Earlier this year, Damon Dash — the controversial co-founder of Roc-a-Fella Records and former manager of Jay-Z — gave a heated interview on New York’s Power 105.1. Over the course of the hour-long debate on the basics of business, Dash infamously called people with jobs “lazy,” and accused the station’s hosts, Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy, of not being “real men” because they answer to a boss.
“I taught my son never to have a boss. He’s 23. He owns a restaurant,” Dash said defiantly, donning a pair of large, dark sunglasses. “He has cookies.”
The interview quickly went viral, with the words “My son has cookies” plastered over memes of Dash’s face, packages of baked treats clutched passionately in his hand.
The proclamation was not a metaphor, however, nor was it the latest idiom in hip-hop slang. Dame Dash’s son, Boogie, does indeed have cookies. Real cookies. So many cookies, in fact, that he’s started his own cookie company, Chipz, in order to bring his product to gourmet food stores throughout New York City.
“Secretly, when I was younger, I always wanted to own a grocery store. I never told nobody,” Boogie tells the Voice. “Growing up, I never really wanted to do what my dad did. I always wanted to do something different, because doing what he did was what’s expected of me.”
Boogie’s father has helmed many enterprises over the years — record labels, clothing companies, movie studios, art galleries, you name it — but until now, cookies were never a part of the Dash family business. It might be difficult for some to reconcile the image of Dame popping bottles atop a yacht in Jay-Z’s legendary “Big Pimpin” video, or heroically facing off against Bill O’Reilly alongside Dipset’s Cam’Ron, with visions of baking ovens and cookie sheets. But Boogie has, in his own way, inherited his father’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Along with childhood friend and business partner Luke Pascal — whose father, Vincent Pascal, heads New York’s Ark Restaurants Corp. — Boogie has successfully turned Chipz into the “hip-hop cookie.” It is perhaps the only dessert item in history to be both offered in Zabar’s on the Upper West Side and reviewed by the rapper Lil’ Scrappy.
“Obviously that demographic is going to be there because of Damon and Boogie, but we really wanted to make a high-end product that could be sold in speciality grocery stores,” Pascal says. “Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, how much did Dame put in? How much did your dad put in?’ They didn’t put in a dollar. They gave us our knowledge.”
Boogie and Pascal have indeed built Chipz from the ground up on their own, also launching a record label and two eateries across the river in New Jersey. But while the sweat and money is theirs, neither deny that their fathers have helped them along the way with invaluable connections and business lessons.
“I’m definitely embracing it and I’m definitely taking full advantage of it, because it would be kind of silly for me not to take advantage of my father and his status in the world,” Boogie says. “He always promotes the cookies.”