Jermaine Dupri looks back at legacy on eve of latest honour

NEW YORK — When Jermaine Dupri gets inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he will be only the second hip-hop creator honoured after Jay-Z. It’s not something he takes lightly.

“No matter what you want to say about my records that I created, no matter what you want to say about the artists that I’ve put out, I’m going into the Hall of Fame, and you can’t do nothing about it,” Dupri said.

Besides his induction on Thursday, Dupri has collected some other accolades this year, including The Music Innovation Award at the 26th Bounce Trumpet Awards, the Breaking Barriers Award at the 2018 Global Spin Awards and the Trailblazer Award at the 2018 Legendary Awards.

Throughout his career, the Grammy-winner has worked with a wide range of artists in different genres. He was one of the songwriters on Mariah Carey’s hit, “We Belong Together,” which earned a Grammy for best R&B song. As for his proudest moment, he mentions the “Confessions” album with Usher, or more notably the song “Confessions Part II.”

“I think that I can catch that magic with all the artists I work with long as I go into the project with the right mindset. And the right mindset is me understanding what my role is, and them understanding what their role is,” he said.

Earlier this week, he released a curated playlist commemorating the 25th anniversary of his So So Def Recordings label that features Jay-Z, Xscape, Aaliyah, Bow Wow, Anthony Hamilton, Jagged Edge, Ghost Town DJ, Da Brat and more. It’s currently available on Apple Music and Spotify. The digital album will be available on June 29.

Legacy was on his mind on the eve of his induction and he was asked about his thoughts on R. Kelly. Last month Spotify said it would remove from its playlists music from R. Kelly, who has been accused of sexual abuse. The music service has since backpedaled but Dupri doesn’t agree with the way it was initially handled.

“At this point I believe it’s all hearsay, right? It’s somebody’s word against somebody else’s. So, I can’t say if this industry is correcting itself. I don’t know,” he said.

He worries that punishing artists by removing their music from these streaming services can hurt the industry, especially when it’s only based on allegations. He wants people to “consider the bigger picture,” but that doesn’t mean he condones their behaviour. “There should be some kind of consequences to doing wrong,” Dupri said.

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