NyMag.Com: In Esquire’s upcoming “People Who Matter” issue, writer Lisa Taddeo investigates Jay-Z’s cross-market appeal. She lets a few ho-hum theories fly — apparently, Jay-Z is successful because he is both a “gangster from the hood” and a “CEO in the boardroom” — and doesn’t get much access*, but the stuff about Steve Stoute and Jay-Z’s advice for Johnson & Johnson (“Baby oil, Jay suggested, should be marketed for its other uses, to remove makeup or to mix with suntan lotion so it glides on smoother”) is pretty great. Our favorite bit, though, came courtesy of Damon Dash. Unsurprisingly, Jay’s former bestie was available for interviews, and he provides the following anecdote about “the day he knew he’d lost Jay-Z.”
“It was me and Jay and the two Russians voting on every [Rocawear] decision, and I controlled the vote, because I always had Jay’s vote.” The two Russians were Alex Bize and Norton Cher, old-school clothing slingers from Manhattan’s garment district who ran the day-to-day operations. “But one day,” Dash says, “they brought me to a hotel … I said, ‘Why are we meeting at a hotel?’ and it was because they didn’t want anyone to hear me yelling. That was the day they told me they didn’t want [celebrity photographer] Mario Testino to shoot the ads.” Instead, they were going with someone cheaper, and they were going in a different direction altogether. “Here the Russians were telling me how to cater to my people! I wanted [Rocawear] to be sold at Bergdorf Goodman’s, not Dr. Jay’s!”
So there you go: Jay-Z and Damon Dash aren’t friends anymore because Jay-Z is cheap.