“Damn, who knew?/All the planes we flew, good things we been through/That I’d be standing right here talking to you”
It started around 2009 when Dame Dash (With help from Johny Shipes) quietly stacked an underrated talent of artists that, well, we haven’t seen since Roc-A-Fella. Under his media collective DD172, Dash rented a four-story warehouse that would see some of the biggest artists today (mainstream and underground) come through, whether they were signed or simply hanging out. It’d be foolish to say Dash was the sole force behind these artists success, but we must credit him for having an eye for talent, post-Roc-A-Fella, which, for all instants and purposes, people identify as the end of Dash.
Before Wiz Khalifa made his major-label debut on Atlantic Records in 2011 with Rolling Papers, he was owning the mixtape game with the following: How Fly (with Curren$y), Burn After Rolling and Kush & Orange Juice. In fact, Khalifa and Curren$y made some of their best music hanging with Dash in DD172. In addition to their collaborative mixtape, “Friendly” is another staple track for the duo. To this day, Khalifa attempts to fit in one collaboration an album with his should-have-been best man (Curren$y overslept from a weed nap). Khalifa would meet Stalley, too, at DD172, though the pair has yet to collaborate.
Wiz Khalifa x Dame Dash = pic.twitter.com/GVsxxncMoO
— DatPiff (@DatPiff) October 21, 2014
Mentioned above, Curren$y’s relationship with Dame Dash soured after the former released his albums Pilot Talk and Pilot Talk II without Curren$y’s authorization. Ultimately, Curren$y was awarded $3 million in a settlement, but before that, Curren$y and Dame Dash’s relationship lead to Curren$y meeting frequent collaborator Stalley, Ski Beatz and Smoke Dza, among others. While the albums were released without authorization, the first two Pilot Talks are arguably Curren$y’s best work in an extensive catalog. “Address” (feat. Stalley) is still in rotation for me to this day.
Before he became an MMG cast off, Stalley built his underground presence recording music at DD172 after leaving LIU Brooklyn after a basketball injury. In hindsight, perhaps Stalley should’ve signed with Curren$y’s Jet Life Recordings label or stayed with Dame Dash a little longer, as he was buried behind Rick Ross, Meek Mill and Wale. In fact, I remember meeting Stalley in West Philly at a Converse event right after his signing. I thought he’d be selling out the Wells Fargo Center by now. Time will tell, but the Ohio native has carved out a lane in the underground at the least. “Spaceship and Woodgrains” is one of the greatest tracks to be made within the last 10 years.
Stalley on how Dame Dash inspired him by sleeping on him! https://t.co/4GXUMUjip4
— Premium Pete Show (@premiumpeteshow) January 26, 2018
Producer Ski Beatz saw a career renaissance while at DD172. In fact, he produced “Address” for Curren$y and Stalley, working with Wiz Khalifa pre-mainstream, too. Because of Ski, Mos Def and Jay Electronica would stop by DD172. Mos Def produced “Breakfast” on Curren$y’s Pilot Talk. (It’s crazy to think of the level of production all of these artists had early in their careers). His debut album 24 Hour Karate School showcased the entire collection of artists that were mainstays or would stop by from time to time at DD172. Features included: Curren$y, Smoke Dza, Jim Jones, Mos Def, The Cool Kids, Jay Electronica and Stalley.
Mickey Factz (No disrespect, but it’s hard to say Factz lived up to his potential)
Big Krit (Krit was around, but I’m not too sure on his involvement with Dame Dash)
I promise you this all happened. If you don’t believe me check out the video below.
“Y’all in the same game, that means y’all all related,” Dash said in the video. “10 years later y’all gonna still know each other. 20 years later y’all should still be friends.”