When the Bough Breaks: Damon Dash Shows Us What NOT To Do with Money


For the record, let’s set the record straight.

When the bough breaks, the whole danged crib falls – not just the cradle.

Celebrity news is not news unless it has some applicable reference to the rest of us who are reading about it. Celebrity news just for the sake of drama…nah. But …

Somebody lied and told white America that “Blah” people, for the most part, are some special kind of “socialists” who like to “spread the wealth” using what they call OPM (other people’s money).

Horse hockey.

We have never had a problem with capitalism, we’ve had an issue with outright stank overbloated unmitigated unwarranted GREED.

Spread the wealth, don't hoard it.
Capitalism, in its highest form, is SPREADING THE WEALTH.

The capitalist system becomes a Ponzi scheme when it is wrongly used. In it’s best and most highest form, capitalism IS the spreading of wealth.

That was the point of capitalism before ‘somebody’ got greedy, don’t bother calling names … they know who they are. As to OPM, America has been using Black people’s ‘other money’ to get rich off of and feed themselves for centuries–it’s time to own and control that conversation. Any of us who do get welfare, we -our ancestors, that is- most certainly did earn it; and we still don’t have the 40 acres OR the mule to this day.

A while back, I used these words on a Facebook forum “I’d rather spread the wealth than hoard the wealth any day.”

That was over a year ago. That post is still getting “likes” some more than 5,000 “FB likes” later. Hayell, I didn’t know that many people were listening, let alone reading my posts–the obligatory “LOL.”

That said, news recently broke about Damon Dash, former hip-hop/rap music industry partner of multi-million-dollar mogul “JayZ” Carter–a Black capitalist who teaches all of us a hard lesson about making boatloads of money and thinking we’ve “made it”, or at least surpassed other Black people simply because our tax bracket is higher.

With that in mind, we have to understand that whatever a Black entertainer gets doesn’t amount to 1/10th of what his owners are getting to rent him out and pimp him to us, thus putting one more lead drainpipe into the state of the Black economy just to keep the majority of us FROM becoming good capitalists.

The news about Dash isn’t good news, but it is the usual and expected news with those who used to have it like that.

He is now facing eviction and is in the midst of filing a potential bankruptcy. Yeah yeah. Who didn’t see that one coming back in 2004 when the couple parted ways? It was only a matter of time and JayZ was already on top of the game when it happened.

Here are the financial and monetary echoes that we hear coming out of Dash’s camp, and that of those like him:

Lesson 1: The million-dollar mansion and lofts should have been gone when the two of them broke it off.

If you lose a partnership, it’s time to make some cuts THEN, not after the county sheriff is knocking at your door with a notice telling you to vacate the premises. Take the cut and step back from it so you can reorganize yourself while you can still recognize yourself.

One can only live in one place and drive one car at a time. Idealistically and in UtopiaLand, seven hundred dollars a month for rent is too much to pay if you are not on the beneficiary end of the rent payments.

Anybody who can get enough cash together to get himself $7.3 MILLION in debt on mortgages had enough money to remake himself before everything came crashing down. Most certainly, he could have made an investment in St.Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia, and turned it into a STEM Academy and would not ┬áhave been in this debt in the first place. That was an outright cash purchase and refurbish type of money that would have made him money and invested in the Black community at the same time.

As a consultant on Black companies who are lined up and ready to rebuild with other Africans and African-Americans, and who innerstand nation-building, it’s my job to find and scout out these opportunities. Along with my “partner in crime” (a/k/a ‘HBCUKidz’), we raise the bar on stopping the bleed in the Black community through land loss and present those opportunities to people as potential for mergers, acquisitions and conglomerations. We also work to match these potential opportunities to resources that can make it happen. We don’t work with properties only, but also with Black businesses and individuals who don’t want to own businesses, but are just looking for work — hopefully with a Black-owned company when we can flush one out of the masses.

There is a lot more that Black folks with money, and Black churches who make million-dollar deposits on the Monday after Collection Sunday, can be doing to nation-build and to restore a very Black American Community that doesn’t have a chance in hayell of surviving without these conglomerations and alliances.

Lesson 2: Warren Buffett, a self-made billionaire, lives off of less than $500,000 a year and pays his average employee more than $50,000 a year.

He didn’t get rich sitting around cursing about capitalism, but he also understood, AFTER he got rich, that there isn’t a house on this planet worth more than $500,000. Nah, he didn’t actually “say” that — but the only house you can afford is how much you can afford to pay off in cash if something goes wrong.

Yeah, I know … we love debt, especially if it buys us something people can come in and ogle, but is it worth it after the “OOohh aaahhhh you have a beautiful house!” is over? Money is here to be used, not abused. Raise your hand if you think you can’t make it off $490,000 a year. Some of you have been working for years and are still waiting on that $50k — $490k and you’ll be trying to buy a $35k purse like Oprah’s, in a heartbeat.

Lesson 3: I know of a Black woman who owned a fitness center who, in the very first year that she sold her personality and drove business to her gym, made her first million. Her customers didn’t need her gym, they loved her to death…and she was a socialite busy-body with glamour and sophistication who attracted people like bears to honey.

What’s the first thing she did with that first million?

Bought a BIG house, three BIG cars, and started taking luxury vacations to every country outside of the USA that she could find … cruises, flights, the whole nine. Instead of reinvesting her money in her business and her PEOPLE, she spent it. Dug up her own seed and ate it is what she did.

Meantime, an LA Fitness opened less than three blocks from her…with shiny new equipment and working treadmills; and the only thing that came out of her mouth was that she couldn’t “afford” what the Big Guys could afford. Really?

Those cars and that house, when she moved out of her two-bedroom apartment, were worth way more money than it would have cost her to even FINANCE some new treadmills and keep her business prospering.

What happened?

Her loyal clients hung in there as long as they could, considering that she was the first Black businesswoman to accomplish what she did, but after awhile — a working treadmill is a working treadmill, especially if it comes with a Juice Bar, clean new lockers, clean showers, and Daycare center, something she had more than ample opportunity to do with her business if she had stayed in her apartment for the first three years after making that first million.

Get a clue: A million dollars has become pocket change in today’s world.

Once you get a million, turn it into five million BEFORE you move out of your two-bedroom apartment, and even then … always remember that there’s not a house in the nation that is WORTH more than $250,000 to $500,000 market value–no matter how much debt you sign yourself into to get at it.

Lesson 4: There’s nothing wrong with capitalism — the problem comes in with what is done with the spoils of achievement.

Damon Dash is one of many of his kind who should have gotten the message through to the rest of us by now that using capitalism to “bling and impress” instead of to think, address and redress is never a good plan.

All roads lead to bankruptcy when money is not used for the purpose for which it was created.


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PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.


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