Record executive Steve Stoute recently sat down with Complex magazine for quite the in-depth interview which touched on everything from his part in helping to launch Nas’ career to Jay-Z’s falling out with Damon Dash.
Stoute spoke with the magazine in great detail about his first meeting with Nas and his desire to help the Queensbridge rapper excel with his music career.
“I had a vision for him. I felt like it was my job to make him the biggest guy in the world. I wanted the world to hear his music,” Stoute explained. “I didn’t want him to become a great lyricist but end up like Kool G Rap, a lyricist the world doesn’t get to hear. I felt like I could take the responsibility and make the Nas movement bigger and not keep it confined to the Tri-State area, so to speak. He allowed me to do that. When we were together, we made a lot of noise and I made him an international star.”
While Stoute's a man of many business ventures there was one that didn’t quite come to fruition and it was his Jay-Z Blue deal with Pantone, the self-described world-renowned authority on color and provider of color system.
“Jay-Z Blue was a brilliant concept that we went through a lot of hurdles to get to be a Pantone color chip,” said Stoute. “And it was one of those things that we started that we didn’t finish when we should have, but we’re working on finishing now. That’s the answer…The Jay-Z Jeep deal was a part of the Jay-Z Blue deal. In fact, the story’s right over there if you want to look at it. If you want to read it, I had it framed. We showed the car at the Detroit auto show.”
Towards the end of his interview Stoute spoke on Jay-Z’s relationship with Damon Dash and commented on Dash’s remarks about him hurting his relationship with the rapper.
“I have this theory, don’t blame the bat, blame the player swinging the bat. I had nothing to do with it. If your relationship with somebody’s falling apart, don’t blame it on the third party cause we’ve gotten close. You’ve grown apart,” said Stoute when asked about Dame Dash’s comments on him being responsible for his gradual falling apart with Jay-Z. “They obviously grew far apart and he felt like they grew apart because Jay and I grew closer as friends…They had all kinds of issues, who owns the Roc-A-Fella name, this, that, and the third. It was all over the place.”