‘Jay-Z Lives Rent Free In His Head’: Fans Question Dame Dash’s Obsession with Jay-Z After Dash Claimed the Rapper Pretended to Be Him In “Big Pimpin’” Song

Twice in recent months, Dame Dash has brought up his former artist and business partner, Jay-Z.

Most recently, the former Roc-a-Fella Records CEO dropped a bomb on the masses, claiming that the lyrical content in the 2000 song “Big Pimpin'” was about his lifestyle, not Jay-Z’s.

Dame Dash claims Jay-Z pretended to be him
Dame Dash claims Jay-Z pretended to be him in the 2006 music video for “Big Pimpin.'” (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

Dash initially addressed this claim during an interview on Math Hoffa’s “My Expert Opinion” podcast, shouting out Future for referencing him on “Fried (She’s a Vibe).”

“The Future was talking about my past in the present. … He said, ‘Big pimpin’ like Dame Dash.’ I didn’t make that record. Just know it was about me.”

Dash doubled down on the claim in a recent May 27 episode of the “Moguls in the Making” podcast with Omari Heflin and Terone Johnson.

He reiterated that “Big Pimpin’,” the fifth and final single on Jay’s Timbaland-produced “Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter” album, was actually about his own life experiences rather than Jay-Z’s.

On the podcast, the hosts ask if the entire song was actually about him. A tipsy but still Harlem-cool Dash casually responded, “Everything Jay said, he was pretending to be me.”

Podcast host Heflin specifically asked if Jay was telling Dame’s story to which Dame replied, “Duh.” Co-host Johnson began laughing as he acknowledged “‘Reasonable Doubt’ playing in the background.”

The Harlem music executive continued, “Who is the CEO? Who is ‘Big Pimpin’? Whose doing all those things? It was me.” Dame then mentioned that the music video, “was million dollar video but it was primarily about me being drunk. I be ‘Big Pimpin,’ I was ‘Big Pimpin.'”

“Big Pimpin” is a song Jay-Z rarely discusses due to its lack of “profound lyrics.” He raps about drinking, partying and smashing the ladies with no emotional attachment. The track highlights the “pimp lifestyle” of managing multiple women and getting rid of those that “fuss.”

“Me give my heart to a woman? Not for nothin’, never happen,” says Jay-Z. “I’ll be forever mackin’ Heart cold as assassins.”

The music video filmed in Trinidad during Carnival captures Jay-Z and Texas rapper, Bun B, who was featured on the song, on a yacht with a belly of women. They can also be seen on a truck as they give money to the crowd. Another featured artist, the late Pimp C allegedly refused to travel far therefore the video’s final scenes were filmed in Miami Beach, Florida.

Dash claimed that Roc-a-Fella “was in trouble” financially at the time. Therefore if the music video didn’t pan out then the 52-year-old further would have “started rapping” himself.

Followers of Mr. DuskoPoppington should not be shocked at his recent remarks. He also previously stated that Jay-Z was not an authentic artist like someone like Kanye, but does it for the money.

The Shade Room posted an excerpt of the interview, and many of their followers chimed in.

A few people acquiesced that Dash might not be as crazy as some think, writing, “But dame had Aaliyah the baddest in the game at the time who jay have so it just might be some truth in that,” and jabbing, “And the student became the teacher… HOV a multi billionaire.”

Some just did a collective virtual sigh about what they considered as rap delusion.

“Imagine being almost 60 saying things like this and the person you trying to get the attention of never pays minds you,” one person wrote. Dash is actually 53.

Another comment read, “Jay z lives rent free in his head.”

“He sound like a scorned ex that just can’t let it go,” someone joked, as another person added, “This is what it looks like when you’re talking to yourself. Hov ain’t said his name since 2003.”

“I’m the flyest n-gga that ever came out of Harlem. Anybody that doesn’t say that they from Harlem,” was another quip.

However, Jay-Z has said his name since then. In 2021, when being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he said, “Shout-out to Dame. I know we don’t see eye to eye, but I can never erase your accomplishments, and I appreciate you and thank you for that.”

He added, “We created something that will probably never be duplicated.”

Dash and Jay-Z started working together in the 1990s as the co-managers of a group called Original Flava. Later, in 1996, they would co-found Roc-a-Fella Records with Kareem “Biggs” Burke. After their split in 2004, Jay and Dame’s feuded over the direction and future of the label, leaving Jay to part ways and become president of Def Jam.

Dame stayed at the label and accused the “Run This Town’” rapper of trying to buy him out of his ownership for $1.5 million.

Jay and Dame’s working relationship was severed decades ago over ownership of the label. Later in 2021, Jay sued his former business partner for attempting to sell the copyright to his 1996 debut album of the same title as an NFT (non-fungible token) without his permission.

In addition to Biggs, the former friends and founders of Roc-a-Fella, each own 1/3 stake in that album written and recorded by Jay-Z. The case was settled in 2022 and Dame was prohibited from following through with the alleged NFT sale and Roc was deemed the owner of “Reasonable Doubt.”

Dash was recently forced to sell his stake by a judge to substitute for his failure to pay his losing judgment against Josh Weber, the movie producer that fired him as director of his film, “Dear Frank.”

The music executive refused despite another judge ordering him to pay Weber $823,000.

That same year, Dash revealed on Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” that despite being mentioned in Jay-Z’s speech, the two were in the middle of two bitter lawsuits related to the ownership rights stemming from assets connected to the label they started together.

In a separate interview, the same year, he said that he felt “betrayed” by Jay-Z, alleging that the slight was on “some slick s—t,” despite having such an influence on his success.

This is not the first time that Dash has claimed to have influenced not only Jay-Z’s musical persona, but also his career and business acumen. He points back to the time when he managed the now-billionaire and when they were partners.

“I shopped Jay-Z to every single label,” Dash recalled on the “On Gaud” podcast with Ray Daniels. “Kevin Liles, all of them. Every single one of them and they all said no. And he becomes one of the greatest rappers alive. Those are the same people that said he was too old, rapped too fast, and dressed corny.”

He said, “I learned to listen to nobody. If I listened to them, there would be no Jay-Z. He wasn’t gon’ do it. There would be no rapping Jay-Z if it wasn’t for me 100,000 percent. He wasn’t gonna do what I did to make sure he got heard. He was hustling.”

According to Dash, in the 2023 interview, the “4:44” artist never wanted to “put a record out by himself” nor “create a record company.”

“He could rap but he didn’t know business. I taught him business,” Dash boasted. “How to put a record out yourself. How to leverage your celebrity and put it on a product yourself.”

Jay-Z himself has since put some distance from “Big Pimpin’,” saying the track lacked the profundity found in his other work.

“Some lyrics become really profound when you see them in writing,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2010, where he talked about the difference between freestyling in the booth and reading what he said on paper.

“’Not ‘Big Pimpin’. That’s the exception. It was like, ‘I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say stuff like that?’ Reading it is really hard.”

Despite bragging that Jay-Z mimicked his life to make the song appeal to the hustlers and big ballers who marveled and aspired to the gluttonous and chauvinistic lifestyle shown in the video, Dash previously expressed a sense of regret, particularly about his behavior in the music video.

In a 2017 TMZ video, Dash admitted feeling “embarrassed” about how he disrespected women back in the day — noting that back then he “got a positive response from it.”

“I look at the things like ‘Big Pimpin’ and I’m embarrassed at it. I would never want my daughter to have to go through that and if I ever saw my son Boogie doing that, we would have some serious issues,” he said.

He added that what changed for him was becoming a father to young Black women, saying he then understood never to do anything that he would not want done to them.

Back to top