Jermaine Dupri tells 'Drink Champs' about when Babyface 'tried to stunt' on him
Before he became a legend, JD was humbled by another music icon.
Jermaine Dupri is known for celebrating and displaying decadence in his songs and videos. Hell, he has an album named Young, Fly and Flashy. But the legendary producer says he learned a lesson in humility and credits another mega music man for inspiring a newfound focus in him. It was 1992 and hip-hop was having a landmark, banner year. EPMD’s Business Never Personal, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Common Sense Can I Borrow a Dollar?, Redman Whut? Thee Album, UGK, Too Hard To Swallow, Das EFX Dead Serious, Ice Cube _The Predator _all dropped, but none of those legendary acts a had a hit as big as the year’s youngest superstars, Kriss Kross.
Dupri of coursed wrote and produced Kriss Kross’ debut LP Totally Krossed Out, which went on to sell eight million copies and spawned the crossover blockbuster “Jump.” The record went number on the Billboard Hot 100 for in two separate weeks. JD, who was just 18 years old at the time, says the success went to his head – and it was short-lived.
“I always had people that felt they wanted to check me. Because I was so young,” Dupri, the guest on this week’s Drink Champs told hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. “I always had to deal with the ‘young’ thing. I was the young nigga so people felt they had one up on me. I had to prove myself over and over again. I was excited. For like one day. I was on my Hollywood shit. I was at the studio, Kriss Kross was number one and Bruce Springsteen was number two, we was poppin’. I was running around the studio really excited. It was the first day I met Babyface. He was at the studio and he came in. I was like ‘oh shit Babyface.’ He was like, ‘yeah you got that little record ‘Jump’ huh? He hit me the ‘little record.’ I’m like ‘little record? Nigga we poppin’. It didn’t seem like I did nothing to him.”
Face did leave the skyrocketing upstart with a major key, which JD used as fuel to build his So So Def Empire.
“He was like ‘as a producer/songwriter, that don’t really mean nothing until you do it multiple times,’” Dupri disclosed. “When he said that, my Hollywood shit went out the window. ‘Okay, Babyface just tried to stunt on me. I gotta get this nigga back. I gotta go work.’ Just ‘let’s go.’ From that point on, I started focusing on putting out more and more artists.”
“Jump” turned out to be the third biggest record of 1992, while the LA Reid and Babyface-produced “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men finished as the top song of the year, ahead of Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.
Every episode of “Drink Champs” is special but this one is a landmark episode. This is the 100th episode! Catch JD telling some jaw-dropping stories about Biggie and Lil Kim, Mariah Carey and Da Brat and Janet Jackson this Thursday on REVOLT TV at 10 p.m.