He’s one of the most celebrated artist-producers in Hip Hop, so when Jermaine Dupri speaks on the culture, many stop to listen. The So So Def icon has been in the industry for decades, shaping the careers of legendary hitmakers. His classics remain club favorites, and Dupri’s contributions are unmatched. While he has a deep love for the ebbs and flows of Hip Hop, he also has a few criticisms that he recently shared with Vibe.
During their interview with Dupri, Vibe asked why it seemed as if, in recent years, he’s moved away from Hip Hop to mostly R&B. “I feel like Hip-Hop is definitely hurting and needs reviving,” he said. “I have to go ahead and say this: For the last 20 years, Atlanta’s always had at least five to six top rappers at one time. Right now, Atlanta’s dropped down to two top artists: Lil Baby and Future.”
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Dupri added that he still sees “a lot of talent in the city.” Yet, the days of “top tier” artists are a thing of the past.
“Ludacris, Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Migos, Future, Lil Baby—I mean, at one point, all of this was Atlanta. This was where all the top-tier rap artists came from,” he stated. “I’m not talking about artists that just make records, but No. 1 songs. Artists that people feel like define the game.”
“Rap to me became a little stale, but I’ve never stopped making rap records,” Dupri also said. He then shared he plans to release “a rap project with Curren$y.”
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Elsewhere, Dupri also spoke on the impending, rumored Verzuz against Diddy.
“Well, one, Verzuz in itself is an East Coast-driven platform. I feel like, personally, anytime Jermaine Dupri is mentioned in the same space as any producer from New York, people start saying no against me and it’s fair enough, I get it. A lot of records that I made might have been Southern records that people didn’t hear in the city. A lot of times I was in New York, I used to be like, ‘Damn, I got a number one record, but I don’t hear my record on Hot 97 the way it should be.’”
He also claimed that people underestimated his catalog during the “Bow Wow era.”
Do you agree with Jermaine Dupri’s assessment of the current state of Hip Hop?