Jermaine Dupri and Island Def Jam Records parted ways last week, and like with most high-profile breakups, plenty of people want to know what happened.
Was Dupri fired from his post as president of Island Records Urban Music department? Did the So So Def top dog leave in a huff because girlfriend Janet Jackson left her deal with Island last September after disappointing album sales?
Well, Dupri isn't offering specifics. But the super producer is pointing fingers. In an interview with Essence.com on Monday, Dupri slammed IDJ head L.A. Reid and claimed executives at the label were unwilling to release his music.
"It was a situation where it felt very stagnant to me," Dupri told the site. "As a person who is used to putting out new records and continuing to do that, it just wasn't turning over as being that place to me where I should stick to it and see if it was going to turn around."
Dupri listed a number of acts he brought to the label — including singer-songwriter Johnta Austin, Internet star Dondria and rapper Ninth Ward — who remained shelved. The producer said he's been creating music consistently, but there's been resistance by the label to push forward with the finished product.
The New York Post reported last week that Dupri was allegedly relieved of his duties after sulking when Janet Jackson's Discipline — which Dupri executive-produced — and her Rock Witchu Tour failed to meet the label's expectations.
"He still collected a paycheck, but didn't bother to do anything that he was supposed to do, like find artists, release records or actually show up," an anonymous source told the Post. "Executives tried to talk to him, but he just lost heart."
Dupri, however, dismissed those notions saying the label would say anything to place the company in a more positive light.
"They are not going to tell the truth and say, 'He just stopped dealing with us on a daily basis,' " Dupri told Essence. "If you don't put out my records, that's all I have as a person. I'm a record person, so if I give you a record, and you don't put it out, then basically you're showing me that it's really no business."
Dupri directed his harshest barb at Reid, saying the longtime music mogul was jealous of him.
"I'm dealing with a lot of jealousy and have been since I first came in the business," Dupri said. "When you're younger, they don't want to listen to you because they know you are keener and people listen to the younger person in the office. In corporate America, this is something that I started feeling a lot. I'm keener as to what is going on in the streets, the Internet and all over the place. In a room full of people, I'll have more answers than anyone else, because I'm out there and know what's going on, so people start paying more attention to what you're doing."
JD said he hasn't spoken to Reid in three months, and he wasn't sure if his split with the company could be described as amicable.
"I don't know," Dupri said. "I saw a side of [Reid] that I had never seen before, and that to me was a jealous side. I don't know if I should be around people who are jealous of me. Mariah Carey sold more records in that entire Def Jam building, and all of that was through my singles; so I'm looking like the golden boy. I only started thinking about it after I left."