Jermaine Dupri Speaks On Getting Fired: “Island Is Gonna Say What Makes Them Look Good”

Days after it was announced that Jermaine Dupri was fired from his position at Island Records, the Atlanta producer/music exec has spoke to Essence magazine to tell his side of the story. 

JD, who served as the president of urban music at the label for the last two years, said he just wasn’t happy there anymore. “It was a situation where it felt very stagnant to me,” he told Essence. “As a person who is used to putting out new records and continuing to do that, it just wasn’t turning over as being that place to me where I should stick to it and see if it was going to turn around.”

Known for heading his own So So Def record company and crafting hit records for Jay-Z, Da Brat, Bow Wow and Mariah Carey, among others, the industry vet revealed that he was very disappointed with the way business was handled at Island Def Jam. “It wasn’t giving me the open door that I thought it was going to,” he continued. “It wasn’t aggressive enough and it was a big letdown for me. I thought I was going to a place that understood the times we were in as a music business and how aggressive we needed to be with putting out new projects and records.”

Hired by Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid, who created the unique Island Records position for him, it seems as if the two are no longer on speaking terms. “I haven’t spoken to L.A. in three months. I don’t know if it’s amicable [considering] that they claim they put me out. I feel like it’s not amicable. Don’t lie, be real about the situation.”

JD says the reason he no longer works for the label has nothing to do with Janet Jackson or Jagged Edge’s poor sales figures as many have been lead to believe. “Island [Def Jam Records] is going to say what makes them look good,” he explained. “They are not going to tell the truth and say, ‘He just stopped dealing with us on a daily basis.’“

As far as Dupri’s situation with TAG Records, a label he launched in conjunction with IDJ and Proctor and Gamble, the deal is still up in the air:  “I don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s the saddest part in dealing with these situations.” - Elan Mancini

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Gullee Boy

    We started this movement Jan. 3rd



  • Mika


  • Hate Hate and more Hate

    These niggas crack me up when they dropped or fired from a label, saying, “they was unhappy” or “it was a decision on both sides.”

    Get the fuck outta here! Nigga you was fired. Ain’t nothing wrong with getting fired, specially when niggas know you was doing shit to begin with. Consider yourself lucky for getting away with not doing shit at your job for years and still getting paid. That’s every mans dream job.

    But on some real shit, if that was me, I would still apply for unemployment

    BTW he’s a nasty mutha fucka for fucking Janet Jackson, that bitch looks too much like her gay brother

    • dusty boy

      Maan Hol’ Up!! This Hate, Hate, and More Hate nigga gots to be the only MAN alive who thinks.. “he’s (JD) a nasty mutha fucka for fucking Janet Jackson, that bitch looks too much like her gay brother”….

      This nigga should change his name to…
      Cock Sucka, Cock Sucka, and More Cock Suckin’!

      Get a life pussy!! LOL!! Internet G’z i like yall haters!!! Keep talkin’ ’bout me!!! Gullee Boy what it do playa!!! Don’t let this Cock Sucka get to you.


  • Ambition-1

    Why don’t record labels just call it what it is. People are not intwerested in buying CDs anymore. It’s as simple as that. This has been going on for three years now and they have done nothing but point fingers and cannibalize themselves. JDs not the reason why such and such label isn’t selling shit. If they would take soem time to try to figure out a new sales strategy that actually coincieded with the times then I think things could actually get better. In two more years there won’t be anymore big labels and we’ll be bombarded with a bunch more undeserving ass artist!

    • bigfamily

      Why don’t record labels just call it what it is. People are not interested in buying CD’s anymore.

      That’s as factual a statement as you can get. I laugh at how he said him and LA aren’t on speaking terms. I always felt that LA was a porch Nigger.

  • macdatruest

    Are major labels still signing new people? Who wants to sign with a label anyway? I think that everybody nowadays would rather take advantage of technology and cut costs. Thats what a label is going to do once they get you to sign a contract, try to cut costs. Labels are middle men nowadays, and they want too much. They have something called a bottom line which requires they do what sells. Eventually, every true artist on a major label with a bottom line is gonna have problems. They call you their “artist” but really all the managers, A&Rs, stylists, consultants-they all eating off of your talent that got you signed in the first place before you met any of them. I think it is a good thing that labels are falling apart, and so are their creations (50 Cent) so maybe we can hear some of this hot new shit thats already out but just not mainstream-Make the dJ’s work again! Make them go looking for that next big record to break from an unknown artist, instead of getting a check and a playlist from Interscope

  • $ykotic

    Dayum! Can’t even say thank you! They made a job up for you!

    50/50: JD didn’t generate any new business, IDJ didn’t cake off of any new business JD bought them AND he didn’t uplift any of the stagnant artists already on the label.

    Cut your losses and move on.


  • Stu

    Sour grapes I feel. Dude knows he didnt do a good job for Hip-Hop or Def Jam.

  • capt. obvious

    UPS is hiring!!!

  • balaramesh

    he was not a good fit there anyway. he rode mariah’s and usher’s coatails. he delivered for them but no one else. he is a pop music producer not a hip hop label head.

    i bought JD’s first album ONLY because jay, nas, x, and kiss were on it (before itunes).

    FYI, he released rocko, chingy and ace hood within the past year. what you think??!

  • Pingback: - » Def Jam Replaces Shakir Stewart, Jermaine Dupri Brings So So Def To Sony

  • Clever

    This Bum needs to be dropped. What has he contributed to Hip-Hop. Nothing, what Kris-Kross? what da Brat? Thats nothing to be proud of. He’s cocky, arrongant, he’s an asshole. Period. Keep it moving no tax paying Muthaphukka. LOL!