Rap mogul Damon Dash has defended signing ex-SPICE GIRL singer VICTORIA BECKHAM to his ROCAFELLA RECORDS label - insisting he always knows what's "hot".

The svengali surprised hip-hop fans when he hooked up with David Beckham's wife, as she has only ever made commercial pop records, with her solo career proving unsuccessful.

Nonetheless, Dash's helping her change her musical direction to something more urban - teaming her up with one of his hottest acts - and has signed her to be the face of his ROC-A-WEAR clothing label, alongside Naomi Campbell.

And despite some leveling criticism at Dash for this unorthodox choice, he is unrepentant.

He says, "I keep hearing that everyone's questioning it. But they must know I've always been consistent with my brand.

"If I get involved with somebody, it's definitely going to be hot and I'll always pay attention to my hip-hop ties. That's why I've got M.O.P. on there, not CAM or Jay-Z. I'm starting her with the real hardcore hip-hop."

18/09/2003 18:14