Boom! Clark’s baby cousin Inga Marchand, p/k/a “Foxy Brown” made some noise and started a bidding war between Def Jam, Bad Boy, Elektra and a bunch of other labels. On the strength, they snatched her yung ass up for what would end up being the monster single “Ain’t No Nigga”. Damon played that single for me in his new offices, then located in the Wall Street area. Nigga was doing that goofy “Dame dance” with the mock dice roll even then. That record was a monster!!! Inga single handedly, in my opinion, saved Jay-Z’s career. Without her on that record, and Reasonable Doubt being Jay’s last shot, the world at large might have never heard of Shawn Carter. (Niggas don’t really put 2 and 2 together, realizing that Jay had been trying to get on since like 1987, ’88, damn near close to 10 years before Reasonable Doubt!!!)
Reasonable Doubt dropped and sold gold out the gate. 500,000 units. Priority never expected that. Owed Dame $1,000,000.00 but couldn’t, wouldn’t pay up. Enter Irv Gotti, who snatched up the “Ain’t No Nigga” single for the “Nutty Professor” soundtrack. That led to Roc-a-fella eventually landing at Def Jam. The rest, as they say, is history. Let me set the record straight, here, and once and for all. Without Dame, there would be no Jay-Z. I know it. I said it. And I said it here.
Damon Dash’s former attorney talks about the early days of Roc A Fella records, an interesting read. I think its outlandish to say Hov would of never blew up without Damon Dash. Jay-Z will say well make another Hov, which I think he is trying to do with Jim Jones.