The Diplomats released a new single today called “Once Upon a Time,” in which Cam’ron and Jim Jones more or less attempt to relive the glory of their heyday via a squealing pitched-up soul sample courtesy of longtime collaborators The Hitmakerz. The song is pretty good, but there also isn’t a ton to get excited about, and perhaps the most interesting part of the whole thing is when Cam raps about Harvey Weinstein. A few lines from his verse go like this:
No disrespecting the ladies, word from my team
That’s the reason Dame smacked Harvey Weinstein
On the set of Paid In Full, y’all gave him hell about it
Some foul shit happened once, Capo, tell ’em about it
Paid in Full was a 2002 movie based on the lives of a few legendary Harlem drug dealers, one of whom was played by Cam himself, and the others by Wood Harris and Mekhi Phifer. The movie was distributed by Miramax, the company founded by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob, and produced by Dimension Films, Bob’s vanity label under the Miramax umbrella. Cam’s verse implies that during the production of Paid in Full, Damon Dash—then an executive at Roc-A-Fella, where Cam was signed, and a producer on the film, along with Jay-Z and Brett Ratner—discovered Weinstein acting inappropriately towards women, at which point in Cam’s words, in his words, he smacked him.
Dash, as MTV points out, recently spoke about his interactions with Weinstein in the wake of the New York Times’ reporting on Weinstein’s long alleged history of sexual harassment and abuse. In that interview, Dash is fairly vague about what exactly he understood Weinstein to have done, but did say, “You know I made Paid in Full with them, but I never made another movie with them. I never worked with them again. Why do you think that is?”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, if you dig deeper into the Google results, the water gets murkier. In 2005, New York magazine picked up an item from Don Diva magazine, in which Dash was quoted as saying that he came across Weinstein at Cannes and “snatched his bitch—he had a girl and I knew her, so I said ‘Give me her.'” Through a publicist, Weinstein then told New York, “Damon’s a first-class talent, and I thoroughly enjoy our good-natured trash-talking.”
So, is it true that Dame Dash smacked Harvey Weinstein? Maybe. Was it over the harassment of women? Maybe. Does rap music make for good gossip and even better lies? Yes.