Jermaine Dupri On ‘The Rap Game,’ Miss Mulatto & His Label So So Def [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]
Jermaine Dupri ended up picking 16-year-old rapper Miss Mulatto as the winner of the first season of Lifetime’s The Rap Game, the reality competition series he launched with Queen Latifa earlier this year.
Jermaine Dupri On The Rap Game
From the beginning of the show, Dupri had a good feeling that Miss Mulatto would be the lucky young rapper that he would be taking under his wing. The hip-hop mogul was looking for someone who had a sophistication beyond his or her years, who was prepared enough to head into the studio and work with him.
“In watching Mulatto, she came in dressed nice from the beginning when we first talked. In one of the episodes, I had them write about the city, and she wrote a full song where everybody else just wrote one verse, and didn’t even write hooks,” Dupri told uInterview in an exclusive video interview at our Manhattan office, explaining his first impression of her. “On that episode, I kind of felt like damn this might be over, this might be a landslide.”
Though the other teens who aspired to have Dupri as a mentor eventually made the show a real competition, in the end, there was no doubt in Dupri’s mind that Miss Mulatto really was the best person for him to work with. Chief among her appealing attributes was her southern background and “dirtiness.”
“It’s hard to even translate, because I’m from [the South] so I know exactly what I’m saying – but it’s just a thing, a thing that I think southern rappers, especially Atlanta rappers, have that is a quality of music right now that people are really focused on, people are trying to sound like,” Dupri said. “So, she has that background, she comes from where all of the dirtiness is coming from right now. She’s a beautiful girl. It’s a bunch of things that work that help her be the thing for this right now.”
Dupri doesn’t mince words when it comes to talking about his involvement in The Rap Game. To put in plainly, Dupri doesn’t think that any other hip-hop mogul in the game right now would bring his level of expertise when it comes to picking out young, promising artists and propelling their career.
“I don’t really know anybody else who could do that show, the same way I could do it, from the experience of me putting out artists,” Dupri said. “So my involvement just came from the past works that I’ve done of just finding teen artists and putting teen artists out.”
Looking towards the future, Dupri wants his label, So So Def, to be the label that up-and-coming artists are fighting to get on, the label that they believe will give them the best shot at a career.
“Normally, I’m not looking for specific artists, I’m usually just looking for something that lights up to me,” said Dupri. “I want my label to be to younger people the label that they all wanna be on, they all dream of being on. ‘I want to be on So So Def because I feel like the understanding of what young artists mean to the world and the culture is where it happens here.’ This is where it happens at.”
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