Jermaine Dupri Details Ups and Downs of Success in New Book
Titled Young, Rich and Dangerous: My Life in Music, the book chronicles the current Island Records Urban Music president's beginnings as an opening act dancer for the New Fresh Fest tour as well as his discovery of rap duo Kriss Kross and the journey towards becoming an established force in the music industry.
For Dupri, the pair's individual personalities stood out when hediscovered Kriss Kross members Chris Kelly and Chris Smith in the Greenbriar Mall in 1990.
"What struck me about the Chrises was the way their personality came through. . . It was like those kids were waiting to be discovered ever since they became friends in the first grade," wrote the mogul, who revealed details about the first Kriss Kross album as well as how he persuaded Smith and Kelly to braid their hair and wear their clothes backwards, created the group's image and wrote, produced and recorded all the music on a secondhand four-track recorder. "I saw something in them that I could bring out with some hard work and imagination."
Dupri's success with Kriss Kross resulted in collaborations with numerous artists such as Mariah Carey, TLC, Bow Wow, Elton John, Bobby Brown and Usher. Additionally, Young, Rich and Dangerous details Dupri's progression to record label head with the creation of So So Def Productions.
Although he reminisces over his triumphs in Young, Rich and Dangerous, Dupri also exposes the other side of his success as he revisits his experience with an overly ambitious musician, the backlash he's received from those who were skeptical of his artists' fame and competition within the music industry to stay on top.
Readers can also check out never-before-seen photographs from studios, parties and awards shows as well as get the mogul's take on the birth of his daughter, the story behind his relationship with girlfriend Janet Jackson and the artists he's collaborated with.
"Usher loves real hard. I've seen him in the studio where he's so into a girl he can't even record," Dupri wrote.
Young, Rich and Dangerous, which is co-written with Samantha Marshall, features a forward by famed producer Teddy Riley. The Atria Books published work is currently available in bookstores.