Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, T.I. Toast Hip-Hop 50: Billboard Music Awards


In addition to honoring the top hitmakers of the year, the 2023 Billboard Music Awards are also celebrating hip-hop’s 50th anniversary with the invaluable assistance of three rap pioneers.
“Hip-Hop Through the Charts” finds Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris and T.I. sharing insider memories about their various career-building Billboard chart achievements as well as their reflections on hip-hop’s musical and cultural impact.
Watch all three interviews below with Vibe editor Datwon Thomas for illuminating sound bites excerpted from the trio’s individual chats :
Jermaine Dupri on…
“Money Ain’t a Thang,” featuring Jay-Z, from Dupri’s 1998 debut studio album Life in 1472 (No. 3 on Billboard 200; No. 1 for two weeks on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums): “When I did ‘Money Ain’t a Thang,’ the company, Columbia, they didn’t have really no idea what Jay-Z meant to the culture. They were actually asking me like: Why did I want this song to be my first single when I had ‘Sweetheart’ with Mariah [Carey]? … They thought they could do more with ‘Sweetheart.’ It’s crazy, because that’s just like this era and this time of these 30 years ago. [It] was such a learning period for so many people.”
Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” (Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 for two weeks, 1996): “That record taught me that it wasn’t really about first and second singles. It’s just about great songs.”
Ludacris on…
What hip-hop means to him: “Hip-hop is everything to me. It’s how we talk, it’s how we dress, it’s how we walk. … Like, everything I do is to give back to the culture that gave me.”
Usher’s “Yeah!” featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris (Hot 100 No. 1 for 12 weeks, 2004): “Soon as Lil Jon sent me the record, I was like, ‘This is out of here’ before I even got my verse on there. That’s why you see me at the beginning of the record, a verse, and at the end: ‘Take that and rewind it back.’ I’m trying to get on as many parts of the record as possible. I knew what it was. It’s crossed three generations. … That’s when you have the hit record of a lifetime.”
T.I. on…
His long and successful career in hip-hop: “Man, it feels like a lot of work, a lot of hard work that paid off. I’m the proudest of the music we made then. It inspired so much to happen that has evolved to still be relevant now.”
“Whatever You Like” (Hot 100 No. 1 for seven weeks, 2008): “I think that was my first solo No. 1. We was on a run, you dig? And had a great time in spite of a pretty dark moment that I was going through. I was fighting a fed case and preparing for prison. My whole thing was just focus on doing the most we can … being as productive as we can and progressive as we can with this time. And ‘Whatever You Like’ was definitely the catalyst of that moment.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here