ATLANTA (February 7, 2007) — Hit producer and sometime rapper Jermaine Dupri has been named president of Island Record Urban Music, a newly created division of Island Def Jam Music Group.
Dupri, who has produced chart-topping songs for artists ranging from Usher to Mariah Carey, also reunited with Island Def Jam Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid.
“We are very fortunate to have Jermaine in our fold,” Reid told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “There’s a strong relationship between us already, which makes this move even better for the team.”
This is the third senior management move for Dupri in four years. In 2003 he was named senior vice president of Arista Records, when Reid headed the label.
But when Reid was ousted a year later, Arista folded into the BMG conglomerate. Reid later became chairman of Island.
Dupri went on to become president of Virgin Records’ urban-music department in 2005. During his stint he co-wrote and produced Carey’s Grammy Award-winning song, “We Belong Together,” along with other top-sellers “Shake It Off” and “Don’t Forget About Us.”
“Jermaine is a prestigious hit maker as well as a production wizard. I personally look forward to helping be part of once again, adding to and continuing his illustrious legacy,” Island president and Chief Operating Officer Steve Bartels said in a statement.
Dupri also brings his own label, Atlanta-based So So Def, which has been home to Bow Wow, Dem Franchize Boyz and other urban acts.
“I’m so excited to be reunited with L.A. Reid because most of my biggest hits were when he and I worked together,” Dupri said. “And then to be working side by side with Steve Bartels — I don’t think there’s a better team because he’s by far the best in the game. I can’t wait for us to start stuntin’ on y’all.”
Among the hits he’s written, produced or had a hand in: “Burn,” “My Boo” and “Confessions (Part II),” from Usher; “Tipsy,” from J-Kwon; and “Damn!” by the Youngbloodz.
In 1992, at 19, Dupri was responsible for the No. 1 smash “Jump” from preteen act Kris Kross.
“He’s a hitmaker, remains close to the streets and stays next to the new the trends,” Reid said. “The beauty is that he is so young, but he is so experienced.”