Jermaine Dupri Says The DJ Is Dead

The ever controversial Jermaine Dupri declares that the DJ is dead.  He talks about the self-promotion of DJ’s and their lack of focus for helping new artists.  Not necessarily sure if I agree with JD that a DJ is obligated to promote others without promoting himself.  Wouldn’t this be considered a form of cross-promotion, which is encouraged by most mainstream marketers?  Isn’t a DJ better able to help new artists when his/her product and name is more prominent?  What do you think?

[Via No ID vs Trackster]

1,486 thoughts on “Jermaine Dupri Says The DJ Is Dead”


  2. I could take a reactionary response and say f#$k Jermaine Dupri he should be thankful for all the dj’s who’ve helped him out. But since I have another side of my brain that kicks in with some cognitive sense, it’ll probably be best to take a deeper look into this situation.

    I think what JD is describing is a “new market.” Just like hip hop is ever changing, so is the market for songs and making songs available to the public via Dj’s and promoters.

    9th Wonder mentioned in a few posts back about “young folks hip hop” and “grown folks hip hop.” Young folks hip hop is stuff that you hear today on the radio that kids like (simple pop cRap type stuff). Grown folks stuff is what you don’t hear on the radio and are the classic hip hop stuff dating back pre “bling” era.

    My opinion is that it is all in the perspective of the artist to relate to which ever audience he /she is trying to reach.

    JD recently tends to reach the “young folks hip hop” crowd. To market songs to his crowd it currently requires networking with all the people who have access to mass media. The radio/media outlets have been consolidating since the Bush administration which means that less people are owning the major media outlets. JD doesn’t really have to go through major DJ’s because those DJ’s don’t get the huge wold wide fan-base he needs to sell millions of albums. So to JD, the DJ’s are “dead” and he negotiates with the right winged major media conglomerates.

    On the other hand, if as an artist your target audience isn’t the mass media, then you work the game at a different angle. These artists are super hungry and use any means to distribute their work (myspace, websites, downloads, limewire, youtube, DJ’s, college radio, etc.).

    I think that JD’s approach in this video was to get some buzz going about old ways producers used to get songs on the radio and how that have changed. I really doubt that JD is hating on DJ’s because he didn’t completely expand on why he thinks DJ’s are dead and never mentioned his position on how he currently gets his music heard to a massive audience.

    JD produces some dope stuff, but at the end of the day his managers and everyone else giving him deals need to suck money out where they can. In order to do that they have to sell records to people who still go to the store and buy them.

    -Dj RaYz

  3. hes basically saying that since djs aren’t helping him promote his records, that the dj is dead. thats a real linear view imo. promoting and breaking hot records is really only one function of djing. maybe its a little slowed down in that area i admit. however people are still party rocking. WHAT THE FUCK IS A PARTY WITH OUT A DAMN DJ!?! people are still battling. cuts and scratches these days are next level. nothing thats what. sorry but Jermaine Dupri is awfully arrogant to make this comment. Dj ins’t dead, just evolved. He forgets that Djs started this shit. When hip hop hit wax the focus shifted to the rappers. As of recent the focus has been on the rappers and the producers. Djs are starting to figure out they can be in the forefront to. whats wrong with that? rappers and producers had their time to shine. give the dj a chance too man.

  4. I think DJs are only able to modify artists songs(change how they sound). Music artists are the ones responsible for putting in the lyrics and the story to the song.

  5. Id love to see him say this shit to Premo haha instant diss record from his camp I think would be the response or maybe another rant…

    J Dupree man, if you make wack records…. good or influential djs wont play them. Its simple really, and making beats is so easy now its not hard to make better beats than you either.


    Dj Tru Blu

  6. Wow…

    This is amazing and quite a bullshit perspective on how the dj is dead.

    The group he spoke on “Whodini” had a dj in their crew (Grandmaster D) & Back then the focus was on the dj which is why every group that came out back then had a dj who was part of the group and performed on the records. They mentioned the dj’s name on the record and created opportunities for him/her to shine on the record. The dj even took pictures with the group, toured with the group and was considered a core member of the group. Now the rappers have allowed the record companies to say…Yo you don’t need no dj. These keyboards now have the scratches already sampled in. U will make more without that cat.

    Now this is why dj’s now won’t give too many rappers a second look as they now have to look for themselves which is why dj’s hand Jermaine a cd. He’s the dude with the money and the dj is like an a&r which is what mixtapes get used for now. Put my peoples on the mix cd rappin on an industry beat. If Jermaine or someone like him likes that artist they gotta break me off to get him..DJ’s are thinking business just like everybody else. Hip hop is crazy divided because of all of this kind of bullshit!!!!

    By the way, My group emphasizes the dj and mc together!!! The SoundBwoi Killaz are on the loose..

  7. It seems to me JD, forgot what era he came from. Itsn’t this the same man who “use” to be a back-up b-boy for the rape group “Whoodini” ? Seems 2 me JD really doesn’t want to be on Wayne’s shit list, so he has to be politically correct; JD, you lost brother

  8. Dude actually makes some really agreeable points and accurate observations in his rant; however, by his own testimony, it doesn’t sound like the DJ is dead, it just sounds more like the DJ’s living for himself at this point.

    JD’s not taking into account the fact that DJ’s have always been a part of other genres of music aside from hip hop… the DJ didn’t come into existence as a back-up musician for a rapper, so why would he remain as such? From Disco, to House, to Techno, to Radio, DJ’s have always been on their own grind. Why would a hip hop DJ see DJ’s in other arenas getting well known and becoming the “superstars,” and not want the same for himself? Expecting a human being with the same desires as other human beings to ignore that for the purpose of “playing his role” is unfair.

    Take, for instance, Reggae and Drum N Bass / Jungle. These are two styles of DJ’ing that I can think of in which the MC was always the DJ’s backup, not the other way around. JD should probably seek a broader perspective in general regarding the role of a DJ, as opposed to trying to restrict him into one role of responsibility. I think it’s that oppressive approach by both artists and labels alike that eventually helped to inspire te DJ culture’s interest in entrepreneurship and artistic independence.

  9. T-Boye said: Itsn’t this the same man who “use” to be a back-up b-boy for the rape group “Whoodini” ?

    That’s a good point. If JD had continued to “play his role” (by his own definition), he wouldn’t be where he is today. Not hating on JD at all, because I think it was a wise decision on his part (obviously), but he should accept other people’s desire to grow as well.

  10. jd please fam if you would hand us hot shit then we can work it for you but you lil ungrateful mamao u wanna jus talk shit since wayne did it and we smashed him. u really think u gon get some shine. i would drop a tape on you but you aint even worth it fam. the dj is more alive today then he was yesterday like i said in the last joint , shit DOO WOP let yall know that. watch wut u say homie, i would say ur sales can take a fall too but u dont drop shit that heads go crazy for anyway

  11. I truly believe that one hand washes the other. For example, song writers are very seldom talked about, the singer praised, the writer of the lyrics pretty much unknown to the world. Gentlemen DJ’s bring your music to the the dance floors, thus enhancing your record sales as well. Both parties are paid and recognized by their work ethics. (Poet/Song Writer) my book listed under (Genesis of love)check it out.

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