Jay-Z co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with partners Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke. Def Jam purchased a 50% stake in the company in 1997 for a reported $1.5 million. 
In late 2004, Jay-Z, Dash and Biggs sold their remaining interests in Roc-A-Fella Records and the Def Jam Recordings by Island Def Jam chairman L. A. Reid . Reportedly this major industry move was prompted by disagreement between Jay-Z and Dash as to what new ventures Roc-A-Fella could undertake.
The publicized split between Jay-Z, Dash and Biggs led to the former partners sending jabs at each other in interviews. Dame Dash has made comments that after the break up he was portrayed as " Osama Bin Laden " to ensure that rappers would stay with Jay-Z and not sign with him.  Dash currently operates the recently-founded Dame Dash Music Group as a joint venture with Island Def Jam producing former Roc-A-Fella artists such as Beanie Sigel
Rocawear and fashion
Founded in 1995 by music moguls Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke, The ROC has been at the forefront of hip hop's evolution into a borderless, global lifestyle. Serving as The ROC's initial launching pad was Roc-A-Fella Records. Realizing their ability to create culture far transcended the realm of music, the trio founded the apparel company Rocawear. Like Roc-A-Fella Records, Rocawear quickly staked its claim in hip-hop history by becoming the brand of choice for street savvy consumers. Rocawear has concentrated on providing its costumer with clever innovation in terms of fabrication, application, and design. The brand's attention to detail has given Rocawear an appeal far and beyond its core urban customer. Ten years have passed since the genesis of The ROC and a dynasty now reigns. Today, Rocawear is a dominant lifestyle apparel brand for a wide range of customers, with annual retail sales over $700 million. Inspired by an urban aesthetic rooted in young men's sportswear, Rocawear has expanded its brand through licensing pacts to develop lines for children (Kids Headquarters), junior's (Signature), socks and sandals (Gina Group), leather suede and fur outerwear (Gordon & Ferguson and Brandon Thomas) handbags and belts (M.London), loungewear and big & tall (Endurance), headwear (Nas Industries) jewelry (Lucas Design) and sunglasses (Color in Optics); as well as co-branded product with Pro-Keds. By incorporating international impulses into the Rocawear Style, the brand has expanded its appeal beyond the national borders and has become a brand of international significance. As a result, Rocawear boasts offices in the UK, Japan, Canada, and Europe. All in all Rocawear defines the lifestyle for today's young hip consumer and provides the efficient business acumen to retail partners necessary to be successful. As the ad campaign tag-line goes......WE RUN THE STRIP. 18.104.22.168 18:24, 17 January 2007 (UTC)?è?? 22.214.171.124 18:24, 17 January 2007 (UTC)