In an exclusive interview with HipHopDX, the super-producer spilled all the tea about what happened on the show, plus gave exclusive quips about Bow Wow, his upcoming Curren$y projects, and his artist Young Dylan.
“People keep saying, ‘Jermaine, you dropped the ball on [Latto],'” he said exclusively at the Lovers & Friends festival on May 6. “But what people don’t understand is, I put Latto’s record out. The deal was, if you win on The Rap Game, you get a single from Jermaine Dupri. So that single came out.”
He continued: “The problem was, was that Latto was 16 years old, and the outlets didn’t support it. And nobody was like speaking on it. Nobody talked about it. If you watched the TV show, you saw it. But people didn’t really start talking about Latto until she started making more vulgar records, dressing more sexual, and being more adult.”
Back in 2016, HipHopDX broke the news about Latto — who was, at the time, going by “Miss Mulatto” — winning the Lifetime reality competition.
The show pitted five pre-adult rappers; Miss Mulatto, Lil Niqo, Lil Poopy, Supa Peach and Young Lyric against one another for the opportunity to win a recording contract with Dupri’s So So Def imprint, and the 17-year-old Mulatto will now be the new face of the label.
The eight-episode first season saw the competitors battle it out in various challenges that highlighted mandatory attributes a rap star should possess such as battle rapping, live performances, and penning and recording a full song in-studio. Being around the Atlanta rap scene and having years worth of performances made Mulatto (real name Alyssa Michelle Stephens) not only the most consistent artist but the ideal choice to resume business once cameras stopped rolling.
But though she won the competition, Latto said at the time that she turned down the offer to be on Dupri’s So So Def Records because his contract wasn’t offering her enough money, according to an interview with Vlad TV back in 2016.
She did, however, invest the money she got from the show wisely, turning a clothing line into a success story.