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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dupri Sets Record Straight on Def Jam Exit

Über-producer Jermaine Dupri has the Midas Touch when it comes to making hit records. The music impresario has produced and written songs for the likes of Mariah Carey, Usher, TLC, Anthony Hamilton, and girlfriend Janet Jackson. Besides heading his own label, So So Def, the ATL musical wunderkind has served as president of the urban music departments at Virgin and Island Def Jam Records. Until recently, Dupri appeared to be anointed by his musical forefathers as one of the next frontrunners of the biz. That is, until industry whisperings began about his sudden disappearing act--the second in his brief presidency. ESSENCE.com caught up with the hit man to find out the truth about his abrupt departure from Island Def Jam records, his relationship with L.A. Reid and starting a family with Janet Jackson.

ESSENCE.COM: The blogosphere has been abuzz recently about your exit from Island Def jam Records as president of urban music. Why did you leave the label?
JERMAINE DUPRI: It was a situation where it felt very stagnant to me. As a person who is used to putting out new records and continuing to do that, it just wasn't turning over as being that place to me where I should stick to it and see if it was going to turn around.

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