Damon Anthony Dash, also known as Dame Dash, was born in Harlem, New York City on May 3rd, 1971.
Growing up, Dame had a paper route—so did Sean 'Puffy' Combs coincidentally, and Dame reportedly swept floors in a local barbershop where he was exposed to the 'hustler's ethic' that he espouses and extols whenever he's interviewed. Also, according to Dame, his mother was a living example of Harlem's hustler mentality, and bred this into him and his brothers, Bobby and Jeremy.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Dash household when Dame was 15, when his mother died suddenly of an asthma attack. And being that Dame's father was only in his life intermittently, he had little available to him in terms of monetary resources. However, young Damon, being a whiz at standardized tests, was able to acquire school scholarships that eventually led to his attending an exclusive boarding academy called the “Dwight School, Isaac Newton, Manhattan Center, South Kent” in Connecticut, New York. And this experience helped Dame see how he could marry his Harlem street hustling mentality with a mainstream/corporate sensibility he'd use to win over clients and consumers.
After finishing school, Dame became a party promoter. And those parties were so successful, that he and his business partners thought about starting a record label and clothing line like the Hip-Hop mogul, Russell Simmons.
A short time later, Dame, along with his close friend, Kareem 'Biggs' Burke, and his cousin Darien, began managing the recording artists 'Future Sounds', and got them a record contract with Atlantic Records. Coincidentally, it was Clark Kent, the world-renowned Hip-Hop DJ, whose real name is Rodolfo Franklin, who signed Future Sounds to Atlantic. And being that Kent had an ear to the streets, in 1994, he began telling Dame about an exceptionally gifted emcee hailing from Brooklyn, who was a former drug dealer. The emcee's name was Shawn Carter, who'd later rename himself, 'Jay-Z'.
Unable to secure a record deal for Jay, Dame put up his own money to start 'Roc-A-Fella' records, and put out Jay's first album, 'Reasonable Doubt' in 1996. Although the release got mixed reviews, it's deemed a cultural 'classic' in Hip-Hop circles and did the job of putting Jay-Z on the national radar.
Dame and Jay followed up 'Reasonable Doubt' with the album 'In my lifetime...Volume 1' on November 4th, 1997, which went platinum. But, the duo's lives would be forever changed when they put out 'In my lifetime...Volume 2: A Hard Knock Life' on September 29th, 1988.
Now, I can attest to the fact that once I heard the title track, 'Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)', I instantly saw the ingenuity of the 'Annie' musical sample as the song's hook. And even though a lot of white critics panned the track, anyone who loved Hip-Hop and rap music knew this represented a quantum leap in terms of marrying irresistible sonics with insightful lyrics. The song was scalding hot.
'Volume 2...Hard Knock Life' went 5 times platinum as a result of it's enhanced production and Jay's evolution as a masterful emcee. And Roc-A-Fella records, along with Roc-A-Fella clothing, became lucrative brands that america's mainstream could no longer ignore.
Now, I mentioned Sean 'Puffy' Combs earlier, and one of his sayings rang true of what happened to the duo of Dame and Jay, which is: 'Mo' Money, Mo' Problems'.
In 2002, rumors began spreading about a rift between them. At the nucleus of this, supposedly, was Dame giving Cam'ron, a childhood friend of Dame's, and someone Jay-Z didn't particularly care for, his own imprint label at Roc-A-Fella. And allegedly, Dame did this without Jay's knowledge. Now, unbeknownst to Dame, Jay was making friends with Def Jam executives, Kevin Liles and Lyor Cohen. And when this team was offered the top spots at Warner Music (Lyor was CEO of Warner Music, and Kevin Liles was executive Vice President), they offered Jay the chance to be the CEO of the seminal Hip-Hop record label, Def Jam Recordings.
So in December 2004, Jay asked Dame out to dinner, and told him that he'd been offered the top spot at Def Jam. Dame agreed that Jay should take the job, but he told Jay not to take Roc-A-Fella with or from him. Jay told Dame, he could keep Roc-A-Fella, a subsidiary of Def Jam, if he'd agree to give him back the rights to the master recording of 'Reasonable Doubt'. Dame refused.
Now, after this happened, the passionate vitriol that Dame used to fight for monies that fueled the success of Jay's career, and his brash convictions that his victories gave him the leeway to operate more or less independently from the executives he worked with, got Dame labeled as being 'difficult'. Therefore, when industry execs saw that Jay and Dame were splitting, they went with Jay.
Years later, Jay-Z would enjoy an almost unprecedented success, not only as a rapper, but as a businessman as well. Simultaneously, Dame would watch his finances and parts of his life fall into an unpredictable downward spiral.
Monique Angela Hicks, better known as MO'Nique, was born on December 11th, 1967 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her parents, Alice and Steven Imes Jr. also had three other children: Millicent, Steve and Gerald.
MO'Nique graduated from Baltimore's Millford Mill High School in 1985, and then went on to attend Morgan State University. Shortly after, she graduated with a degree from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland in 1987.
