Jermaine Dupri On What Rap Today Is Missing [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]
Jermaine Dupri took on a new protégé in Miss Mulatto, the winner of The Rap Game, and he believes that artists like her are what’s needed in rap today.
Jermaine Dupri On Modern Rap
When asked what’s missing from modern rap, Dupri was quick with a one word answer — Mulatto. By Mulatto, he means the 16-year-old hip-hop artist who proved herself ready to get into the studio with Dupri on Lifetime’s The Rap Game.
“I’m not just saying [Mulatto] because she’s my artist. I’m just saying that I believe that rap is all in this one space right row,” Dupri explained in an exclusive interview with uInterview. “It’s just in a space where rappers believe they have to sell dope. Rappers believe that they believe they have to go to strip clubs. Rappers believe that they have to use profanity to actually be a successful rapper. To me, that’s just one piece of rap.”
Dupri is a strong believer in youth, and in young artists’ unique ability to usher fresh hip hop into the mainstream. According to Dupri, the most innovative rap music and street style has come from the youth. He just wants to bring the genre back to that.
“It always came from the youth. I was 12 years old and I was breaking. And I wasn’t breaking against 25-year-old people. I wasn’t breaking against 30-year-old people. I was breaking against people that was my same age,” Dupri said. “You know, Criss Cross. I probably couldn’t have been able to get a 30-year-old man to put they pants on backwards without a huge argument. Younger people, kids, this is where style come from, how it’s created.”
Dupri sees The Rap Game as a vehicle to tap back into the well of talent among young artists. The combination of there being a lack of young voices represented in rap and the effects of what Dupri calls the “crack baby era” — leaving parents close in age to their children — created the perfect atmosphere for The Rap Game to make a massive mark.
“In hip-hop, the youth is not really represented very well at all. The show and Mulatto basically is the rebirth of that,” Dupri said. “This show tapped into parents sitting at home watching a show with they kids. And they said, from what I heard, that this is the first time that that’s happened since The Cosby Show.”