Recently ousted president of Island Records Urban Music [click to read] Jermaine Dupri spoke to Essence magazine about his split with Def Jam and his relationship with chairman Antonio "LA" Reid.
"It was a situation where it felt very stagnant to me," said Dupri of his position at Def Jam. "As a person who
is used to putting out new records and continuing to do that, it just
wasn't turning over as being that place to me where I should stick to
it and see if it was going to turn around."
The producer, who has churned out hits for Mariah Carey, Usher, Janet Jackson and countless other acts says that Def Jam wasn't aggressive enough in putting out new projects. He denied that he was fired due to lack of sales, and instead due to others' envy of his success. "I'm dealing with a lot of jealousy and have been since I first came in
the business. When you're younger they don't want to listen to you
because they know you are keener and people listen to the younger
person in the office. In corporate America, this is something that I
started feeling a lot. I'm keener as to what is going on in the
streets, the Internet and all over the place."
As for his relationship with the label, Dupri didn't have many positive things to say. "I haven