Damon Dash’s musical ensemble, The Black Guns, along with Freeway, has unveiled the music video for their upcoming collaborative album’s lead single and title track, “365,” set to release in early 2024.

Directed by Dash and executive produced by Wesley Barnett, the video showcases Freeway and Dash’s musical journey from the studio to the stage, with Freeway taking the mic and Dash leading the band. Produced by The Black Guns, “365” features a fusion of live instrumentation, blending rock and Hip-Hop—a genre combination Dash played a key role in introducing to Hip-Hop more than a decade ago.

Apart from his significant presence in the rap scene, Dash gained renown for exploring the indie-rock genre through his BlakRoc project and played a key role in the discovery of The Black Keys in the late 2000s. Following the release of a highly praised compilation album in 2009, BlakRoc evolved into BluRoc, with Dame enthusiastically participating as the lead singer of The Black Guns.

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According to Dash, the musical direction he and the band aim to showcase combines elements from two realms that have brought him joy and success as an executive. Describing it as more than just rap or rock, he dubs it “rock-soul,” emphasizing the need for their work to be a unique and unprecedented artistic substance. Nearly thirty years since co-founding the legendary record label, Dash is determined to revive the essence cultivated with his peers. In pursuit of this mission, he has joined forces with former Roc-A-Fella artist Freeway, inspired by the strength and resilience Freeway demonstrated during medical challenges and personal hardships, leading Dash to incorporate the Islamic emcee into the project.

“I saw how he was becoming a general over there at State Property, plus doing all the stuff with the schools,” Dash recalled. “And it was like ‘Let’s do a project.’ That’s the Roc-A-Fella sh*t I’m talking ’bout. So in spirit, I just was like ‘Roc-A-Fella ain’t gonna ever gonna die, it’s just when I feel like doing something.’ And we’re rock stars, so we ain’t gonna come back and do no old sh*t. We’re older, we’re gonna come back and do what we do. This is what rock stars look like. We fight for education and sh*t, we deal with adversity and we’re still here. And that’s Roc-A-Fella/State Property. That’s what it is, so this is that.”

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Freeway, who dropped his inaugural solo album “Philadelphia Freeway” in 2003, also shared insights into teaming up with his former employer for his latest project. “Reuniting and collaborating with Dame has been a genuine honor and joy. Our connection, facilitated by OSG, felt seamless as if no time had elapsed. We’ve embarked on an exciting educational venture, and witnessing the remarkable progress we’ve achieved is truly inspiring. Keep an eye out for our upcoming rock ‘n’ roll endeavor, set to be nothing less than extraordinary.”

Regarding 365, the 52-year-old disclosed that the album is already finished, having been recorded over a five-day span during the State Property member’s visit to his Florida compound. Dash confidently declared, “The album’s done.” He described his studio as a blend of a movie studio and a music studio, where Freeway joined him and his band to create 10 records and shoot the music video for “365.” The rollout for 365 will encompass educational content, a documentary capturing the album’s creation, a captivating television series, and potentially, a movie. Dash hinted at a zombie movie titled “Dead Weight,” emphasizing the expansive nature of the project with up to eight verticals.

The music will be featured in that, and it’s under BluRoc, a music division of the Dash Group, along with the America Nu Network. Dash foresees monthly milestones throughout 2024, with a potential tour announcement in the first quarter. The 365 documentary, closely aligned with the album’s release, will unveil the intricate process behind the creation of music, visuals, merchandise, and other media assets by Dash and his team.

“We conducted the podcast during the documentary production process,” he mentioned regarding the upcoming release on America Nu Network. “In just five days, we managed two podcasts, a live performance, crafted merchandise designs, executed a photo shoot, and completed the VIBE cover shoot—all while recording every moment.”

A common element weaving Dash, Freeway, The Black Guns, and 365 together is the Off School Grounds (OSG), a nonprofit committed to promoting ethical leadership within schools and communities, as stated on its website. Dash, when discussing the album’s overarching theme and anticipated content, pointed to OSG, highlighting shared objectives and expressing his aspirations for the project’s impact.

“This is about teaching people the art of dreaming,” expressed the Hip-Hop legend. “Education and dreaming are intertwined because the OSG brought us together, serving as our inspiration. When you listen to our message in ‘365,’ it emphasizes the dedication to working on your dream every day, around the clock. Having a dream means hustling tirelessly on it, and some of our tracks delve into that dreamlike realm.

“We also created a few remixes of his older tracks—about two or three of those. Overall, it was a collaborative effort with a band, resulting in the creation of ten records within just five days. We ventured into videos, merch, and everything in between. When your focus aligns with your passion and genuine intentions, everything seamlessly falls into place.”

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