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Jermaine Dupri announces So So Def anniversary concert

The So So Def crew. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

The So So Def crew. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Two decades ago, Jermaine Dupri debuted So So Def Recordings and first exposed the country to Xscape, the female R&B group who quickly ascended the charts with “Just Kickin’ It” and “Understanding.”

Who would have ever thought that one of its members – Kandi Burruss – would one day be infamous not so much for her legitimate music talents, but for starring in a top-rated reality show?

Now, 20 years later, Burruss is a household name, while thousands of music fans still groove to the sounds of So So Def’s laundry list of artists – Da Brat, Jagged Edge, Bow Wow, Bonecrusher, Anthony Hamilton, J-Kwon, Dem Franchise Boyz and more.

SoSoDef 001Part of the crew was on hand Tuesday afternoon at Atlanta City Hall for the announcement of an “All-Star Anniversary Concert” to celebrate the label’s 20th anniversary. The show will take place at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Fox Theatre and, according to Dupri, include performances from the entire roster of So So Def artists.

Tickets are on sale Jan. 19 through FoxATLtix.com or 1-855-ATL-TIXX. Tickets prices are TBA.

A 20-song “Best of So So Def” compilation CD is also in the works for a June release.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed took the podium first to recognize Dupri and fellow record mogul L.A. Reid for “birthing what Atlanta has become in music and entertainment” and encouraged fans to come to the show to “celebrate the So So family” next month.

Reed then jokingly introduced Dupri as “the mayor of Atlanta.”

In shades and a flannel shirt, Dupri called out the members of Kriss Kross, Chris Kelly and Chris Smith, to acknowledge the start of his career (an 18-year-old Dupri discovered the “Jump” duo in a shopping mall, as the story goes) and also thanked his father, former Columbia Records president Michael Mauldin (also in attendance), for “helping us put this whole situation together,” presumably referring to the record label, which was established as a joint venture with Sony Music and Columbia.

While the show will be held on Feb. 23, Dupri plans to celebrate the label’s anniversary all weekend.

“It’s only right we take over the city. You only get one time to do this,” he said, adding that he’ll host a VIP party for the label roster on Feb. 21 and an “incredible party” on Feb. 22.

Jermaine Dupri announces the 20th anniversary So So Def anniversary concert.

Jermaine Dupri announces the 20th anniversary So So Def anniversary concert.

“This concert means the world to me,” Dupri said. “I don’t feel any other label has every artist still alive and still kicking…It’s not just Atlanta history, but music history.”

After the press conference, Dupri chatted for a few minutes about the state of the Atlanta music industry, saying he didn’t think it was quite as creative as it once was, but “it’s got legs to go in that direction.”

“Now people come to Atlanta with a different mentality,” Dupri said. “In the ‘90s, kids thought it was a dream, but now they come here almost expecting success. But we’re still the frontrunners. 2Chainz, Future, Jeezy, Luda, T.I., all of those guys…I travel all around the world and what I see are people who still look at Atlanta as [being at] the forefront of music.”

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

25 comments Add your comment

Yolanda Martin

January 15th, 2013
5:03 pm

I think it’s great!!!

Kweli

January 15th, 2013
10:12 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Nonia

January 15th, 2013
11:25 pm

Just trying to keep his house from going to foreclosure-
Not trying to deal with harrasing rookie Atl police, no safe place to park, homeless people begging for money in downtown ATL for this-

Anne

January 16th, 2013
6:16 am

I think it’s wonderful. Jermaine did a lot musically for Atlanta with his So So Def Productions. And so did Dallas Austin. They should be recognized.

JustDrivinBy

January 16th, 2013
6:56 am

I’m with the “ZZZZZzzzzzzz” crowd on this one.

JustDrivinBy

January 16th, 2013
7:01 am

….and frankly I’m getting SICK AND TIRED of seeing Kasim Reid posted up in a frame for some event with HIP-HOPPERS and other Black “entertainers”. Can we get more of you engaging and pushing initiatives with Black investors, business people, technological minds and other professionals to shine a light on the community??

[...] AJC.com AKPC_IDS += "16771,"; [...]

david c

January 16th, 2013
7:16 am

I'll remain in the burbs

January 16th, 2013
8:07 am

“Now people come to Atlanta with a different mentality,” Dupri said.

Yeah, will I get mugged. accosted by panhandlers, or murdered?

count_schemula

January 16th, 2013
8:15 am

Well, he does need the money. The 90s was a long time ago.

