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

Kris Kross "Tonite's tha Night" (1995)

Producer: Jermaine Dupri
Album: Young, Rich & Dangerous
Label: So So Def/Ruffhouse/Columbia/Sony

"Some of my best beats on are that album, if you ask me. The best remakes of music and all of that was on Tonite's tha Night. I just attacked the studio in a different way when making their project. My mindset about making the music was that I was going to do something completely different.

"I think it was the first time, too, that I did a record for Kris Kross with Manuel Seal. [He was] the co-producer who was working with me. The place that me and him were at, making music, just felt like one of the best. Somebody called one day and was like, 'You should get this guy to work with you.' I was like, why? I never know why people call and say nothing, but they were like, 'He's really talented and we think he can add something to it.' Whoever sent that message was dead on. I don't think people knew my work flow and how I work in the studio. But they were dead on with Manuel, because he had something that I didn't have. We both taught each other and pushed each other in a way that was incredible.

"He sang on all them records. Like that's him singing on 'Funkdafied,' that's him singing on the B-side. Damn near every song on Brat's album that has vocals is Manuel singing. Musically, he's like a musical genius. And he's older than me, so he's got a lot more musical talents inside of him, some musical spirits floating around him that I didn't have.

"100% [that record was] under-appreciated. That's when you start learning what the difference is, when you make a big record, and what big records do to the mentality of people as opposed to...You make a record like 'Jump,' people are stuck in that world. They want you to keep making records like 'Jump.' People don't understand that you got to move on, you got to do something else. You have to evolve and go to something else. And most of the time, when it's time for you to move, other people are not prepared for that move. I don't think anyone was prepared for the move.

"'Tonite's tha Night' was received pretty well. At that point what I really wanted to make sure was that the hip-hop world cared about 'Tonite's tha Night' more than the masses. We had to keep dealing with this world of hip-hop not being accepting. I really wanted to make sure that the hip-hop world was really into what we were doing."

Tags: kris_kross
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