Artist: Jermaine Dupri
Rating: 2 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
Maybe I aint the right person to be reviewing this. Y’see… I’ve always hated Jermaine Dupri. Now people may bitch about me being a “playa hata”, how I’m only dissing him cos of his success etc etc. Shit… say that if you want, I don’t care. To me Jermaine Dupri, or JD as he likes to be known represents everything thats wrong with Hiphop today. Despite what he and his army of fans may say, he doesn’t set trends – he follows them. Despite what he and his army of fans may say, he doesn’t love Hiphop anymore – he loves the money he makes from Hiphop. Despite what he and his fans may say, I ain’t dissing him just for the sake of it – shit, I’ll give credit where its due – that Brat ‘Funkdafied’ joint was off the hook.
But its hard to deny that JD is simply collecting money by treading the paths of those who have gone before, and using gimmicks to swell his pockets. After he’d picked clean the carcass of Kris Kross’ career, he became aware of a certain west coast partnership who were going ‘Deep Cover’. Bam! JD signs a female Snoop, and all of a certain they’re heading to the top of the charts on the back of some obvious funk samples. But wait a minute now R’n’B is getting hot – JD goes out and signs himself Xscape – a paint by numbers girl group who despite their lack of talent, still manage to release several albums. Come forward a few years and he does the same again with Jagged Edge because male R’n’B is what’s hitting. And so on, and so on ad infinitum… I’ll give JD one piece of credit though – he has a talent for selling no-talent to the Hiphop public. God knows how he gets away with it but he does. And its thru this style of hustling that he’s managed to establish his So So Def empire, and thus put out this album – his second long player.
As with his first release “Life in 1472”, JD leans heavily on the talents of others to get by. This time around Ludacris, Nate Dogg and Kurupt are among some of the big names who he’s using as his Hiphop crutch.
The lack of originality shows thru straight away as he first jacks an intro that Pete Rock made famous on his Soul Survivor album, and then samples BDP for ‘Welcome To Atlanta’ where his lack of skills is blatantly exposed by Ludacris.
As the album continues on we see how his penchant for doing “whats hot” not only shows that JD doesn’t have an original bone in his body, but that he can’t even do it well. You want one of those Busta Rhymes / Jay-Z double-time rhyming joints? Cool, JD has ‘Money Hoes & Power’ for that ass. Oh whats that? You want Area Codes Part 2? No problem. JD’s concocted ‘Ballin’ Out Of Control’, where despite Nate Dogg’s catchy hook, the fact can’t be disguised that this is a just an excuse for JD to boast (badly) about how much cash he has.
Its amazing how thin on content this album is. Its also sad (to me at least), that this type of shit will go platinum. Some of the beats are hot, I’ll admit it – but its common to find that the hot beats are the ones that sound like he straight ripped them from other artists (are you watching this Dre and Timbaland?)
JD’s up to his old tricks again. This is mindless, wack drivel. The type of shit that is dragging Hiphop through the gutter. I’m sick of this whole “niggas, bitches, money, guns, and empty boasts” style in this music I love. I’m sick of people trying to tell me that this is dope. In short, I’m sick of Jermaine Dupri.