Jermaine Dupri found himself the center of controversy earlier this month when he candidly remarked that there were no contemporary female rap artists — not Cardi B, Nicki Minaj or Megan Thee Stallion — that he thought were killing it in the game right now.
“They all rapping about the same thing,” he told People TV. “I don’t think they’re showing us who’s the best rapper. For me, it’s like strippers rapping. As far as rap goes, I’m not getting who’s the best rapper. I’m getting, like, OK, you got a story about dancing in the club, you got a story about you dancing in the club, who’s going to be the rapper?”
The remarks drew ire from lots of people on social media and even caused so-called stripper rapper Cardi B to hit back on Instagram.
“First of all, I rap about my p—-y because she’s my best friend,” the one-time stripper-turned-reality-TV-star said. “And second of all, it seems like that’s what people wanna hear.”
Yet Dupri, who discovered the first female platinum-selling solo rapper, Da Brat, in the early 1990s, stands by his remarks.
“She said, ‘Who’s your favorite out of those people?’ I said, ‘I don’t have no favorite,'” he explained to Atlanta Black Star Wednesday, July 24. “A favorite, I can’t give you a favorite because I feel like they’re all talking about the same thing. I was talking about these people’s names they gave me. I said, ‘It’s like strippers rapping,’ and it went crazy.”
“What people don’t understand is I actually believe that these women that do this type of music should start calling it strap,” he continues, fusing the words “stripper” and “rap.” “I think just like we have trap [music], they should call it strap. It’s the stories of their life.”
Dupri then explained he appeared on an episode of “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” and told one of Mimi Faust’s artists that she ought to “create a genre called stripper fight music.” Linking it to the crunk genre, he then mentioned his launch of Dem Franchise Boyz, whose tunes were deemed snap music by USA Today.
“Name your genre,” he says, acknowledging the “GOAT” megaproducer, Grammy winner and New Jack Swing pioneer Teddy Riley is an advocate of artists putting their own label on their music. “There’s nothing wrong with naming it. Name it, because that’s what you do.”
Dupri also addressed the public’s issue with him taking on what women rappers rhyme about without admonishing male rappers’ penchant for talking about sex and drugs.
“Why you ain’t say something ’bout the men?” he asks. “Why this ain’t come up two weeks before I went? Why is this coming up now? I feel like it’s so many people that was feeling like what I said already but they was scared to say it.
“So, people ask me, ‘Do I regret what I said?’ No,” he continues. “When stuff like that’s happening and people in the streets are saying something like, ‘JD, I’m glad you stood up and said it,’ I feel like I did something. … I’m getting press for talking about music. I would never change that for nothing in the world — I’m talking about music. … To be a number one trending topic on Twitter [talking] about music, I didn’t plan it, but I’ll take it.”