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By: Keana Ludin

Atlanta native Jermaine Dupri is heavily recognized for his achievements as a music producer, songwriter, and all-around business entrepreneur. Founder of So So Def record label, Jermaine has assisted and worked with various music icons as well as produced the hit television series The Rap Game in Atlanta.

With over 30 years in the industry, Dupri’s achievements have continued to cultivate young talent and impact locals within his community. 

“Being a famed artist has made me want to make solid decisions and also made me think how much of my life I didn’t take seriously.” Dupri said.

Dupri has written and produced songs for notable artists such as Kris Kross, Xscape, Mariah Carey, Usher, Monica, and many more. Creating hits for music genres in pop, hip-hop, and R&B, Dupri was selected for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018 along with a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song he received in 2005.

He has successfully built his brand into a digital app called Global 14, which is an online site that bridges the gap between diverse groups who share personal interests and connects them with other brand advocates. Dupri’s achievements are labeled on the site as well as the celebration of the 25th anniversary of So So Def. 

Jermaine Dupri is a vegan

Besides his music career, the artist has expressed his journey as a vegan and how being one has completely shifted his life.

“ I work all night and I’m in the studio most of the time, so I can’t really go to the gym. In order for me to be healthy and pay attention to my health, I started talking to chefs and was told I have to get on a diet,” Dupri said. “Once I started eating healthy, I felt better”. As a vegan for over a decade, he effortlessly begins to take over the culinary industry by creating good content for a plant-based lifestyle. 

Dupri has managed to embark on a new chapter of sales called JD’s Vegan, which is an all-natural dairy-free frozen dessert. He shared his inspiration behind creating the vegan product.

“The inspiration comes from me being vegan and not having a great experience as one,” Jermaine Dupri said. “I hate going out to eat and not being able to have dessert the way your friends can have dessert”.

JD’s Vegan consists of flavors such as Welcome to Atlanta, Peach Cobbler, Apple Butter, Strawberry Sweetheart, Chocolate My Way, Key Lime Pie, and (404) Cookies & Cream. When asked about the overall significance of the names, Dupri did not hesitate to answer. “I wanted it to be creative and enjoyable, so I decided to incorporate my life into a pint of ice cream. Each flavor is named after my biggest hit songs,” said Dupri. JD’s Vegan is now available at Walmart locations and sold online for under $30.

A long list of achievements in Atlanta

Atlanta has commended Dupri on his achievements as they honored him as the keynote speaker at the Art Institute of Atlanta commencement ceremony on June 17th.

He also received an honorary degree in the Doctor of Liberal Arts. According to the Institute’s webpage, Dupri’s accomplishments and contributions to the music industry directly align with the mission of the institution.

Jermaine Dupri mentions what being acknowledged around Juneteenth means to him. “ I am really excited about it. This is something I thought I would never really get to. It feels even more amazing for it to be around this time because this is a black history moment and considered educational,” said Dupri. “As a young kid growing up in Atlanta, Juneteenth was not really talked about, so this is new to me.”

Keana Ludin is a student at Georgia State University.

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