Jermaine Dupri

The Life and Works of Jermaine Dupri

by Kim on September 17, 2010

Jermaine Dupri Mauldin was born on September 23, 1972 in Asheville, North Carolina; also known as Jermaine Dupri or J.D., is an American record producer, rapper and songwriter. He is the only child of Tina (Mosely) and Michael Mauldin (a Columbia Records executive).

Jermaine starts a career as dancer for Diana Ross ad started producing and performing by the time he reached 7. He made his first production effort for the female rap trio Silk Tymes Leather. He later formed the teen duo Kris Kross (Chris Kelly and Chris Smith) after meeting the boys at a local mall in 1991. The group’s first album, Totally Krossed Out, was released in 1992 and went multi-platinum due to their singles “Jump” and “It’s a Shame”.

At age 12, with his father’s connections, Dupri had a chance to tour as a dancer with the rap bands Whodini and Run-D.M.C. during their “New York Fresh Festival.” Though he was already making and selling his on tapes, Dupri soon dropped out of school. His schooling ended on eleventh grade. He was all into musical aspects than hip hop. He was taking piano lessons, playing drums. He was heading more towards musicianship.

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In 1993 in the form of Xscape, a female R&B group he discovered during a festival in Atlanta and signed to So So Def Recordings. After signing, they released their self-titled debut Hummin Comin at Cha and went platinum. During the same year, on Yo! MTV Raps he met Chicago rapper Shawntae Harris, A.K.A Da Brat through Kris Kross, signed her to his label So So Def Recordings distributed by Columbia Records, 1993-2003;, and released her debut Funkdafied (1994).
It went platinum making her the first female hip hop artist to sell 1,000,000 units. Dupri subsequently built on this success through working with other R&B artists such as Boyz II Men, as well as R&B singers Mariah Carey, Luther Vandross and Babyface, achieving multi-millionaire status for himself by the age of 24. Since its inception, over 20 gold and platinum records have accumulated on So So Def’s studio walls. In 1998, Jermaine Dupri surpassed all of his prior commercial ventures with his involvement in the release of Destiny Child’s self-titled debut album.

The same year, he began work on his own music career with the albums The Party Continues and Jermaine Dupri Presents Life In 1472: The Original Soundtrack. The same year, he met 10 or 11 year old rapper Lil Bow Wow through one of his influences, Snoop Dogg, when signed to Death Row Records. He signed him to his So So Def Recordings and got to work. Then in 2000, they released his debut Beware of Dog, which went triple-platinum that sold 2.5 million units. He was another gift to the label (like Kris Kross and Da Brat). The album Unleashed has prode many copies and certified as a Gold Platinum.

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