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Hip Hop Figures From the Carolinas: Jermaine Dupri

Jermaine DupriBy Tre’ Smith
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

In the wake of J. Cole dropping 2014 Forest Hills Drive, he has the longest commercially recognized discography of any North Carolina rapper. This can lead to many mistakenly referring to J. Cole as the “only” North Carolina hip hop artist and figure. Then, debates can brew about Petey Pablo, Anthony Hamilton, K-Ci & Jojo, and Fantasia.

Truth be told, North Carolina has contributed more to hip hop than many other areas with developed scenes, South Carolina too, for that matter. In an effort to bring people up to date with some interesting facts and honor North Carolina’s home state, this series exists. Now, it’s time to discuss another hip hop power player.

Jermaine Dupri grew up surrounded by the hip hop industry and helped shape it when he got older. Known for his anthem, “Welcome To Atlanta,” featuring Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri helped develop Xscape, Bow Wow, Da Brat, J-Kwon (“Tipsy”), and many more on So So Def. It is amazing, then add to the fact his work with Mariah Carey in 2005-2009, but it all happened after Jermaine Dupri was born in Asheville, North Carolina.

He has gone on to have an amazing career, where he has gone on to become a producer, songwriter, rapper, somewhat of a singer, a DJ, and a record executive. Jermaine Dupri is currently back in the spotlight, helping Jagged Edge with their recent album and introducing Royce Rizzy, properly, to the hip hop industry. It is hard to imagine the hip hop world without Jermaine Dupri, as he will always be involved as long as he is alive.

Follow Tre’ Smith on Twitter @MicrowaveNC.