She got her start in comedy at the Baltimore Factory Outlet, while she worked a job as a customer service rep. at 'MCI', a phone company located a couple of towns away from her.
Now, MO'Nique's acting prowess, if you can call it that, in the movie 'Precious', was due to her real life experiences. And this resulted in her confessing in a 2008 interview with 'Essence' magazine, that her brother Gerald had sexually molested her from the ages of 7 to 11 years old. That same brother went on Oprah and stated how he abused MO'Nique cause he himself had been sexually assaulted by a relative, and also said, this led him to abuse drugs for the majority of his life.
But before the Essence article, MO'Nique won a role on the 'UPN' network's TV show 'Meet the Parkers' from 1999 to 2004. She also had recurring appearances on 'It's Showtime at the Apollo' and 'Russel Simmon's Def Comedy Jam'. And she had parts in an assortment of films like: 'Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins', 'Beerfest', 'Three Strikes', 'Two Can Play that Game', 'Half Past Dead' and 'Soul Plane'.
Now, in 2009, MO'Nique played the hyper-abusive and dastardly mammy-of-a-mother, in the Lee Daniel's movie, 'Precious'. This film was about the trials and travails of a Black girl from an impoverished home, who was also molested and impregnated by her father, twice. And to top this off, Precious could neither read nor write. And let me just state for the record, that I haven't see this film—and I never will. Cause this flick is just more grist for the ol' self-hatred mill in regards to conditioning the psyche of Black folks.
Anyways, it was after this role that MO'Nique won an assortment of awards, up to and including the 'Oscar' for her performance. I also found in my research, that not only was MO'Nique's Oscar dress fashioned after the actress Hattie McDaniels (maid in 'Gone with The Wind'), but she proudly stated that she'd bought the rights to Hattie McDaniel's life story. And supposedly, she was gonna' play this epic mammy in a movie that was slated to be directed by Lee Daniels. It would've been a cavalcade of coons spectacular for sure.
Unfortunately for MO'Nique, she made the fatal error of not supporting the traveling coon-fest of press junkets that was required of her to promote Precious. Thus, she is now saying that Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Oprah, have expelled her from their cooning coterie 'cause she's been labeled as being 'difficult'.
So ultimately, what did MO'Nique and Dame Dash learn, and what do they have in common?
Well, let me just say this—for the record, I can't stand Lee Daniels. He's a sexually-conflicted and mentally emasculated, third-rate movie director—but, what he said on CNN's the 'Don Lemon' show was correct, and he stated this: “...this is the show business, and you've got to play ball...”
Meaning, and be forewarned, I'm about to drop the 'f-word' again—you can't take a freemasonic order's money and opportunities, and then challenge them right after. See, what Jay-Z and Lee understood that Dame and MO'Nique didn't, is if you're gonna' play the freemasonic game, you can only be successful ON THEIR TERMS!
And you might be thinking, well, how do you know Dame and MO'Nique are down with the freemasons? Well, in Dame and Jay-Z's case, you can't talk about their success without mentioning a man named Dr. Dwight D. York.
Dr. York is a 33rd degree mason who set up something called the 'Ansaru Allah' community in Brooklyn, New York City in the 1970's. And coincidentally, this community was only several blocks from the 'Marcy Projects' where Jay grew up. 'Jaz-O', Jay's mentor, was the person who introduced Jay to Dr. York, and they were the ones who started Jay's music career. *Note: Other rappers Dr. York made famous were KRS-ONE and Queen Latifah.
Now, in MO'Nique's case, I think anyone with common sense should understand that Oprah, Lee and Tyler, are three homosexuals tasked with mainstreaming this lifestyle to Black people for their freemasonic orders. And they're doing this so we'll produce less children who have the most potential to breed whites out of existence. Cause again, whitey's birth rates have fallen below replacement levels for the last quarter century plus. So white fascists are scrambling to get rid of as many pure-bred Black people as they possible can, and the mainstreaming of homosexuality to our Diaspora is just another way of making sure Black children don't get born, period.
So I've said all that to say this, NO ONE should feel sorry for MO'Nique's (and Dame's) plight. Cause they truly bought this on themselves.
My question is, why would MO'Nique have a problem doing anything her freemasonic handlers asked of her, after she played this disgustingly horrific, mammy-of-a-mother in Precious? Maybe she didn't read the fine-print on her freemasonic contract that said, you'll take what we give you and like it, or, we'll take all your money and opportunities away.
But hopefully, MO'Nique can get back in the good graces of her freemasonic brethren. If not, it serves her right for casting aspersion on Black women everywhere with her role in Precious. And let me add, what's happening to MO'Nique is a karmic-reckoning (ass-kicking) that's righting the wrongful stereotyping white fascists have foisted on our people for far too long.
So in this case, I say what any right thinking Black person would say—I say it's justice. And I also say, that's something our people could use a hell of a lot more of.