Jermaine Dupri has announced a multiyear partnership between his So So Def Recordings and Create Music Group.
Under the deal terms, the veteran artist, producer and entrepreneur brings his label’s recordings, publishing and back catalog to Create. Dupri, who will also serve as the newly instated creative director for Create, will work with the company to release new music and launch artists under his purview.
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Additionally, Dupri will transition from CEO of So So Def to chairman and founder. In his stead, Bryan Patrick Franklin will serve as the company’s new CEO and Joe Romulus Esq. will become head of legal business affairs.
Dupri first founded So So Def in 1993 in a joint venture between Sony and Columbia. In the time since, the label has respectively been housed under EMI and Universal, with distribution changing hands between Columbia, Arista, Virgin, Island Def Jam, Malaco and, most recently, Epic. The label has released hit albums from a slew of artists including Da Brat, Xscape, Bow Wow, Jagged Edge, BoneCrusher and more.
As a solo artist, Dupri has released a pair of albums including 1998’s “Life in 1472,” which spawned the hits “Money Ain’t a Thang” featuring Jay-Z and “Sweetheart” with Mariah Carey. In addition to producing Grammy-winning songs with Carey and Usher, he’s built his portfolio as a record executive at So So Def’s helm and as president of Island’s Urban Music division for two years.
“I have been looking for a home for the entire So So Def brand so I can continue to do what I started,” Dupri says of the deal.
“Jermaine has been one of the most successful and impactful forces in music for the last three decades,” adds Jonathan Strauss, Create’s founder and CEO. “We are honored that he and his team have decided to partner with us for both his catalog and future output.”
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