"; ?> Rocafella BLOG 5.1 | ROC Podcast in the Works
Rocafella.comRocaWear.comOffical Kanye West Web SiteDash Films - Coming Soon


ROC Media Kit: RMK1.0
Quick Reviews
Aztek Escobar
The Charles' Critical Corner

Antman (MIA)
Nikki (coming soon)


Kanye does so why don't you. Speak your mind on the new Messageboard. Its up to you to build the community. Unlike Rocafella.com's forum its free.
Jay-Z & Timbaland »

What do you get when you take the greatest living rapper and the greatest hip hip producer. You get one hot album. Sign the petition and lets make it happen.

by rocafan on 11/04/2003 12:13:00 PM

Daily Hip-Hop News:
Damon Dash Reveals 'America' & New ROC Era
written by Carl Chery

Though established with various businesses, including Roc-A-Fella Records, Rocawear and Armadale Vodka, Damon Dash has a penchant for making moves and won't stop. Dash's latest venture has him teaming up with former Source Editor Smokey Fontaine for America Magazine- a brand new publication poised to redefine the state of current urban magazines. Between his various projects, Dash spoke with SOHH.com about America and Roc-A-Fella's post Jay-Z era.

"I was looking to get into the magazine business. At first I went to my man Carlito [of The Source] and told him come get with me. He was like, nah. I ain't trying to do that, but Smokey is and it was cool cause I knew Smokey. Smokey presented the whole thing to me. We wanted to make sure it was being objective and not mess with the integrity of the magazine. You know me putting all my Roc-A-Fella sh!t in there," Dash told SOHH.com via phone.

Smokey Fontaine agrees that editorial integrity, something many rap fans feel is sorely lacking at his former magazine The Source, is his highest priority. The embattled rap publication, accused by industry insiders over the years of selling mic ratings and pushing co-owner Ray Benzino's music projects has recently launched a campaign attacking Eminem and 50 Cent.

"That was the first cost of entry for me doing business with Dame. That he had to sign away all creative and editorial control," Fontaine said regarding Dame's input into the magazine. "And he was with that from the gate. It wasn't even a concern. This is not going to be a Notorious or a One World where it's branded with the name of the financier. He's like my wizard of Oz behind the scenes and is very eager to allow me to execute my vision the way I see it."

And with the landscape already quite saturated with Urban or Hip-Hop geared publications, Dash and Fontaine say America should sit among major fashion pubs like Vogue -- not Vibe or The Source.

"It's a totally different ball game... like in some ways I don't even like comparing it. This is going to be the magazine for the time that marries the [fashion and hip-hop] worlds and it's sophisticated enough to create the best images possible, but at the same come from a very authentic music place and Hip-Hop place without apology," Fontaine told SOHH.com "Hip-Hop is as broad as Pharrell Williams. It's as broad as Andre at the same time it's as credible as Jay and Missy and whoever else is out there like Lil Jon and The Eastsideboyz. To me Hip-Hop is a very broad term and that's what we're representing, just everything that Hip-Hop can be."

Indeed, America promises to be nothing like its counterparts. While The Source and XXL come in 8" by 11" formats, America will be 10" by 12." Furthermore, the magazine will be sold at $8 and be released every three months.

"Everything in 'America' is going to be grand. It's going to have a lot of scale to it so expect lots of in-your-face, full blown, almost full body images. And it's not going to be alternative. It's going to be the major artists covered in the best way possible," Fontaine revealed excitedly.

While most new publications start out slowly to gradually increase their coverage, Fontaine has no immediate plans to make America monthly. "I'll just make it thicker. Instead of a 250-page book that's going to start at. It'll be a 400-page book," Fontaine revealed. "I don't need to be more frequent than that because it's not going to be a magazine that makes bold statements."

Meanwhile, Dash's new venture is far from being his last one. In addition to crafting beats, Dame is busy making sure that The R-O-C keeps running this rap sh!t post the Jay-Z era.

"Well, you see what I'm doing. I'm recruiting. I got Cam. I'm very pleased with the Young Gunz, with Juelz," Dash told SOHH. "My new entry level is going to lead the new Hip-Hop generation and on top of that I still have Cam, M.O.P and Old Dirty. But it's time for everybody to evolve as artists and step it up. But my entry level blood is sick and my mid level is sick."

In the past two years, Dash has turned heads by signing unusual acts such as Old Dirty Bastard and Victoria "Posh sp!ce" Beckham to his Roc imprint.

"I'm always working. I'm always up to something. While you go to movies, I'm plotting, I'm planning while you're sleeping, I'm planning to take over the planet," Dash said confidently. "It's time to take it to another level on every level.

America Magazine is set to hit newsstands in February 2004.

Free Apple iPod Program