Damon Dash talked with Dr Boyce Watkins from Intelligent Boss Moves about Tupac and Biggie beef.
Intelligent Boss Moves is a consulting membership program created by Damon Dash and Dr Boyce Watkins. Being the co-founder of Roc-A-Fella and all-round hip-hop entrepreneur, Damon Dash certainly has his opinions on the beef that changed hip-hop forever.
The interview, which originally aired in 2016, was all about shining light onto the business side of hip-hop. Although Damon Dash and Tupac didn’t have any personal business, he was in the culture and the same age.
When speaking on the East/West Coast beef, Damon said: “it was bad for business and culture.” Dr Watkins suggested that it was good for magazines who were hyping the beef up and profiting from it.
Acknowledging Dr Watkins point, Damon agrees and goes further, expressing the media’s responsibility. He said; “they don’t have a conscious, it’s like out of sight out of mind. You don’t see who it affects except your pockets. You consider a win when you’re making money but if somebody dies, that’s not a loss to you because you don’t know them.”
Tupac was aware of the media’s power when going through his beef. When interviewed by MTV just days before his shooting, Tupac shows his knowledge of the situation by blasting them on camera. He says: “We are businessmen, we are not animals. People are really making too much out of this. If you want to talk, we’re going to make it specific as what you can talk about and what you can’t talk about. The east coast west coast thing is something that the journalists so they can get paid off it.”
Damon speaks from his experience as a music CEO, explaining that any of his artists had beef with another artist, he organized face to face sit-downs. He blames Suge Knight and Jimmy Iovine, for not doing their part to help squash the beef. Summing hip-hop beef up, Damon Dash doesn’t understand how artists can beef when money is there to be made.
With age comes wisdom and for Damon that rings true. Reflecting on how the Tupac and Biggie beef ended, Damon wishes he could have reached out to ‘Pac. “I wish I could’ve got closer to him, so I could’ve understood his perspective a little better. Maybe talk him through whatever was going on. But I was never really with ‘Pac like that, we never really got so cool.”