Rapper/producer Jermaine Dupri has been appointed President of Island Records Urban Music, a new division of the Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ).
Dupri, who vacated his position as President of Urban Music at Virgin Records in Oct. 2006, will now oversee Island’s entire urban music operation.
Additionally, he will produce artists on IDJ and the entire Universal Music Group family of labels.
The new position reunites Dupri with IDJ’s CEO/Chairman, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who helmed Arista when it distributed Dupri’s So So Def imprint from 2000-2005.
“I’m so excited to be reunited with L.A. Reid because most of my biggest hits were when he and I worked together,” Dupri said. “And then to be working side by side with Steve Bartels – I don’t think there’s a better team because he’s by far the best in the game. I can’t wait for us to start stuntin’ on y’all.”
Dupri’s track record stretches back to 1992, when he produced “Jump” for rap group Kris Kross.
The song was his first No. 1 record and since then, Dupri has produced gold, platinum, and multi-platinum records for Toni Braxton, TLC, Xscape, Da Brat, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Jagged Edge, Lil’ Bow Wow, Dem Franchize Boyz and others.
In 2005, Dupri produced Mariah Carey No. 1 hits “We Belong Together,” “Shake It Off,” and “Don’t Forget About Us,” all from Carey’s IDJ release, The Emancipation of Mimi, the best selling album of 2005.
Reid said Dupri’s consistent track record as a producer, artist, songwriter and label owner helped solidify the deal.
“Jermaine’s career has grown from strength to strength over the years, as a producer and songwriter and recording artist in his own right, as a respected label executive and entrepreneur, and as a highly esteemed developer of new talent,” Reid said in a statement. “His deep ties to Atlanta’s creative R&B and Hip-Hop community have been the springboard to working with the greatest names in contemporary music. This is a tremendous step forward for Island Records and its established roster of artists who will benefit enormously from Jermaine’s presence.”
Dupri, who will be based in Atlanta and New York, will report directly to IDJ’s CEO/Chairman, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and to Steve Bartels, President, Island Records/COO.