On Sunday (Nov. 12), Jermaine Dupri took to social media to share footage of a linkup with Usher, who brought the hip hop mogul on stage during a recent Las Vegas residency performance. As the crowd looked on, Usher broke down the musical journey that eventually brought them together.
“Found my way there with Puff,” the singer said, referring to his earlier days with Sean “Diddy” Combs. “LaFace Records is the home of so many incredible artists, whether it was TLC, or whether it was OutKast, or any of the amazing artists, right?”
He continued, “But then I made my way back to Atlanta after trying all of that, and I said, ‘Man, it was meant for us to work together.’ But I wanna do things my way,” Usher expressed before the 1997 hit “My Way” came on, leading the collaborators to break out some dance moves to the delight of everyone else in attendance.
2023 marks the 30th anniversary of Dupri’s So So Def Records, a label that helped to propel Xscape, Da Brat, Kris Kross, and Jagged Edge to stardom during the ’90s. The reign would continue in subsequent decades, much in part thanks to Bow Wow, Bone Crusher, Anthony Hamilton, Dem Franchize Boyz, and more. Dupri himself enjoyed a rap career of his own, beginning with his platinum-certified debut LP, Life In 1472.
In an interview with REVOLT, Dupri gave his take on why the South doesn’t get the credit that it deserves within the culture. “I just think that it gets left out of the conversation a lot of times because of media,” he explained. “I think the media plays the biggest role because the majority of the media outlets that ran hip hop in the ’90s were from New York and Los Angeles. It wasn’t really nobody from Atlanta that was really driving media. It was nobody from Dallas, TX — or Texas period — that was driving media that you had to pay attention to.”