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Jermaine Dupri remembers being told JAY-Z wasn’t commercial enough for him to work with


MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesOn June 14, Jermaine Dupri became the second hip-hop artist inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame — after JAY-Z in 2017 — but he remembers when his record label told him not to work with Hova because he wasn’t “commercial enough.”

JAY was featured on Dupri’s top ten song “Money Ain’t Got a Thang,” and Dupri tells Highsnobiety.comthat people at his record company said, “Why are you not using Mariah? What’s going on? Who’s this JAY-Z guy? He’s not commercial enough.”

“I visualized what I thought JAY-Z was gonna be before anybody else,” Dupri says, explaining why he insisted on having the rapper on the track.  And Dupri says that out of all the songs he’s had a hand in during his career, “Money Ain’t Got a Thang” is the song that receives the most attention.

“It’s not a #1 record,” he says, “ but it’s one of those type of records that you gotta have.”

Dupri’s proud to be a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, but he also sees a negative side to being the second hip-hop artist inducted.

“I feel like that’s a bad thing that I’m the second …because it’s a bad thing for the Songwriters Hall of Fame to look like they’re not up on the fact that rappers actually are writers,” he says

“Like, Jesus, y’all ain’t think that Run-D.M.C. wrote they records? Or you gonna respect what they wrote? Or you don’t respect what Nas or anybody else that’s come prior to this?” Dupri adds.

But Dupri notes, you have to have been in the game for 20 years to be eligible for the Hall of Fame, so that does limit the number of rappers who could be inducted.

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