Multi-hyphenate hip-hop mogul Jermaine Dupri spoke about his career for The Blueprint, including how Kris Kross had a major impact on hip-hop fashion.
For the latest episode of the Complex series, the producer, songwriter, and media manager spoke about the acts he’s helped break and his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Dupri also suggested Atlanta was “downplayed” by the media early on, and talked about how Kris Kross helped introduce rap fashion to jerseys.
“You can’t think of nobody else in hip-hop in ’92 that was wearing baseball jerseys. So that means that after 1992, wearing baseball jerseys, football jerseys, basketball jerseys, all of that came from me and Kris Kross,” Jermaine explained at the 20:20 point of the episode. “But the industry that we in, they don’t actually frame it up like that. We don’t get the credit that we supposed to, and that’s kind of what André 3000 was saying at the Source Awards, when he said, ‘The South got something to say.’ He felt that same energy that night. I’ve been feeling that same energy my whole life.”
Dupri also spoke about previous comments he made about Da Brat, and clarified that at the time he didn’t want to work with a woman rapper. Then her debut effort became “one of the hardest projects I ever did in my whole career.”
Elsewhere in the episode, he touched upon what his inclusion in the Songwriters Hall of Fame means to him. “For the whole time period of music, for the last 40 years, the music business had never seen another Jermaine Dupri, because where I differ from the people that was inducted prior was like, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Babyface, even Berry Gordy—they was writing all songs, they was writing all like R&B records, some pop records," he explained. "None of them had ever written a rap song. So for me to get in there the way that I went in, I realized what my talent was at that particular moment."
Watch the full episode of The Blueprint above.