JERMAINE DUPRI TALKS WITH BILLBOARD TO TALK ABOUT BEING A GLOBAL SPIN HONOREE, CREATING SMASH HIT ‘MONEY AINT A THANG’ W/ JAY-Z, AND MORE…
45 year old Mega hitmaker Jermaine Dupri recently sat down to talk with Billboard. Jumping ont he scene originally as a backup dancer for the legendary 80’s hip hop group Whodini in the mid ’80s, you would never thought that he would push one to become one of the greatest music minds in business while receiving multiple achievements like his Songwriters Hall of Fame nomination and will also include being the receipent for Global Spin Awards ‘Breaking Barriers’ Award.
“A person like myself will keep challenging to see if I can keep doing it over and over again,” says the hip-hop mogul.
Read a little excerpt of Jermaine’s interview with Billboard below.
Billboard: You’re going to be receiving the Breaking Barriers Award at the Global Spin Awards next month, what does that mean to you?
Jermaine Dupri: Pretty much everything. Being a DJ, and having dreams of doing that, and to be accepted by that community and honored by them means a lot.
The Rap Game on Lifetime just kicked off season four, what can we expect with this upcoming season?
It’s a lot different this season with the kids. It feels like the girls are a little bit more focused here than the guys. You see a lot more competitiveness between the female rappers. I think that Jordan is the first backpack type of rapper I’ve had on this show. He mimics a lot of those backpack guys, and those are people he looks up to. It’s just that the styles are different, and I want people to see and understand that, because these kids let the older people know what’s going on out here. With a Jordan liking a J. Cole at age 15, it’s special to me ,and means that every kid isn’t totally trapped out.
Then, you got the trap kids and the argument everyone keeps claiming about mumble rap — and I feel like Street Bud is in that lane. He embodies everything that comes from that element. You can’t ignore it. I took Deetranada’s music to play for Kevin Liles and he said that “She raps too much.” I found that interesting, that she was almost over-rapping. We live in an era that people are not as receptive to people rapping as much. In order to have a future, you need to make sure you’re hitting on everything going on. So, season four is more close to what’s actually happening in the market space than last season.
Your daughter is starring in Growing Up Hip-Hop: Atlanta this season. What do you think of her entering the entertainment lane at a young age?
My daughter is the true definition of a person that has grown up in hip-hop. She was born in hip-hop, and everything that’s happened since she’s been born has been hip-hop dominant. She could give a better perspective of growing up hip-hop to anybody if people ask her, “What’s life been like?” She’s seen it all.
With 2018 marking the 25th anniversary of So So Def, do you have anything special planned?
We’re going to celebrate everything. This Global Spin Award is the beginning of the 25th anniversary celebration. This is how I got started. DJing is how I got into So So Def. Everything you’re going to see me doing this year will be a celebration of 25 years of So So Def. We are going to do a concert and a bunch of other things. Everyone is going to be paying attention to how we roll it out.
The 20-year anniversary of “Money Ain’t A Thang” is coming up later this year. Could you walk me through the creative process behind that record with JAY-Z?
JAY-Z had took from the Dru Hill “In My Bed” So So Def remix for his mixtape. When I said “You wanna dance? I’ma make you dance. You wanna move? I’ma make you move” at the beginning of the record, I heard him take that for a mixtape. I was like, “Damn, JAY-Z is paying attention to what I’m doing.” So I saw him and told him, “I heard what you did on that mixtape, we should make a song together.” JAY is like, “Whatever. Let’s go.”
So JAY-Z is flying to Atlanta, and when I was supposed to be picking him up at the airport, I had already started on the beat. I tried to start, because I didn’t want to be sitting around, and I had the idea for this — the “Weak at the Knees” beat — and nobody really rocked it like the way we were going to. I know Ice Cube had used iton an N.W.A. album.
I started on the track, and when I got in the car I was listening to [JAY-Z’s] “Can’t Knock The Hustle,” and on the song he says, “I’m deep in the South kicking up top game….Screaming through the sunroof, money ain’t a thang.” If he wouldn’t have said “deep in the South,” I probably wouldn’t have used that, but that part of the rap spoke to me.
When he got in the car I was like, “Yo. I heard in this song you use ‘deep in the south, money ain’t a thang.’ We should use that for the hook.” He’s like, “Okay.” So we go back to the house and I played the beat in ten minutes he was like “I’m ready, let’s go.” I say “What are you talking about?” [JAY-Z] goes, “I got my raps already. I already thought of it in the car, when you told me what you wanted the song to be about.” That was my first time seeing him do it without a notepad. I was thinking, “I’m going to learn this trick and not ever write again.”
To read the rest of the interview below go to Billboard.com