Da Brat will probably remain the First Lady of So So Def, but it's looking like she won't be the only female on the label's testosterone-heavy roster for much longer. Label CEO Jermaine Dupri says he is close to not only inking a deal with Snoop Dogg's cousin and former Dogg Pound member Daz, he's also going to be bringing 3LW to his label as well.
"They're still young [and] they're still in that marketplace that I like to deal with," Dupri said on Tuesday. He had just finished meeting with the singing trio and was in New York's Right Track Studio producing a track with Usher. "At the same time I feel So So Def is very male-dominated. I don't really want any more guys. I've got a contract with Daz, I'm getting ready to sign him too. So it's more dudes. I felt we needed some girls."
Dupri said that both Daz and 3LW approached him and he welcomed both acts with open arms.
"We wanted a girl group that could sell records," Dupri said of the songbirds. "They never really had a home around them. That's what So So Def is: a home. I'm going to keep them young like TLC's earlier days. The kids still like them. A lot of older fellas think they're cute. You gotta keep them in the middle. It's hard to describe, but I know how to get to that point."
According to Dupri, Daz, who he says has been selling tens of thousands of records independently for the past few years, told him he was ready to start dealing with a major label again.
"He wants to be on So So Def too," JD explained. "People want to be with somebody who understands how to make records. I was listening to Snoop's mixtape one night and Daz was really bussin'. I always liked Daz from day one. It's a talent that's just been sitting there that nobody's been doing anything with. The independent route is hard. I'm sure he likes doing it, but he wants to be with somebody that's going to care about him. Just like Roc-A-Fella signing ODB. Be a part of family."
While Dupri continues to work on finalizing Daz and 3LW's deals, So So Def's current roster is keeping busy. Da Brat and Bone Crusher are gearing up for the release of their second respective singles, "Boom" and "Grippin' the Grain." The Youngbloodz's new LP, Drankin' Patnaz, drops on August 26, and singer Anthony Hamilton will debut on September 23 with Comin' From Where I'm From (see "Eve, D'Angelo Can Testify: Anthony Hamilton Is 'Hellified Powerful' ")
A spokesperson for 3LW declined to comment on the group's contract negotiations until after they have signed a deal. Daz was unable to be reached for a statement.