As a producer and a label boss, Atlanta rap veteran Jermaine Dupri had a huge impact on a whole lot of careers, helping to introduce people like Kriss Kross, Usher, Da Brat, and Bow Wow to the world, as well as making hit records on his own. He’s a very important figure in the history of Altanta rap. But if you ask him, he’s the most important figure in the history of Atlanta rap.
Two days ago, as XXL points out, Dupri appeared on the New York radio show The Breakfast Club. Host Charlemagne Da God asked Dupri this: “Who do you think moved the culture of Atlanta hip-hop forward more, you or OutKast.” Dupri, naturally, picked himself:
We come from two different places in hip-hop. As far as culture? Me. I brought people to Atlanta that had never seen Atlanta. I showed everybody in the world Magic City before anybody was out here thinking about it. Matter of fact, people was going to the Jungles club. I’m the person who started throwing the money first in the club. Like, if you talking about the culture…
I had to pay for all the magazines to come to Atlanta. They weren’t out there. Nobody was paying attention to what was going on. I would fly these people to Atlanta, and they would take pictures and see what’s happening in the city. So as far as the culture goes, having parties and bringing Puff and these people, bringing Envy and Clue and all these people to Atlanta, that was all me. I don’t know nobody else that was doing it…
I don’t get the flag for selling eight million records with Kriss Kross. I guess that wasn’t hip-hop. People leave that out. OutKast ain’t sell eight million records on they first album. So if that’s a question, then the question is answered right there.
Here’s the interview; the stuff about Dupri’s impact starts around the 34:37 mark:
Dupri does allow that OutKast had a bigger impact on people taking Atlanta rap seriously. He’s not crazy.