aware because of the internet and that direct-to-consumer relationship and all the information that people have and the different kinds of platforms, there’s really no excusing letting anybody rob you these days,” the Harlem native added.
One of the ways that the serial entrepreneur has promoted this message is by creating a streaming platform for independent filmmakers to broadcast their work.
The topic of black folks owning their creations is something Dash has been passionately discussing, and he’s even started beefs over it.
Dash has also talked about the importance of ownership in multiple interviews and has a book called “Culture Vultures” as well, that was published in 2017.
“Any chance I get on any platform I get, BET other, I’m going to promote this deprogramming the slavery mentality keeping us in line,” added Dash.
“The Next Big Thing” debuted Tuesday, July 9 on BET.