GG

January 16th, 2013
9:43 am

Definitely my era of music, I can’t wait to purchase my tickets!

Headfiend

January 16th, 2013
9:55 am

Boy that’s back when we had music stores like Tower at Lenox!
JD should have never let Janet go.

mugglemikki

January 16th, 2013
10:27 am

LOL, he has to get caught up on his child support!

VWilliams

January 16th, 2013
10:46 am

Love Love Love it, I can’t wait!!! : )

[...] 23rd with an all-star reunion concert at the city’s Fox Theatre, label-head Jermaine Dupri announced yesterday. At a press conference attended by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Dupri also announced a new So So Def [...]

[...] 23rd with an all-star reunion concert at the city’s Fox Theatre, label-head Jermaine Dupri announced yesterday. At a press conference attended by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Dupri also announced a new So So Def [...]

[...] The proclamation came on Tuesday afternoon during Atlanta City Hall, where Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed assimilated a register of So So Def all-stars on a stage, a Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. [...]

[...] The announcement came on Tuesday afternoon at Atlanta City Hall, where Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed joined a roster of So So Def all-stars on the stage, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. [...]

MAcman

January 16th, 2013
8:23 pm

What a snoozefest….why is the mayor all up in the hip hop ish? LOL

[...] The announcement came on Tuesday afternoon at Atlanta City Hall, where Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed joined a roster of So So Def all-stars on the stage, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. [...]

[...] geven volgende maand een optreden tijdens een speciaal concert in het Fox Theatre in Atlanta, schrijft de krant The Atlanta [...]

Nostones

January 18th, 2013
2:41 pm

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate 20 years in the business? Most of these artists haven’t been in the industry for a while but despite that they can come together.

This announcement had a press conference with the mayor because Sososdef has been a major impact in the music business and no other label can do this.

In labels like Ruff Ryders, Rocafella Records, Bad Boy, Murder Inc, only 1 or 2 artists were successful,and they hate their boss. These people pictured and not pictured were heavy on the scene in the south and the country, so many people just moved to Atlanta in the last 5 years or so and have no idea. It’s easy to forget or not know but that’s why the one time anniversary concert is a good reminder of things like…

Da Brat was the 1st female solo rapper ever to go platinum, like in the history of music. Mc Lyte didn’t reach it and this is before success of a Lil Kim or Nicki Minaj or Missy Elliot. Da Brat, a So so Def artist.

Xscape had 3 brown to dark skin girls and 2 heavy set girls and JD was told he was a fool to try to make them happen (mainstream music has a color and body image complex, which is why today you’ll be hard pressed to find a label guy signing a dark skinned woman unless she won American Idol) and they sold millions.

Bow Wow sold 3 million albums of his 1st cd alone, and kept selling millions for 10 years (proving more than 1 hit wonder) and led sold-out tours in the biggest arenas like Madison Square Garden, something only Jay Z , Kanye West and Eminem have done in rap. He’s still recording music, leading his own films and hosting and reformatting BET’s 106&Park, the show that molded his career.

Kris Kross sold 4 million off their 1st album and went platinum and gold on their other 2.
People think “oh it’s easy cute kids sell” but other rappers like Romeo, Lil Zane, Diggy Simmons, etc no one reached the success Kriss Kross and especially Bow Wow has. Even Justin Bieber’s album sales are already dwindling and he didn’t achieve as much album sales wise surprisingly.

Plus Lil Jon used to work with So So Def (and he’ll be at the concert Dupri said). And his crunk sound brought Atlanta back in the early 2000s …just ask Usher (who went to sell diamond, 10 million with an album led off by Lil Jon’s sound) and Ciara.

That’s something to celebrate. Why be cynical about that? Some of our favorite artists of today can’t celebrate something like this with anyone else because they’re alone and isolated in this industry.

I think Kandi and Tiny should do the concert with the other members of Xscape. It’s one night. It’d be a good look for all 4 of them to show up, remind people that they were great and give Atlanta and 90s kids/teens that nostalgic feeling. People still act like Tiny wasn’t big wayyy before TI was on. Let them know….

[...] celebrate the two-decade mark of his So So Def label, Jermaine Dupri held a press conference in Atlanta today, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, to announce his plans to throw an [...]

Phil

January 19th, 2013
1:57 am

Just wondering if Trina Broussard will be in the line up?

[...] will also star label-founder Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat and Bow Wow. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the event will also be attended by Atlanta Mayor Kasim [...]