Music producer Jermaine Dupri was honored at the Grammy Museum in Downtown Los Angeles, Thursday Sep. 21. Dupri, founder of So-So Def Recordings, was issued an entire exhibit dedicated to his role in shaping southern hip-hop culture. This marks the first time the Grammy Museum has dedicated an entire exhibit for hip-hop music.
“I’m thankful for all those who support me,” Dupri told a crowd of about 100 attendees.
The music producer started the label 25 years ago.
Dupri has been the mastermind behind some of music biggest stars. Through his leadership, rap duo Kris Kross went on to sell millions of records. Dupri shared stories on how he met the young rappers.
“I saw them at a mall just being themselves. They had girls chasing them and what not. I don’t think they realized their star potential back then. I just had to sign them,” said Dupri.
He continued to sign numerous successful artists. Hit makers such as Xscape, Lil Bow Wow and Jagged Edge all were signed to his label.
Some of his artists attended the celebration. Hip Hop rapper Da Brat, who became the first female rapper to sell one million copies, explained how her and Dupri met.
“I just performed on the Oprah show for Kris Kross. I eventually got in contact with Dupri through them. Little did I realize, I had call everyone just to have a meeting with him,” joked Da Brat.
Dupri responded with laughter.
“She’s right but I told her that it’s going to be hard to sell. No one wanted to hear from a female rapper. I’m proud to say that she went on to become the first female rapper to sell a million copies,” said Dupri.
Dem Franchise Boyz, best known for their hit singles White Tee and I Think They Like Me, told the audience Dupri made their songs big globally.
“We were already popping in Atlanta. Our songs were playing everywhere on the radio. Jermaine made the song popular once we dropped our label,” said Dem Franchise Boyz.
The exhibit takes you through a journey on how So-So Def Recording was created. Spectators will be able to view never before seen material up close. This ranges from music video wardrobe, to Dupri’s award from the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
The exhibit will run through March 2019.