Jermaine Dupri Speaks On Production Politics

“I don’t feel like I’m supposed to ask to produce anymore. People are supposed to come to me…”

An undeniable force boosting the careers of many major Hip Hop and R&B modern icons over the past two decades, music producer and mogul Jermaine Dupri makes some interesting comments in his recent interview with VIBE; particularly his feelings about not being called on to executive produce albums for major artists such as Usher and Mariah Carey, despite his influential input on their previous, successful projects.


There was some talk that you were going to executive produce Usher’s latest album Raymond v. Raymond. Why didn’t it happen?

Well, I didn’t really want to be executive producer of Usher’s projects after Confession. Me as a producer, it’s kind of hard for me to go back into people’s projects when I gave you your biggest album ever…you sold more records than any other artist in this decade based on that album and now I have to ask you am I the executive producer of your next album? That seems disrespectful to me. Obviously, I’m looking at something different than everyone is looking at it whether it’s the label, the artist, management… whoever it is. I’ve had this same conversation with L.A. Reid, because I’m doing Mariah Carey’s album right now. And on her last album, I didn’t have one song on there. But I did Emancipation of Mimi and she sold more records than she sold in the last five years. What part of the game makes y’all not call me? But I’m not going to keep sticking my neck out. But I don’t feel like I’m supposed to ask to produce anymore. People are supposed to come to me and tell me that I’m the executive producer. That’s why I get more kicks working with younger artists.

Dupri also addresses the impact his now independent hustle has had on his work ethic:

How much of an adjustment has it been going independent?

It feels incredible. But it also makes me question what I was doing in my career before I went independent. Because now I’m really working. Niggas see me living the life and playing around. But to do this independent thing and to have it work, my life is completely different than it ever was. I’m doing everything. I do the blogging shit for real…I don’t have anyone writing it for me; I write up my own press releases so that people can get the right information about my artists. I shoot all these videos that you see on YouTube. And then I wake up every morning and do all the paper work. I’m spending my own money and talking to people I never used to talk to. It actually feels good.

Read the full interview at VIBE.

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