Jermaine Dupri is taking credit for New York radio stations playing southern Hip Hop, and he’s making a convincing claim.
During a recent visit to The Gauds Show, JD spoke briefly on his upcoming Verzuz battle with Diddy and mentioned how he was a dominant force on New York radio. According to Dupri, he knew the weight New York radio carried when it came to music back in the day, so he had to infiltrate it, which led to excellent results.
“The reason New York plays down south music on the radio is because of me,” Dupri said. “Bone Crusher and the YoungBloodZ were all over Hot 97 in a way that like nobody could ever imagine. And I hired DJ Envy to work for me.”
He added: “My attack on New York radio and the New York streets from the south is like no other. Nobody, no other company, nothing. Not as far as back then, now everybody else moving forward, that door opened cause I was out there beating the streets.”
Jermaine Dupri’s run as a producer, songwriter and label head of So So Def Records was incredible. In the 90s, JD introduced several big-name artists such as Kriss Kross, Xscape and Da Brat — all of which dropped platinum albums.
By the turn of the new millennium, southern Hip Hop and R&B were becoming more mainstream and JD was at the forefront with his artists, such as Dem Franchise Boyz, Bone Crusher, YoungBloodZ, Jagged Edge, Bow Wow and more. Before long, the south became the go to location for Hip Hop culture that’s still felt today.
New York City experienced a decline in the mid-2000s when Atlanta and other southern cities such as Miami, Houston and New Orleans began to dominate the charts, clubs and airwaves. Since then, many rap stars from the Rotten Apple have been accused of adopting the styles of other regions, from Dipset embracing the South to A$AP Rocky’s Houston-inspired sound.
Jermaine Dupri’s Verzuz opponent Diddy actually commented on that during an interview with Hot 97 in October. The Bad Boy boss admitted he’s tired of New York City being in “last place” and urged the city’s rappers to step up and embrace their roots.
“New York, we’re in last place,” Diddy said. “I’m here to tell y’all, and that shit comes to an end today. We’re gonna start doing us. The way you hear the beat in your head, do you. The way you move, do you. The way you dress, do you. Don’t be doing them, God bless them.”
He continued: “A New York cat is not supposed to be following nobody nowhere for nothing. Because we come from a rich culture of artists and designers and creatives. New York was always leaders, and we don’t blend in, b. We from New York, the fuck?”
Diddy stated his intentions to lead the way and set an example for other New York artists to follow with his own upcoming music. “That’s what I’m doing. I’m going to lead the way,” he said. “I’m doing me, New York, unapologetically.”