Jermaine Dupri has taken credit for breaking down regional barriers when he introduced JAY-Z to rap’s audience in the South.

Speaking on the I Am Athlete podcast earlier this week, JD explained that he had people in his life that didn’t know who Hov was prior to him collaborating with the Brooklyn-bred mogul on 1998’s “Money Ain’t A Thang.”

“I got n-ggas from my hood that didn’t never listen to JAY-Z until I made ‘Money Ain’t A Thang.’ This is people that told me this, this is not me saying this: ‘I ain’t never heard of JAY-Z before you made that song.’

“I want people to understand, I knew who JAY-Z was or I wouldn’t have put him on my song … I knew who he was, but the area [didn’t], right? I’ve been saying this, me and JAY-Z came out in 1996 and people that worked for me back then, I was telling them like, ‘Yo listen, it’s rappers in New York that n-ggas in Atlanta don’t never hear.'”

“Money Ain’t A Thang” arrived in May 1998 and landed on both the So So Def founder’s Life in 1472 album and JAY-Z’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life in the same year.

The JD-produced anthem went on to reach No. 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 1999 Grammy Awards.

Jermaine Dupri Responds To Critics Who Say He Isn’t ‘Relevant’ Anymore

Jermaine Dupri Responds To Critics Who Say He Isn’t ‘Relevant’ Anymore

It should also be noted that later in 1998, Jay headed south to hop on Juvenile’s “Ha” for an official remix that Cash Money Records didn’t even know was happening at the time he recorded it.

Elsewhere in the interview, Jermaine Dupri recalled a time 2 Chainz shunned his attempt to sign the Drench God to So So Def Records in a joint venture with JAY-Z involved as well. Chainz went on to ink a deal with Def Jam Records in January 2012.

“I tried to sign 2 Chainz one day,” he revealed. “I was in JAY-Z office one day and I called 2 Chainz. I’m like, ‘Yo, me and Hov wanna sign you.’ He said, ‘OG, respectfully, it’s a young man’s game.’ And I said, ‘You do know who you talking to, right?'”