It was a pleasure to hear Jermaine Dupri (CEO of So So Def Recordings) speak at the 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit at the Atlanta Hyatt. I’ve photographed Jermaine several times but never got a chance to see him in action as he seems extremely shy. But this mega producer certainly stepped to the plate during his one on one conversation with Paul Brunson at the Small Business Awards Luncheon.
Jermaine Dupri has established a successful career as a hip-hop artist, producer, songwriter, author, and CEO of So So Def R…ecordings, which he founded in 1989. He has collaborated with artists such as Usher, Mariah Carey, and Nelly. In 2011, Jermaine launched Global 14, which consists of more than 1,100 groups who share common interests such as fashion, hip-hop, and R&B. – JD Facebook
Jermaine took us through his life journey as he lost interest in school at the age of 12, loved to dance and went on to tour at Fresh Fest with major rap artist like Whodini.
Check him out! How many of you remember him in this video?!?!! “The Freaks Come Out at Night”:
Jermaine said he toured for 3 years and thought he received the appropriate tutoring program but lost ALL credits because Atlanta didn’t acknowledge the system at the time. In spite of that huge disappointment he went on to produce a female group from ATL (Silk-Tymes) while on tour trying to get enough money to buy equipment. The project didn’t sell a lot but he happened to be in Green Briar Mall and saw a JET magazine article featuring his girl group Silk Tymes. He also happened to see a young duo with their mom who was familiar with the work Jermaine had done and immediate greeted him.
That duo, known as Kris Kross later became a phenomenon and the rest is history. He wrote the smash hit “JUMP” at the age of 19 and became the youngest producer EVER!
Jermaine was a true inspiration to young entrepreneurs trying to make their dreams come true in the music or any other business. Of course I couldn’t stay for the entire session as it was time for #MommyDuty school pickup. But I was told he laid EVERYTHING out on the table… raw & personal. I can appreciate honesty and being real.
Enjoy the pics!