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"Throughout his career, Jermaine has been at the cutting edge of R&B and hip-hop. His latest is no exception and proves that So So Def and Virgin are out to win in the urban marketplace."
——Matt Serletic, Chairman and CEO, Virgin Records
VIRGIN GOES SO SO DEF
New Urban President Jermaine Dupri Vows to Make Label “Young, Fly & Flashy”
Artist-producer-entrepreneur Jermaine Dupri’s first effort since becoming Virgin Records’ President of Urban Music on April 1 hits the streets July 19, when the label releases the Dupri-produced compilation, Jermaine Dupri Presents...Young, Fly & Flashy Vol. 1. The CD is already getting a major promotional push via its first single, “Gotta Getcha,” by Dupri himself, and an accompanying video that features guest appearances by Nelly and Janet Jackson. The clip premiered on BET’s 106 & Park on June 16 and is also currently receiving rotation on MTV2’s Hip Hop Show. The single is already receiving airplay in major markets, including WPWX, WJLB, KATZ, KPRS, WKYS, WOWI, KNOU, WHTA, WVEE, WEDR, WMIB, KDAY, KKBT and KMEL 

There is much anticipation for the release, since Dupri—whose career spans discovering teen rap sensations Kris Kross in 1992 to producing and cowriting Mariah Carey’s latest hits “It’s Like That” and “We Belong Together”—has brought his phenomenally successful So So Def rap imprint to a label that’s not known for its hip-hop track record. “That’s my whole purpose in coming to Virgin,” says Durpri. “I wanted to be at a place where it wasn’t really poppin’ so it would feel like it did when I first got into the music industry. I didn’t have nothing back then, so everything was fun and just watching the build-up was amazing. Everyone’s talking about it here, like ‘Jermaine, we ain’t been having artists and we thank you for bringing in artists that we can now go out and work.’ People have just been sitting in that building, so I’m giving them a lot to do. And it’s just fun watching everyone work.”

Says Matt Serletic, Chairman and CEO, Virgin Records: “No one in the music industry should be surprised by the instant impact of Jermaine's single and video clip ‘Gotta Getcha.’ Throughout his career, Jermaine has been at the cutting edge of R&B and hip-hop. His latest is no exception and proves that So So Def and Virgin are out to win in the urban marketplace."

The new collection features artists Dupri has already signed to Virgin, including Young Capone, Da Brat and T. Waters, as well as artists like Bow Wow and J Kwon, who were the producer’s previous signings at Columbia and Jive, respectively. But some of them “are just artists that are only hot in Atlanta,” says Dupri. “I wanted to continue pushing my southern roots. I live in Atlanta and I‘m not leaving Atlanta, even though I run a company in New York. So, a few of them, like Pastor Troy and Dem Franchise Boyz, have been around on the Southern underground and independent network. They haven’t really blown up yet, but they’re really big in the South.”

Says Lionel Ridenour, Executive VP of Virgin Records: “Not only is ‘Gotta Getcha’ headed for the top of the charts on radio and in the clubs, but Jermaine’s ear for talent in terms of identifying the other artists that he's included on the collection is bar none. When you have artists such as Jermaine Dupri, Pastor Troy, Dem Franchise Boyz, T. Waters and Young Capone together on one project, it's sure to solidify this collection as the soundtrack for the summer of '05.”

As for the star-studded first video: “Well, Nelly, he’s my partner—and I wanted the video to reflect that me and Nelly, we really do go out together all the time,” says Dupri. “It didn’t take much to get him to come there. And Janet is my girl, so that wasn’t too hard, either,” he laughs.

Dupri is spreading his wings everywhere as an entrepreneur, including his partnership and part ownership in the Chicago-based 3 Vodka Distilling Co. and his new Atlanta restaurant, Café Dupri, which opened in May. Still, he says, bringing Virgin into the 21st Century of hip-hop remains his major priority: “That’s the biggest job and it’s going to be the biggest accomplishment of my life if I can get Virgin to become a powerful urban company. The first part of my job is already done. Nobody even wanted to sign to Virgin before I went there. Now people are talking about it and calling and wanting deals. We’ve got a new deal with Big Boi from Outkast—he’s got a compilation coming out. So people see things are working and happening. That’s the most important thing—just bringing the excitement there.”

Some campaign highlights:

—Dupri will embark on a major promotional tour to launch the record, including New York, DC, Philly, LA, San Francisco and  Las Vegas.

 

—Virgin Records Canada will host a So So Def launch party event featuring performances by Dupri,  T. Waters and Young Capone.

 

—Jermaine Dupri and friends, in conjunction with the Sony Flash Fusion Concert Series, will present an exclusive performance in Atlanta at a secret location the weekend before album’s release date. Fans will have an opportunity to win an exclusive VIP package including airfare, hotel and tickets to the concert.

 

—BET and its on-line component will launch a "Be JD For A Day" contest; contestants will submit letters to live the life of Jermaine Dupri for a day, including personal chefs, trainer, executive meetings, stylists/wardrobe fittings and recording sessions.

 

—Durpri is already scheduled for a run of TV appearances to promote the album, including BET's 106 & Park, MTV's Direct EFX, David Letterman and Regis & Kelly.

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