Music Producer Damon Dash has announced plans for a ‘tell-all’ television series on the well-known music label Roc-A-Fella Records, which he co-founded with Kareem Burke and rap legend Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter back in 1996.
Dash is partnering up with Lemuel Plummer, executive producer of Preachers of LA, to present what the two are calling a “brutally honest” story of the rise of Roc-A-Fella Records.
“It means a lot that Damon trusts us to tell the story – the true story – of how two global music icons got their start and did nothing less than redefine pop culture,” says Plummer. “That story is so unbelievable and yet so true that we know we have an awesome responsibility as storytellers to get things right.”
The series will show it all, starting at the beginning when Dash, Burke and Jay started the label to release Jay’s Reasonable Doubt album, which believe it or not was getting rejected from other labels. They quickly turned those negatives into a positive – which is now an empire in music industry.
Viewers will get to know stories on Dame’s relationship with the late great Aaliyah, as well as the alleged ‘Becky’, Rachel Roy. Dame will also portray his departure from the label (which he has previously expressed animosity towards) and the things that led up to it. The show will tell the story of the tension that arose between the founders in 2005 when Roc-A-Fella was sold to The Island Def Jam Music Group and Jay Z became CEO and President of Def Jam.
Roc-A-Fella began with a roster of talented individuals we are all familiar with today, including DJ Clue, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Cam’Ron and was also a huge part of Kanye West taking off in the rap game. The label has since then added tons of more talented artists and has even added a full service division, Roc Nation Latino, ran by Romeo Santos.
Plummer cleared up that the series will not be so much about the music, but more so on the story of the label, “It’s not about the music that you hear, it’s about the actual [behind-the-scenes] story that’s never been told,” Lemuel tells Deadline.
Dame Dash adds, “My experience is colorless. The reason why Roc-A-Fella crossed and became so essential to pop culture is that we were probably the most authentic people that were also so sophisticated. My experience doing white people sh*t is just as heavy as my experiences doing black people sh*t. Actually I think I’ve done white people sh*t better than white people.”
This will be the second project that the two collaborate on, the first one being BET’s Music Moguls featuring Jermaine Dupri, Snoop Dogg, Birdman and Dash himself.