Still shot of Jermaine Dupri
Source: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images

Producer Jermaine Dupri Made Legends out of These Six So So Def Recording Artists

The rap game is finally giving Atlanta producer Jermaine Dupri his roses. These are the artists he's signed to So So Def over the years!


Oct. 18 2023, Published 2:37 p.m. ET

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For three of the five decades that hip-hop has been alive, So So Def Recordings founder Jermaine Dupri has been a pretty big deal.

From his role in Freaknik — the legendary street party that helped shape Atlanta's hip-hop scene — to the unforgettable hits he has produced, the CEO has had the rap game on lock for years now.

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With Jermaine at the helm, So So Def Recordings has churned out chart-topping hits from the 99s to the 2000s and beyond. But So So Def wouldn't be what it is today without the artists who cemented the label's legacy.

With Jermaine at the helm, So So Def Recordings has churned out chart-topping hits from the 99s to the 2000s and beyond. But So So Def wouldn't be what it is today without the artists who cemented the label's legacy.

Bow Wow

Musician Bow Wow poses for a photo in November, 2001 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Source: Gregory Bojorquez/Getty Images

Although the "Lil" in Lil Bow Wow is silent now, his iconic Harlem Shake will live rent-free in our minds forever. The rapper made his debut in the rap game under the guidance of Jermaine Dupri.

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His debut album, Beware of Dog, dropped in the fall of 2000, and "Bounce With Me" quickly became a fan favorite. Bow Wow's undeniable talent and stage presence made him an instant sensation.

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Over the years, he continued to release hit after hit. Some of Bow's most memorable tracks include "Let Me Hold You" and "Like You" — both of which helped solidify his status as one of So So Def's top-earning stars.

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Da Brat

 Rapper Da Brat (aka Shawntae Harris) and Jermaine Dupri appear in a portrait taken backstage when they perform at The Manhattan Center on July 10, 1994
Source: Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives

Da Brat is another remarkable artist who calls So So Def Recordings home.

Her debut album, Funkdafied, made a major splash in the hip-hop community. More than a decade after its release, the title track still slaps.

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Da Brat's lyrical IQ, distinct flow, and style broke barriers in a male-dominated industry, paving the way for other female artists. She continued to shine with hits like "Give It 2 You" and "That's What I'm Looking For."

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Kandi Burress, Tiny, Tamika Scott and LaTocha Scott of Xscape attend 10th Annual Soul Train Music Awards on March 29, 1996
Source: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

When we talk about iconic girl groups that made their mark in the '90s, Xscape undoubtedly tops the list.

This quartet, which included Kandi Burruss, Tameka "Tiny" Harris, LaTocha Scott, and Tamika Scott, was among the many jewels in Jermaine Dupri's crown.

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However, what differentiated Xscape's journey from their labelmates' was their unique blend of vocal talent, authenticity, and relatability. They weren't just a girl group — they were the embodiment of 90s R&B.

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Jagged Edge

Singers Brandon Casey, Kyle Norman, Richard Wingo and Brian Casey of Jagged Edge poses for photos at George's Music Room in Chicago, Illinois on June 2001.
Source: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

This list would be incomplete without Jagged Edge.

A Jagged Era hit the airwaves in 1997 and set the stage for R&B groups to come.

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The group's earlier tracks like "Let's Get Married" and "I Gotta Be" gave fans a taste of their magic, but it wasn't until the 2000s that they really caught fire.

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Young BloodZ

Youngbloodz during "Arista Reloaded" at the 2003 BMG US Label Presentations - Reception at Bryant Park Grill
Source: Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage

Atlanta rappers Sean Paul and J-Bo were known as the Young BloodZ in the early 2000s.

Their 2003 hit single "Damn!" featuring Lil Jon catapulted them to mainstream success and showcased their undeniable charisma. Later, they dropped their Southern classic, "Presidential," also a certified bop among fans.

Although the duo hasn't dropped an album since 2008, they've definitely earned their place in the So So Def Hall of Fame.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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