NEW YORK — Jermaine Dupri just released his autobiography, "Young, Rich, and Dangerous: The Making of a Music Mogul," and his Y'All Know What This Is ... the Hits collection drops October 23, but what has his girlfriend been up to? Well, the hitmaker said fans can expect to hear new Janet Jackson material sometime next year.
"Probably in February or March or the summer," JD said. "It's 45 percent done. [Singer/songwriter] The-Dream has a song on her album, [as does] Rodney Jerkins. It's gonna be a crazy album. It's a Janet record. I'm A&R-ing, and I'm probably going to be the [executive producer]. But I'm getting records she likes [and] pulling records from other people. She has a duet with Maroon 5. Just little things."
One huge thing people have been asking Dupri about is a potential duet between Janet and Mariah Carey, especially since they are now labelmates. (JD went so far as to promise a duet featuring the divas on Janet's last album, but it never materialized.) Nelly, for one, wanted to try and pull off the collaboration on his upcoming Brass Knuckles LP, but he couldn't come up with a good enough idea for the song.
"The thing about that is, I don't force an idea," Dupri explained. "It's a great idea if you can come up with the record. It has to be something that's organic. It can't be something we force just because the voices is together. I believe the last couple of records we saw where there are two big artists that came together and collaborated, they don't live up to be the record we want them to be. I was a little disappointed with the R. Kelly and Usher record ['Same Girl']. I thought the record should have been bigger than what it was. ... I wouldn't want to do a song with [Mariah] and Janet and it don't live up to them being as big as they are. ... But [the collaboration] is gonna surface one day. Something is gonna come up, and we gonna say, 'This is it.' "
JD accompanied Janet to the New York premiere of her new movie, Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?," earlier this week, and he says the couple could relate to parts of the film — especially the part where one person in the relationship is working too much.
"There are times she wants to be alone with me, and I have to pay attention to my Blackberry," he said.
He also beamed about her performance in the flick.
"She's got more parts than Tyler Perry [in the movie]," he said. "It's a Tyler Perry film, but she's telling what's happening from the start. It was good. But for me, with her and her acting, I'm not always psyched out because that's how we know her. We knew her from making movies and acting before the music. I know that's her first love, the acting."