Jermaine Dupri has a question for the Hip Hop community as he moves around with his artist Young Dylan – does Hip Hop actually care about young people?
The veteran rap exec posed the question while talking to HipHopDX backstage at the Lovers & Friends festival in Las Vegas on Saturday (May 6). While noting that his 14-year-old signee was not receiving the amount of media coverage that his older peers do, JD was confused as to how that could be.
“My question is, because everybody tells me — I don’t know why they tell me — ‘Jermaine, this a young man’s game.’ And I’m like, ‘You telling me!'” JD began. “I’m the young man game giver. But everybody keeps saying it’s a young man’s game. So if it’s a young man’s game then why hasn’t — you know, if it is and all these different sites claim – like AllHipHop, they claim it’s all Hip Hop. But they ain’t posted a Dylan record. The Source is supposed to be the source of Hip Hop. They ain’t talked about the Dylan project.”
He continued: “Now some people could say, ‘Well Jermaine, it’s not good.’ Cool, you say that, that’s alright. But I grew up knowing about all kind of rap records, whether they was good or bad. It’s not about — you can pinpoint and tell me, ‘Jermaine, that’s not good.’ Cool, if you feel like that, that’s okay.”
“But at the same time, it’s a young artist trying to rap in the rap game and these outlets claim they cover all Hip Hop; so I’m like, ‘Is rappers that start at 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 years old – is that not considered real rap in the rap world?’ That’s just my question … It don’t feel like it’s accepted. It feels like every time I’ve done it, I’ve had to overly push. And I mean, Kris Kross was the same. But it was cool with Kris Kross because it was the first time it ever happened. So I was cool with that. You know, I didn’t know what I was doing so I didn’t care.
“But then when it got to Bow Wow, it was like, ‘Okay this is 10 years after Kris Kross — has the rap game caught up to what I’m doing as far as like understanding that I’m starting these rappers at a 12, 13, 14, 15, 16?’ Like, Bow Wow has basically the longest rap career of any rapper in rap. He’s been rapping since he was 12!
He continued: “But it seems like nobody cares about this. It seems like it’s not even, like a mention. So, you know, in going into do a new project — I’m not frustrated and I don’t want nobody think I am. I’m not thrown off by it, but I do have to question to see like, how is these outlets that claim they support all Hip Hop, trap, dance, whatever it is, you exclude young rap? And like I said, it ain’t for a 25 or a 30 year old person to comment on Young Dylan . I don’t expect you to like that. But I do expect for the outlets that claim they represent rap to give me thumbs down, tell me the project wack, whatever!”
Check out HipHopDX‘s interview with Jermaine Dupri below:
Young Dylan got his start on Nickelodeon with his own Tyler Perry-created show in 2020. Dylan’s character on the show is an aspiring rapper, and Jermaine Dupri saw the potential for a real life crossover and has been working with the young talent ever since.
In other JD news, his long-awaited Verzuz battle against Diddy has been confirmed with a date and venue.
In a video posted to Busta Rhymes‘ social media on Sunday (May 7), Puff Daddy revealed he’ll finally be going up against Dupri in a Verzuz on September 8 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
“We’re gon’ have you out the rafters flying out the sky,” Diddy told Busta as Fabolous stood alongside them.
Despite Diddy’s comments, Verzuz co-founders Timbaland and Swizz Beatz have yet to formally announce the event.