Jermaine Dupri Recalls When He And Jay-Z Attempted To Sign 2 Chainz
Jermaine Dupri says that he and Jay-Z once attempted to sign 2 Chainz to a record deal, but that the rapper refused the offer. During an appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast, Dupri spoke on calling 2 Chainz directly from Jay-Z’s office to notify him of their desire to back his music career.
“I tried to sign 2 Chainz one day,” the renowned producer revealed. “It’s crazy because me and Jay-Z– I was in Jay-Z’s office one day. I call 2 Chainz, I’m like ‘Yo, me and Hov wanna sign you.’ He was like- he said, ‘OG, respectfully, it’s a young man’s game.’ And I said… ‘You do know who you’re talking to, right?’ So when somebody say that to me, I’m trying to find out where they got that from. Because the only two successful teenage ni**as to ever come out in hip-hop came from me. Bow Wow came ten years after Kris Kross, and he was the same age. He was 12. When I put them out, they was 11 and 12.”
Dupri doesn’t reveal exactly when this conversation took place or if the record deal would’ve been under So So Def, Roc Nation, or another entity. However, given JD’s track record of success and relationship with the city of Atlanta, along with Hov’s influence, the partnership would have been intriguing, to say the least. The interview, which saw the Grammy Award winner giving context to his nearly four-decade run in the music industry, also spoke on his own contributions to Hip-Hop, most notably the influx of child rap stars in the wake of bringing young acts like Kriss Kross and Bow Wow to fame. “I brought that energy to Hip-Hop,” the 50-year-old expressed. “There has never been anybody younger than Kris Kross and Bow Wow, that sold more records than Kriss Kross and Bow Wow. There was no ‘lil’s’ before Bow Wow.”
In recent years, Dupri has been vocal about his stature within the culture and the lack of proper recognition he deserves for his resume. He has famously challenged Diddy to a battle of hit records VERZUZ style and even claimed credit for coming up with the concept to the iconic BET show 106th & Park. “106 & Park was created by me,” he told the former NFL players turned cohosts. “I went to Stephen Hill at BET and told him, ‘Listen. MTV has a TV show called TRL. They let the Backstreet Boys, and N’SYNC, and all these boys come on there and that’s they[‘re] show. I said ‘Yo, we need this in Black music.’ He ain’t know what Bow Wow was gonna be. We put out ‘Bounce With Me’ and they created 106 & Park. “That’s why I named Bow Wow ‘Mr. 106 & Park,’ because I created the show. I basically told them ‘You gotta do this.’”