Crate Diggers

Crate Diggers: Jermaine Dupri Once Bought an Entire Record Store

The So So Def mogul also talks Michael Jackson and working with Jay-Z and Usher
November 28, 2012

For more than 20 years, super-producer Jermaine Dupri has been creating hits for both himself and a cadre of superstars. The man behind hits from Kris Kross, Mariah Carey and Usher's 10 million-selling Confessions is also an avid record collector, showing off his diverse collection which includes everything from Blondie to Brenda K. Starr to Chuck Brown. Check out the whole video above, but here are some highlights below: 

On His Collection Style
"I bought a whole record store one day. I went into the store that was going out of business and I told them I wanted all the soul and urban records that they had. I think it was like $1,500. I like to have a big quantity of records so I can really dig and listen to music."

On Working With Usher
"Confessions was the beginning of Usher going through life. Him talking about stuff that he wasn’t dealing with at the time, and then all of that stuff became his life. It was [also] my life. I had a girlfriend, and then I got another girl pregnant at the same time. The words were just up in the air in this room. The stories and the nights that we put into making this album were incredible."

On the Lost Art of Sampling
"I want people to get back to that sample sound. It’s still, to me, the most loved records in hip hop. The younger producers are concerned more about money and publishing so sampling is definitely out the window. Where me, if it’s a hit, I don’t care what the sample costs. I’m not even thinking about that."

Dupri also discusses a conversation he had with Michael Jackson about Usher, and how he cooked up "Money Ain't a Thang," his ubiquitous hit with Jay-Z, an hour before Jigga landed in Atlanta.

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