Jermaine Dupri

(b. 1972)

The music video for “Welcome to Atlanta,” the second track off his 2001 album, Instructions, tells the story of Dupri’s career: partying at Cheshire Bridge’s Club 112 with Ludacris, Lil Jon, Lil’ Bow Wow, Usher, T.I., Da Brat, and Monica (with cameos by Dominique Wilkins and Evander Holyfield). It’s a Who’s Who of the Atlanta hip-hop and R&B scene of the last fifteen years, and Dupri produced it. At fourteen, the precocious son of a band manager produced the group Silk Tymes Leather. At nineteen, he founded the So So Def recording label, shortly after an Atlanta preteen duo called Kris Kross—whom he discovered, polished, and wrote songs for—sold 7 million records. From there, he produced mega-acts TLC, Mariah Carey, and Usher. In 2010 the Grammy winner recorded the mixtape I Think I’m Berry Gordy. Earlier this year, Dupri launched Global 14, a social networking site, calling it the “coolest, hippest city on the Internet.”

Backup As a kid, he danced for Diana Ross and the rap group Whodini.

My Dog Dupri owns a pit bull purchased from Big Boi’s Pitfall Kennels, an Atlanta breeder of solid blue American pit bull terriers.

Inside View “The most important thing he’s done for Atlanta,” says Brash Music founder Mike McQuary, “is keep his primary residence here. You don’t need to move to Los Angeles or New York to be successful.”

Photograph courtesy of GDECD