Today we consider Jermaine Dupri, the Atlanta-based label head, producer, rapper and songwriter who has found himself in the news recently. Dupri will soon take the stand as a witness in the trial of Arvin Edwards, the gunman involved in the infamous Adam “Pacman” Jones “Make it rain” incident at a strip club in Las Vegas. Durpi recently defended his actions, which were made public in a video of the incident that recently hit the Internet. “You’re not supposed to get your money until the dance is finished,” explained Dupri. “I’m from Atlanta — we do this every day.” Many people in the media have also brought up the fact that Dupri, who has been in a relationship with Janet Jackson since 2002, has been absent from any of the memorials for Michael Jackson (with multiple sources reporting that their relationship has ended).
But there was a time when being Jermaine Dupri was simpler — when it was all about hanging out with Jay-Z, producing Da Brat albums and developing the careers of pre-teen rap stars (see Kris Kross and Bow Wow). Dupri’s first album as a rapper, titled (quizzically) Life in 1472: The Original Soundtrack, came out this day in 1998 and contained the hit Jigga collaboration “Money Ain’t a Thang” (which contains one of Jay’s all-time greatest lines: “Said she loved my necklace/ Started relaxin’/ Now that’s what the f— I call a chain reaction”). If “money ain’t a thang,” then why did Dupri get so upset at the strippers who were grabbing money before the song ended? A lot can change in 11 years, apparently.