Jer­maine Dupri looks back at hip-hop legacy

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - BY JOHN CARUCCI

When Jer­maine Dupri gets in­ducted into the Song­writ­ers Hall of Fame, he will be only the sec­ond hip-hop cre­ator hon­oured af­ter Jay-Z. It’s not some­thing he takes lightly.

“No mat­ter what you want to say about my records that I cre­ated, no mat­ter what you want to say about the artists that I’ve put out, I’m go­ing into the Hall of Fame, and you can’t do noth­ing about it,” Dupri said.

Be­sides his in­duc­tion on Thursday, Dupri has col­lected some other ac­co­lades this year, in­clud­ing The Mu­sic In­no­va­tion Award at the 26th Bounce Trum­pet Awards, the Break­ing Bar­ri­ers Award at the 2018 Global Spin Awards and the Trail­blazer Award at the 2018 Leg­endary Awards.

Through­out his ca­reer, the Grammy-win­ner has worked with a wide range of artists in dif­fer­ent gen­res. He was one of the song­writ­ers on Mariah Carey’s hit, “We Be­long To­gether,” which earned a Grammy for best R&B song. As for his proud­est mo­ment, he men­tions the “Con­fes­sions” al­bum with Usher, or more no­tably the song “Con­fes­sions Part II.”

“I think that I can catch that magic with all the artists I work with long as I go into the pro­ject with the right mind­set. And the right mind­set is me un­der­stand­ing what my role is, and them un­der­stand­ing what their role is,” he said.

Ear­lier this week, he re­leased a cu­rated playlist com­mem­o­rat­ing the 25th an­niver­sary of his So So Def Record­ings la­bel that fea­tures Jay-Z, Xs­cape, Aaliyah, Bow Wow, An­thony Hamil­ton, Jagged Edge, Ghost Town DJ, Da Brat and more. It’s cur­rently avail­able on Ap­ple Mu­sic and Spo­tify. The dig­i­tal al­bum will be avail­able on June 29.

Legacy was on his mind on the eve of his in­duc­tion and he was asked about his thoughts on R. Kelly.

Last month Spo­tify said it would re­move from its playlists mu­sic from R. Kelly, who has been ac­cused of sex­ual abuse. The mu­sic ser­vice has since backpedaled but Dupri doesn’t agree with the way it was ini­tially han­dled.

“At this point I be­lieve it’s all hearsay, right? It’s some­body’s word against some­body else’s. So, I can’t say if this in­dus­try is cor­rect­ing it­self. I don’t know,” he said.

He wor­ries that pun­ish­ing artists by re­mov­ing their mu­sic from these stream­ing ser­vices can hurt the in­dus­try, es­pe­cially when it’s only based on al­le­ga­tions. He wants peo­ple to “con­sider the big­ger pic­ture,” but that doesn’t mean he con­dones their be­hav­iour. “There should be some kind of con­se­quences to do­ing wrong,” Dupri said.


This May 24, 2018 photo shows mu­sic maker Jer­maine Dupri dur­ing an in­ter­view in New York. Dupri will be in­ducted into the Song­writ­ers Hall of Fame on Thursday, June 14.

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