(Dame Dash, Nicole Ritchie, Jay-Z and Rashida Jones)

This one is a pretty interesting piece, even with the Dynasty being out of commission for a number of years. We all still seem to still really be interested in that time period when Dame Dash, Biggs and Jay-Z were changing the rap game with Rocafella Records. My homegirl Lacey over at VH1 recently sat down with Dame Dash to reflect on the making of the album that set it off for the Roc, Reasonable Doubt, for its 15 year anniversary. RD was originally released on June 25th, 1996.

“I said he will be the greatest rapper of all-time at a time when everyone told me he was the worst rapper,” he explained to us about his conversations with the suits who run the record labels. “You understand? I had been shopping him, and everyone told me ‘He raps too fast.’” Feedback like this wasn’t about to dissuade the pair (alongside silent partner Kareem “Biggs” Burke), though, and they headed into studio feeling confident that they could birth the kind of record that would make their hustle’s potential turn to alchemical reality.

“Because we believed in it so much, you couldn’t even tell me that it wasn’t going to be the best album that was ever made,” Dash gushed. “And it’s funny because it became that.”

read more and watch video clips after the jump…


(DJ Clark Kent, Biggs, Jay and Irv Gotti)

“Back then, there wasn’t any money that had been presented to us,” Damon explained to us about the time before the politics of big business entered their world. “Like, that test had never presented itself. It was just pure ‘I’d jump in front of a bullet for you.’ Or, ‘Anybody mess with you, they mess with me.’ … That’s what kept us going; the fact that we were friends, brothers and we were making good music.”

“What’s so special about Reasonable Doubt is that it’s the foundation of everything I’ve done,” Jay-Z told our VH1 Classic Albums producers when Reasonable Doubt celebrated its tenth anniversary. “It’s the foundation of me leaving one life to another life. The foundation of my life, my career as a recording artist… it was the foundation [on] which everything was built.”

“I was on tour with Big, so I was playing Jay’s sh*t for him every day on the bus,” recalls Clark. “At that point, I had made him respect Jay’s craftsmanship.” So when Clark accidentally played the “Brooklyn’s Finest” beat in front of Biggie during a Unique Studios session with Junior M.A.F.I.A., Big heard it, and said he wanted it. “I told him it was for Jay, and he was like ‘you give Jay everything!’”

(Read the full story at VH1 / PT.2 )