Jermaine Dupri Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Jagged Edge "Where the Party At" (2001)

Producer: Jermaine Dupri
Album: Jagged Little Thrill
Label: So So Def

"I wanted to make the best R&B album that I could possibly make when I made J.E. Heartbreak. I was like, 'Yo, it's time. People like you, girls love you.' And male groups were at an all-time high at that time. Jodeci was still around slightly, Dru Hill was still there, Boyz II Men were going heavy. They were probably the biggest at that time. There were a lot of male groups, but I wanted Jagged to really take over that slot of the thugs of R&B. I went into that album remembering that we had to make the best record possible.

"We got really close. They came to me with 'He Can't Love U' and they came to me with a couple other records. And when they came to me with those songs I was like, okay, I know what I got to do. We got to come up with something. We just tried to make as many good ballads as we could make. Well, what happened was the remix of 'Let's Get Married' messed my chemistry up with Jagged Edge. It's funny that I have to say that because it did, because it got them off of thinking that they should make ballads. It made them start thinking that they were an uptempo group. 'Let's Get Married (Remix)' was on radio stations all across the nation, even hip-hop stations that they couldn't get on regularly.

"So they started hearing themselves on all these radio stations and they were like, 'We got to make uptempo records, we got to push the tempo.' And the label started thinking that, everybody started thinking that. So it was like, okay, let's make the uptempo record be their first single. Everything else had always been a ballad, and it just seemed crazy to go from an uptempo record to go back down to a ballad. Nobody wanted to do that. But my mission was to make an uptempo record for Jagged Edge, and 'Where the Party At' was the first song that we created. I knew that that was it.

"The guitar situation, if you listen to my production at some point in time, there was a guitar that just showed up in the studio and we started using it on every song in some kind of capacity. Nelly's been my homie since before he got signed, but we were thinking about who we could put on the record that would make it as big as possible, and at this point in time Nelly was as hot as fire. Our whole thing with Jagged, we were never getting commercial success with Jagged Edge before then. We were trying to shoot for the stars, and that was it."

Tags: jagged_edge
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