Hip hop vets tend to have a complicated relationship with changes in the culture. Even with 2015 being one of the best and more exciting music years in a while, old school hip hop fans wouldn’t mind a hit of nostalgia.
In part two of our interview with the Jermaine Dupri, he talks Drake and Meek Mill's beef being "good for hip hop" and why he hasn’t heard a full rap album in a decade. “I haven’t listened to one full rap album in the last 10 years,” admits Dupri. “I mean to where I feel like the album is a complete project like Doggystyle or The Chronic or America’s Most Wanted. I've listened to songs, but I’m sure I haven’t listened to one rap album in the last 10 years and been like, ‘I want to listen to this entire album.’
"I don’t think no one has given us a body of work like none of those records I just named,” he continues. “I definitely haven’t heard one rap album that sounds as good as Doggystyle.”
The Meek and Drizzy drama turned into a hip hop highlight because it brought hip hop back to it’s roots, so to speak. “It set a tone for what a beef is supposed to be," Dupri says. "It keeps it alive and well. If you’re gonna have a battle with somebody, you’ve been shown how to do this in the early ‘80s and ‘90s. LL Cool J to Ice T, Tupac and Biggie, Jay Z and Nas, you saw what you were supposed to do. To see Drake and Meek Mill…that looks very healthy, it looks like those other eras. Everything else [in hip hop] is different, but that looks strong.”
Social media played a big role in the excitement of it all. “The fact that everyone was involved, to me, it felt just like Jay Z and Nas. Everybody was talking about it. Everybody was listening to the music. That’s the only thing that resembles my early days of hip hop. It felt like I was back on the street, kids trying to make sure that the respect level of hip hop was not lost."
Having played so many positions in the game all these years, Dupri has no immediate plans to walk away from music. The 43-year-old started a band called “The D” (click here for their new song”FOES”), his Las Vegas DJ residency is nearing six-years strong and he’s executive producing a Lifetime reality competition alongside Queen Latifah.
Rap Games features six YouTube stars, ranging from ages 10-15, vying to break into the music industry with his help. Dupri will also appear on the upcoming BET show Moguls.
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(Photo: Moses Robinson/Getty Images for D'USSE)