David S. Ash has been a part of, and helped impact the hip-hop game for over 25 years. Ash, the President and CEO of Worldwide Enterprise and Founder of We Fight Against Diabetes got his start in hip-hop by working with Arista Records’ label as a part of their D&D Project. He continued to work as an artist developer with the distinguished and famous D & D Studios in the early 90s. Before it closed its’s doors in 2015, D & D Studios was the recording epicenter for some of the most iconic names in hip-hop, and in the music industry at-large. Major recording artists such as Biggie Smalls, Jay Z, Nas, Christina Aguilera, and Gang Starr, all recorded songs at D & D Studios. Over the years, David S. Ash has had a first row seat to the evolution of hip-hop. This multi-talented musician and businessman took time out to chat with Industry Rules about his involvement and connections with some of the most well-known names in the industry, how the genre has changed, and what he is doing to help combat America’s growing diabetes crisis.

IA: Where are you from? What are your roots?

DA: Originally, I’m from a small town called Demopolis, Alabama. Better known as the River City. The closet city is Selma, Alabama. I graduated from Alabama State University. I had the best of both worlds – I was raised in Demopolis, but my parents lived in New York. I came to New York every summer.

IA: How did you get into music? What was your entry?

DSA: I loved the culture first and foremost. Music was just a part of my life. It started out as something we just did, then it became something I couldn’t do without.

IA: You grew up with Tupac and witnessed the recording of most of his All Eyez On Me album. Can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with the legend? 

DSA: Our friendship started way before the hit records and movies. We grew up together for a short period of time. Tupac came from Baltimore every summer before moving to California. His stayed Aunt directly across the street from me on 183rd Walton Ave. The first rap group we put together was New York Incorporated, with his sister (Jamala), his cousin (Kenny), and a few others. To see him develop into this legendary artist and actor was no surprise. He was entertaining us way before he started to entertain the world. I was on a visit with Tupac the day Suge Knight and his lawyer drafted the contract on a legal pad, that later landed him on Death Row and his release from Clinton Correctional Facility. Looking back on it all, I must say he was before his time and that’s why he is still relevant until this day.

IA: Do you have anything currently in the works? 

DSA: My label Worldwide Music Group just released the soundtrack to the movie called, Paying Mr. McGetty, which will be in theaters on May 23, 2018.  We compiled the soundtrack and scored the music for the movie. My artist, Etcetera, is the Executive Producer and I am the Co-Producer for the soundtrack. Etcetera is a 4-time Grammy certified recording artist from Brooklyn, New York. Also, we created the soundtrack and scored the music for the independent film, M.O.T.H. (Matter of the Heart). Both soundtracks will be released by Worldwide Music Group and are available digitally everywhere. Finally, some upcoming projects include Etcetera’s new single from his upcoming album in June. Another project is with Elite Supreme Production – one of most premier production teams’ from Dallas, Texas. I have major respect for Suave, Real Mike Dubb, Cheddar, and King John.

IA: Not only are you heavily involved in the music industry but you participate in various charitable initiatives. What are you working on philanthropically? 

DSA: I started a new organization called We Fight Against Diabetes (Good Cause Production), with my business partner & Co-Founder Merrco Turner. It is something that is dear to my heart, and is something we felt that it was important to be a part of, to get out in front of, and give people the information that they needed. Diabetes causes more deaths per year than Breast Cancer and AIDS combined. Obesity is a major risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes, which is the type of diabetes affecting 90-95% of Americans today. We Fight Against Diabetes (Good Cause Production) partnered with the American Diabetes Association to bring more awareness to this silent disease.

IA: When did you begin this initiative for Diabetes awareness? 

DSA: It started about 3 years ago. A dear friend of mine, his father had passed from complications of the disease. It started as something we wanted to pay homage to, and to honor someone. It went from that to developing into this moment that we’re now trying to press forward. Our partnership with the American Diabetes Association began in October 2017. It’s very new. This campaign really took shape when I partnered with Merrco Turner, who helped with the structuring of the team that would be needed to transform this idea into a business plan.

IA: Are you primarily working with in New York City or will this movement be national? 

DSA: We are really doing it on a national basis. And, that was the whole objective, when we sat down with the American Diabetes Association. Everything is pretty much localized and they have their own chapters. But, we want to bring it on a country-wide scale as far as spreading the message about early testing, early screening, and having it a part of day-to-day conversation. It’s like the fear factor is not there. We want people not to be fearful of the disease, but to be aware. Exercising, eating properly, and dieting are keys. And, to understand that if this is not treated properly it can end very badly for you or a loved one. Awareness and early testing is the key.

To learn more about diabetes news, how to manage the disease, and/or to donate to the cause please visitwww.diabetes.org/

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