When Jermaine Dupri started So So Def Records some twenty years ago, his goal was to impact the music industry in a way that had never been done before. Jermaine was introduced to the music industry by his father Michael Mauldin, and he fully grasped the concept of what it would take to make him successful.
Jermaine said, “The best thing that my father taught me was to follow my own path and not worry about what everyone else is doing. He taught me to stay in my own lane. When I was younger we clashed a lot but as we both grew older we learned from each other and that has made us both great businessmen and business partners.”
So So Def emerged in the 90s with artists like Kris Kross, Xscape, Da Brat, and Jagged Edge. Artists like Bow Wow, Bone Crusher, Dem Franchize Boys, Anthony Hamilton and Dondria were introduced in the 2000s. The two artists Jermaine feels embodied the same mentality as him are non other than Da Brat and Bow Wow. “They went as hard for So So Def as I did if not more. We were all on the same page” says Jermaine.
The name So So Def was inspired because things that were “dope, sick, or crazy” became coined with the word “Def” in the 80s. It was a term that was used by everyone and became even more popular when Rev Run and Russell Simmons started Def Jam.
The 20th Anniversary All-Star Concert is just around the corner and Jermaine’s reasoning behind the star studded show makes a lot of sense. “When I think of epic, I think of something that has never been done before. I don’t know five music companies that still have all of their artists alive. All of the So So Def artists are alive and well so why not give them their flowers and celebrate our accomplishments together why we are all healthy. This way I don’t have to have tributes during a show. For instance, Puff was my biggest competition in the 90s, if he were to do a show it would be a good show but it wouldn’t be the same without Biggie there.”
While he would like for Kandi to be apart of the celebration, Jermaine said he’s not focusing on negativity pertaining to the show. He said he really does not know why she doesn’t want to perform but “she said she can’t be there so let’s move forward.”
When asked about him being a DJ he said, “A lot of people have their speculations about why they think I DJ, but the reality is I have been DJing for well over twenty years and it’s something that I love. When you do something that feels good, excites you, and makes you happy then you should never let anything thing anyone says or does allow you to stop doing what you love”.
Mr. Dupri, Tastemaker salutes you on 20 years of success in the music industry. You are reaching a major milestone and that is So So Def!
Tickets for the one night only show can be found at www.ticketmaster.com.