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The Morning Hustle

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After three decades of hitmaking, Grammy winner Jermaine Dupri feels underappreciated

Written by on September 22, 2022

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Despite writing and producing numerous hits for Mariah Carey, UsherJay-Z and many more stars, Grammy winner Jermaine Dupri feels underappreciated.

As the Songwriters Hall of Fame member looks back at his three-decade career, he says he is especially upset that Usher’s 2004 Confessions album has not received the credit he feels it deserves.

Dupri, who turns 50 on September 23, served as executive producer on the project and produced six of the songs. The album has sold over 10 million copies worldwide, and Dupri is still mad that Rolling Stone did not list it among the greatest albums of all time.

“I feel like that affects me,” Dupri tells Variety. “Usher didn’t win album of the year at the Grammys. You make an album that big and people act like it’s not that big, so for me, I feel like that’s why I’m the most challenged.”

This week, Jermaine and Usher are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 43-year-old singer’s seven-times Platinum second album, My Way, which Dupri also executive produced. Now they are in the studio recording Usher’s ninth album.

Next year, JD will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his So So Def Recordings, the label that launched the careers of Xscape, Bow Wow, Kriss Kross and more.

Now his goal is to create a classic that will make history.

“The only thing I’m thinking about is, when Quincy Jones turned 50 he made Thriller. That’s the only thing that matters to me,” Dupri says. “I’m trying to figure out what’s going to be my Thriller.

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