The irony that “Money Ain’t a Thang” creators JAY-Z and Jermaine Dupri are the first two rappers to be inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame isn’t lost on the So So Def founder and CEO.
“Just to think [the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame] hasn’t seen people like myself, I get an opportunity to break the mold and make people really realize that rappers really write lyrics and understand and it’s not just whatever they thought it was prior,” JD explains during an interview with TIDAL.
“And the fact that JAY-Z didn’t get to go last year, so I’m actually the person that’s gonna walk in there with that swag to hold down and represent for the world of Hip Hop,” he said with a laugh.
It has been a long time coming for the Rap&B music mogul, whose So So Def imprint is in the midst of a 25-year celebration. During a February 2018 interview with HipHopDX, Dupri, 45, elaborated how squaring off with JAY-Z on the aforementioned baller anthem helped define his pen game.
“You know for JAY-Z, a person that really put they whole life in rap, to acknowledge my rap and say, ‘You was rapping on this song.’ And it was crazy because I seen somebody recently say that JAY-Z wrote my rap, and he was like, “Yeah his rap was dope … That’s ’cause JAY-Z wrote it.’ So it’s like that rap alone, because some people think that, I’ve heard people say JAY-Z didn’t kill you on your own song. So, people didn’t feel like I wrote it, but that’s one of the raps that I feel like, you know, the rhythmic style, the flow, the bars and all of that was up to par with what he was saying. It might not have been as good as JAY-Z, but it was definitely good enough for that song and what he was saying as well,” he recalled.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame’s 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner goes down today, Thursday, June 14th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. In addition to Dupri, Kool & The Gang’s Robert and Ronald Bell, George Brown, James “JT” Taylor will be honored alongside John Cougar Mellencamp, country music legends Alan Jackson, Bill Anderson and Steve Dorff and Friends theme writer Allee Willis.