Jermaine Dupri: A company man until the bitter end
Jermaine Dupri must feel like a real sucker right now.
A little over a year ago, he was acting as a puppet for the TIs, going on the Huffington Post talking about how the reason Jay-Z’s American Gangster was pulled from iTunes was that it was such a masterpiece that it should only be listened to in its entirety (ha!), and how Apple had come to have too much control over the music industry.
It was obvious to me at the time that JD had been put up to this by his tall Israeli benefactors, and that he might not have even written the post himself. In fact, the post was on the same page as an ad for a book he put out – released around that same time – that he almost certainly didn’t play much of a part in writing.
Do we even know for a fact that JD can read? He’s been a kiddie rap mogul since he was pretty much a child himself. And even before that, he was dancing in that Whodini video. He doesn’t strike me as being like my former colleague Sickamore, where he didn’t bother to go to college, which is for suckers, but now every time I check his Twitter (nullus) this motherfucker’s reading a new book.
At the time, there was talk that the TIs might be creating their own iTunes, so as to cut Steve Jobs out of the equation and hence have that much more money to share with the artists. Psych! The idea was for the TIs to create their own iTunes in order to have that much more money to split amongst themselves, and then pay a relatively marginal fee to guys like Jermaine Dupri to pose as the black fronts for tall Israeli interests.
I wondered, at the time, in a post on this site, why, if guys like Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri had so much money, they didn’t create their own iTunes and cut the TIs out of the equation altogether, whether it was Steve Jobs or Doug Morris or whomever, instead of going on the Internets and reading from a script that had obviously been prepared for them. If pride wasn’t an issue for them, which, obviously it wasn’t, you’d think they might have been motivated by pure, Gordon Gekko-style greed.
At least Jay-Z had the sense to exit the Def Jam building of his own volition, and then subsequently dupe Live Nation into paying him a ridonkulous fee to put on concerts he’s gonna have to perform from now until he’s like 60, i.e. for at least another 10 years. He’s probably not gonna make any money on the backend, since Live Nation is gonna have to recoup first before they pay him another dollar. But at least he can take that $100 million or whatever and buy his way into another business in need of a black front – the same way he did with that slave trading bank that was trying to build a basketball stadium in Brooklyn.
Jermaine Dupri, meanwhile, stuck around long enough to have to be escorted out. Er, actually, I read in the New York Post that he hadn’t even shown up for work in a good three months. But as JD himself pointed out in an interview with Essence (where I get all of my hip-hop news these days), the label is obviously just saying shit to make him look bad. Why should it matter whether or not he’d actually shown up for work once in the past several months? It’s not like he was a real executive. It may have even been written into his contract that he didn’t actually have to show up to work. What the fuck was he gonna do there all day? Play solitaire?
It just goes to show the importance of having a little pride in yourself and not being another man’s bitch for a living. Not only could you possibly make even more money, but it’ll save you a lot of embarrassment down the road.