Jermaine Dupri on How Arrogance Cost Him Success, and His Best Career Decisions

Jermaine Dupri didn’t become the award-winning, veteran multi-million-dollar-making music producer he is without making some pivotal mistakes.

As the president and CEO of So So Def Recordings for the past twenty years — responsible for launching the careers of such notables as Xscape, Bow Wow and Jagged Edge — he says that despite his mountain of achievements there are a few moments he wishes he could take back.

One of them is his hasty departure from his original music home, Columbia Records.

“Being young and arrogant and getting in a room where I had business with people that I didn’t take seriously enough cost me,” reflects the former rapper, who began his career as as backup dancer for legendary rap group Whodini. “There were times I was pretty arrogant early on, stepping away from situations because I got frustrated. When I left Columbia Records [in 2002] I probably should have stayed there. The relationship that we had was beautiful. The artists that came out were all successful. There was just that one particular point of time that I felt that we weren’t having that same movement and it was frustrating me and I was letting other things influence me,” he says.

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