Kanye West’s camp is denying claims made by Damon Dash in December’s Complex magazine suggesting that Jay-Z’s refusal to give his Roc-A-Fella chain to West at a 2003 concert sparked a longstanding beef between the two rappers.
Dash tells Complex that in 2003, the then-up-and-coming West expected ruling Roc-A-Fella artist Jay to “knight” him by presenting him with the diamond chain as a sign of acceptance into the label’s family. But, according to Dash, Jay didn’t want to give it up.
“This ni**a [Kanye] was like, ‘Wow. [Jay-Z] ain’t going to give me the chain,'” Dash tells Complex. “I had to take off my chain and give it to him, and I was heated. I had the real canary diamonds. That sh** cost $40,000! I told Kanye, ‘Yo, you got to give that back when we get off this stage!'”
Dash contends that after Jay-Z violated the code of hip-hop chivalry, “Kanye hated Jay-Z.” But a rep for West told the New York Daily News that the whole story is “ridiculous and totally false.”
“This is sad,” the paper quotes of the source. “Damon does this every time he’s promoting an artist. He just makes things up. They’re both on [Def Jam],” the source continues. “They’re friends and always have been.”
The paper quotes another “hip-hop insider” who adds: “No one has ever said that Kanye hated Jay. [West, Jay-Z and Dash] were all together at one point every single day. To say he hated him back then is silly.”
“Damon wants to blow [Jim Jones] up,” the source agreed, noting that Dash is producing a documentary about Jones in which Dash introduces the rapper to influential acquaintances, like Vogue editor Anna Wintour. “We’ll see how this plays out.”
The full interview with Dash and Jones is available at Complex.com.