RAPPER – DA$H
Aside from being Damon Dash’s nephew, rapper Da$H is making waves of his own. He’s got strong ties with A$AP Rocky’s A$AP Mob and delivered and impressive mixtape which features one of the hot artists of the moment, Action Bronson. Da$H speaks to SPASHION about Polo Ralph Lauren, movies and artistic influences.
A sense of Mobb Deep comes through your rapping style. Who else did you listen to when growing up?
Definitely Mobb Deep, along with Method Man, Beanie Sigel and AZ.
You represent Heir Gang. Can you tell us more about your group?
Yes, Sir. (The Heir Gang brand can be expressed in many ways) Hz global. Heir Gang, H.igh E.veryday I.gnoring R.ule$ .
The Heirs are me. It includes my brother Keefy, my brother Stevie and at the moment is fronted by Retch and me. We’re from New Jersey, 201. We’re just trying to show the world a little bit of our lifestyle and give people a little of what we do from our perspective.
Retch and you come across as today’s Mobb Deep (Havoc and Prodigy). Do you two have a duel project in the pipeline?
We’re working on our next project, having put out ‘La Cienega’ back in September 2012. Retch and I grew up together so we were able to hone our skills when we started taking rap seriously. We always had a chemistry, like bread and butter, which meant it all came together well.
‘Brighton Beach’, referenced in in the mixtape, ‘V.I.C.E.S.’ shouldn’t be mixed up with the English town, Brighton. Have you been to England yet?
I haven’t yet. I haven’t been to Europe at all. I’m really trying to get there soon. I’ve actually got a couple of people trying to get me to do shows there, so hopefully you’ll catch me in the fall or winter.
The ‘Brighton Beach’ song came about because I was watching a film, ‘Lord of War’, starring Nicholas Cage. He [Cage] plays a character called Yuri Orlov and he was from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. So I mentioned him in the lyrics when I did the song and called the song Brighton Beach and it came full circle with the idea.
Is the track itself quite nostalgic in relation to you growing up?
Yeah, correct. The track was something for me to get a little personal, to give people a better look at me.
Artwork completes the packaging for any music project. Do you have any creative input into your mixtapes covers, which are very good?For ‘V.I.C.E.S’, I wanted to get just one picture that embodied everything that a person of my age would be indulging in at the time, especially me. I feel that if you’re able to control your vices, you’re able to indulge in anything you’d like to. My vices provide a very interesting life for me.
What have been key moments for you so far in the rap game?
I can’t say key moments, but being able to travel the country and do it with people I respect musically and personally. That shit means a lot. It’s big for me.
Where there any key moments on tour?
All of them to be honest with you, man! I’ve been to every State in the country and before then, I’d only been to five or six of them. So, being able to travel everywhere, seeing kids knowing a lot of the words to my music and being fans of mine blows my mind.
I started this [rapping] as something to do. This wasn’t going to be my career, my job or something to do with my life. It was more or less something to kill time when I was younger and now it’s become which is mind blowing to me.
Do you follow any sports or teams?
To be honest with you, I don’t follow any sports. I don’t watch any television, only Netflix.
What’s caught your eye on Netflix recently then?I watched a movie called, ‘The ABCs Of Death’, the other day, which was pretty crazy. There were 26 different Directors who all chose a letter out of the alphabet, and did a 5-minute short film, more or less, on a killing or murder in a horror movie style. Shit was really tight.
I saw ‘Platoon’ for the first time too. That film, for me, is a really big inspiration for my music. I’ve taken a big interest in movies since I was younger. Back at my house in New York, I have a DVD collection of 80+ DVDs. So, cinema is a big part of the music that I make.
Off the top of your head, what are your top five films then?
I’d say my top five are ‘The Usual Suspects’, ‘Heat’, ‘Wedding Crashers’, ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ and ‘Requiem For A Dream’.
That’s a very strong selection…
Having touched on the topic of sport, do you keep fit in any way?
Honestly, I don’t work out. My smoking habit keeps my metabolism pretty fast. I keep it skinny!
Polo Ralph Lauren is very relevant in your city and seems an important element in your wardrobe e.g. like the bucket hat in your ‘Brighton Beach’ video. Any key pieces amongst your hoard?
My hat’s become pretty signature — an all-over print ‘Lo bucket. The Polo Ralph Lauren thing is something we’ve been doing since high school and middle school. Me and my group of friends always felt Ralph Lauren was a sign of prestige. Ralph Lauren made stuff for any type of man for any type of time, so we took pride in our Polo.
I’ve still got a few pieces including a few bears and Polo Sport things. My brother was totally on the Lo Life and pretty much has everything he could load up on. We’re gonna make that shit popular again. They need to start putting us in their lookbooks because we’re about to make that shit pop again!
How would you describe your clothing style in general?
Other than Polo, I don’t really pay for clothes. There are a few street wear brands like DURKL, Deadline and Diamond.
What’s your preference for footwear?
I just wear my Air Jordans. I try to keep my Jordans unretroed and keep ‘em based. A lot of my Jordans are from ’02 and ’03, so they’re pretty messed up, but I wear the same pairs almost every day! I got the AJ 3s from then, 5s from ’99. I got 4 or 5 pairs in rotation.