JERMAINE DUPRI BIOGRAPHY:
Jermaine Dupri, also known simply as J.D., was born Jermaine Dupri Mauldin in Asheville, North Carolina, USA, on September 23, 1973. He grew up in the College Park community of Atlanta, Georgia. His father, Michael Mauldin, is the former president of Columbia Records. Dupri was first introduced to the music business at an early age by his father, who at the time was a concert promoter and manager of rap and R&B; groups. He dropped his last name (Mauldin) as a teenager and started out as a breakdancer for artists such as Diana Ross.
Dupri became the youngest charting producer in the history of music at age 14. Later in his career he went on to produce a number of hits for platinum artists such as TLC, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Bow Wow and also helped get Mariah Carey the nickname "the Comeback Queen" with the best selling album of 2005, 'The Emancipation of Mimi'. Dupri is also the youngest ever inductee to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 16, 2006, introduced by Quincy Jones and Russell Simmons.
He began performing around the country, appearing with Herbie Hancock and Cameo before he opened the New York Fresh Festival, with Run-D.M.C., Whodini, and Grandmaster Flash. Dupri's production career began in 1987, when at the age of 14 he produced and secured a record contract for the trio Silk Tymes Leather. Two years later, he formed So So Def Productions in Atlanta; by 1991 Dupri had found his first platinum act in the form of Kris Kross.
After seeing the pint-size rap duo Kris Kross performing in a local mall, he quickyl signed them up and started to prepare their debut album. That album, Totally Krossed Out, spent two weeks at number one, and quickly sold four-million copies. However Kris Kross' lack of staying power was somewhat obvious to Dupri, and so he kept working on other projects too, producing tracks on TLC's first two albums, which sold over 15-million copies between the two.
During 1993-1994, Dupri debuted two of his new So So Def acts, Xscape and Da Brat. Both debut albums hit platinum, thanks in large part to Dupri, and by the end of 1994, he had become one of the most respected R&B; producers within the business. He worked with superstar Mariah Carey and old-school rap legends like Run-D.M.C. and Whodini. Dupri's next major success came in 1997, when he took over the production for a sophomore album by a then teenage R&B; singer, Usher. The album, My Way, became one of the biggest of the year, selling over two-million copies in the first three months of release alone.
Following the footsteps of fellow super producer Sean "Puffy" Combs (P. Diddy), who debuted a successful solo project in mid-1997, Dupri returned to performing in early 1998 with a single, "The Party Continues", featuring Usher & Da Brat. After collaborating with Snoop Doggy Dogg, fellow Atlanta residents Outkast, Slick Rick, Nas, and Master P, he released his debut solo album, Life in 1492, under the moniker of "J.D." The album was released upon his own label 'So So DefRecordings', and was released on July 21, 1998. It spawned the singles "Money Ain't a Thang", "Sweetheart", "The Party Continues" and "Going Home with Me".
So So Def Recordings specializes in Southern hip hop, R&B;, and bass music. The label was originally distributed through Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, but in 2003, Dupri was appointed president of Arista Black Music and moved So So Def and its artists there. In 2004, Dupri was appointed President of Urban Music at Virgin Records and again moved So So Def over to Virgin.
On Ocotber 2nd, 2001, Dupri dropped his second solo album in form of Intructions, again on his own So So Def Recordings. The album reached #15 on the Billboard charts on November 17, 2001 and went platinum in the USA. Shortly after the albums release Jermaine Dupri became involved in a minor beef (dispute) against Eminem and Dr. Dre in 2002. In an interview, Dupri claimed that he did more complete work on production than either Dr. Dre or Timbaland. Dre proceeded to insult Dupri on Eminem's track "Say What You Say" from The Eminem Show, namely with the lines, "Over 80 million records sold/And I ain't have to do it with ten or eleven-year olds." The song even ends with Timbaland throwing an insult at Dupri. Eminem and Xzibit, who was affiliated with Dre's Aftermath label at the time, also insulted Dupri on the Xzibit track "My Name." Xzibit also released a diss track on a DJ Kay-Slay mixtape called 'Short People' that contains a sample from the Randy Newman song and insults JD on his height among many other things. Dupri replied to the Dr. Dre and Eminem insults with an underground track called "JD's Reply" which he leaked to the internet. On the track, he implies Dr. Dre is a homosexual labelling him a "gayass mark." Dupri states that Dr. Dre is not doing any work in the studio and other producers are ghostwriting for him and makes remarks referring to Timbaland using the same style of beats on his production.
After "JD's reply" was released, the previously mentioned track "Say My Name" by Xzibit featuring Eminem and Nate Dogg was released on Xzibit's album "Man Vs. Machine". In the last verse of this track, Eminem greatly insults Dupri. Since this track was released, Dupri has not commented in a song.You can read more about this beef with Eminem, Xzibit, Timbaland and Dr Dre in our Jermaine Dupri beef section by clicking here, including lyric quotes from the diss tracks and full info on the fued.
In 2004 and 2005, Dupri worked with R&B; singers Usher and Mariah Carey on their releases. Usher's album, Confessions, and Mariah's The Emancipation of Mimi where the top-selling albums of 2004 and 2005 respectively. Dupri didnt stop there, he also produced some of the biggest hits of those years including "Burn", "Confessions, Pt. 2" and the remix featuring Kanye West, Shyne, and Twista, and "My Boo" with Usher and "It's Like That", "We Belong Together", "Shake It Off", "Get Your Number", and "Don't Forget About Us" with Mariah Carey. He produced the hit track "Radio" for young R&B; sensation Jarvis, but didn't release the album because his label was in transition with the distributor. He has also scored hit singles with J-Kwon ("Tipsy"), Dem Franchize Boyz and many more. He also worked with St. Louis rappers, Nelly, Chingy, & St. Lunatics.
Dupri's 2005 single, "Gotta Getcha" featuring Johnta Austin, is featured on the July 2005 release Jermaine Dupri presents...Young, Fly & Flashy, Vol. 1. The album is a compilation of tracks produced by and featuring Jermaine Dupri. So far, "Gotta Getcha" has peaked at #60 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The controversial music video for the song features his girlfriend, singer Janet Jackson, in a x-rated peep show club. Dupri also worked with Jackson on her new album titled 20 Y.O., released September 26, 2006.
As of August 9th, 2006, Dupri is in the list of the top ten richest people in Hip-Hop. Numbers 1 to 10 were: Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z, Russell Simmons, Damon Dash, The Neptunes, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Nelly tied at 10nth place with Jermaine Dupri.
Dupri continues to produce for, and deliver guest appearances with today's hottest artists. He has worked from many of the major artists ranging all the way from Jay-Z ("Money Ain't A Thang"), Ludacris ("Welcome To Atlanta") to Warren G ("Havin' Thangs"). His current roster as of April 2006 includes Young Capone, Dem Franchize Boyz, Da Kid Slim, Daz (aka Daz Dillinger & Dat Nigga Daz), T. Waters, and Johnta Austin. He plans on dropping Daz's album, tentatively titled "So So Gangsta," in 2006. Daz's album included production by Dupri, Scott Storch and Daz himself.
Dupri then worked on the highly anticipated new release from mutli platinum, Grammy Award winning Hip-Hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Bone Thugs' new album Strength & Loyalty features Dupri on the production side. JD produced the second single of the album, "Lil L.O.V.E." featuring Mariah Carey & Bow Wow.
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Singer Monica's new album, The Makings of Me features production from Jermaine Dupri with the lead single "Everytime Tha Beat Drop". He also helped start the career of Deandre Maiden. He is currently working with Kaisuan who's album should be out late '07 early '08 and Ashanti for her album due in 2007.