Jermaine Dupri Is Willing To Screw You Over For The Sake Of A Good Album

Nov 20th, 2007 // 14 Comments

jermainedupri.jpgDid you know shrimpy hip-hop mogul Jermaine Durpri was a blogger on The Huffington Post? Neither did we! Yet there he was yesterday with his second post already, wherein he praises Jay-Z for his “decision not to let iTunes break up his American Gangster album and sell it as single tracks.” And it seems JD is already taking swimmingly to the blog format, penning an impassioned (and totally bullshit) 1,300 word rant-cum-manifesto about how the record labels can (and should!) take back control of the industry from both evil Steve Jobs and his hypnotized minion, the music consumer.

Jay made everyone realize that iTunes taking what we give them and doing what they want with it isn’t the way it has to be. He put the light on and made other people realize, “Oh these guys are just selling our music, they ain’t making it.” If anything, WE made iTunes. It’s like how we spent $300,000 to $500,000 each on our videos and MTV and BET went ahead and built an entire video television industry off of our backs. We can’t let that happen again. These businesses exist solely because of our music. So if we as artists, producers and label executives stand up, those guys at Apple can either cooperate, or have nothing for people to buy and download on their iPods.

Apple thinks that’s never gonna happen. They think that we as the record industry will never stick together. But Universal sells one out of every three records. All it’ll take is for Warner Music to say, “You know what, I’m with you,” for us to shut ‘em down. No more iPods! They won’t have nothin’ to play on their players! We can take back the power if we’re willing to sacrifice some sales to make our point.

Well thank God someone finally made that argument. Apple may hold the copyrights and be cashing the checks, but a first-year business student (or blogger) knows it’s consumers who power iTunes, where full albums are also available 99 percent of the time, determining what format sells in Steve Jobs’ store. And it’s long been obvious to everyone with head removed from ass (i.e. not invested in selling albums) that said consumers have voted in favor of singles, and laughable to argue that if labels suddenly yank all product from iTunes there will be a brief period of grumbling followed by consumers returning to the full album with tails tucked. But you all already know this. So why does a man who has spent most of his adult life in the record industry find it so hard to understand? The problem might be that, like most multi-kazillionaires, JD has lost touch with the people.

We’d cut the single off a few weeks before the album came out to get people to wait and let the excitement build. When I put out Kris Kross we did that. We sold two million singles, then we stopped. Eventually we sold eight million albums!
Did consumer complain? Maybe so. But at what point does any business care when consumer complains about the money? Why do people not care how we – the people who make music – eat? If they just want the single, they gotta get the album. That was how life was.

“These peasants will take what we give them and like it! Why do they not think of the health of their king before their own?” Man, you can’t teach the nouveau riche anything.

A Good Album Is More Than Just A Collection Of Singles [Huffington Post]

  1. Anonymous

    99% of the major-label albums released now are diluted with filler. That’s why we’re buying the singles, you grimy bastard.

  2. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    Can somebody provide me with a “actually good songs/stupid skits” ratio for the albums that Dupri has produced?

    The guy is probably batting somewhere around .180 lifetime. That might be good enough for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, but it sure as shit isn’t major leauge caliber stuff.

    Oh. Right. That’s why he’s currently writing for The Huffington Post and not, you know, producing.

    What was his last big album, anyway? “Confessions?”

  3. Nately

    Really? Kriss Kross? That’s who you want to hang your hat on?

  4. heyzeus

    And everybody knows that if a single is not available on that evil itunes, there is no other way to obtain a copy of it! Especially for free, off the internet. Good business model there.

  5. mike a

    for free, off the internet

    Or with a handy MP3 turntable. Or by connecting your computer to a CD player, starting up Audacity and hitting “play” on your copy-protected CD.

  6. Chris Molanphy

    “That was how life was.”

    I love how his sense of music history starts at 1992.

    Hey, Jermaine, know how life was before that? Your industry let us buy the single and the album. That was before shits-for-brains like you entered the industry, got greedy, deleted the single and started the entire movement that made iTunes an inevitability. You stupid, stupid bastard.

  7. beta.rogan

    All I can think of when I see Jermaine Dupri is that childish Daffy Duck shirt he was wearing on Cribs back in like 1999. He looked as stupid then as he sounds now.

    I’m sure Apple is shaking in their proverbial boots…after all,“those guys at Apple can either cooperate, or have nothing for people to buy and download on their iPods.”

    Yeah man, no other way to get music to put on portable players, none at all…

  8. Nicolars

    No “You Me and Dupri” picture, no credibility.

  9. Aleb

    @dennisobell: Amen, brother.

    Has JD already forgotten about Janet’s ’20 Y.O’ fiasco? I bet he spent a few months praying that people would AT LEAST download the singles off that album.

    Anyway, does he genuinely believe people would go back to buying whole albums just because of a single, so that consumers show they “care how we – the people who make music – eat”? He’s not just ugly, he’s dumb too!

  10. Captain Wrong

    If I can blogwhore about this a sec, I posted a big thought on this earlier. []

    Shorter version: Apple didn’t invent the single, attitudes like your are exactly what has driven people to a track at a time model and I can take you much more seriously if your weren’t implying Soulja Boy and Kriss Kross are “artists”.

  11. Anonymous

    This from a man who wrote and performed a song called “Money Ain’t A Thang”.

    Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up

  12. La Mareada

    Has he ever produced an album that anyone, even fans of his style, would want more songs than the two singles? Its precisely the rise of hip-hop/R&B influenced POP producers like him that makes itunes/downloading necessary. Full-on hip-hop or R&B and other genres still have artists capable of making a whole or half album worthy of purchase.

  13. Adam Bernard

    @Nately: Why shouldn’t he? He sold 8 million copies of it after first week sales were only 70K

  14. Adam Bernard

    I can’t believe people are hating on this article. Even if you dislike his music separate the message from the man.

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