As the country edges toward near-historic unemployment numbers, you can add one more name to the list of those looking for a new job: [artist id="450135"]Jermaine Dupri[/artist]. According to Variety, the producer/rapper has reportedly ended his brief tenure as the president of the Island Records Urban Music department.
Rumored for months, the split is said to have taken place on Thursday and follows the departure of Dupri's longtime girlfriend, [artist id="1090"]Janet Jackson[/artist], from the label. Jackson broke ties with Island Def Jam in late 2008, after her latest album, Discipline, posted disappointing sales of less than 500,000. Dupri's personal publicist and a label representative did not return e-mails seeking comment.
Dupri had also split with Virgin Urban Music shortly after Jackson left her previous longtime label home, Virgin Records, following similarly disappointing sales of her 2006 effort, 20 Y.O.
Dupri took over the Urban department at IDJ in February of 2007; the division was created shortly before he came onboard. Among the major initiatives under his watch was the creation in April of Tag Records, a joint venture with Procter & Gamble's Tag body spray that helped cross-promote acts like [artist id="1813357"]Q Da Kid[/artist] in Tag advertisements. It was not known at press time how Dupri's exodus would effect his So So Def roster, which has been distributed through Island Urban since 2007.
In addition to Jackson's underperforming album, several other records Dupri oversaw during his time at IDJ failed to catch fire, including [artist id="509183"]Jagged Edge[/artist]'s Baby Makin' Project.