Rapper-producer-mogul exits music unit

Jermaine Dupri is out as president of Island Records Urban Music division, a unit he ran for almost two years.

The tenure of the Atlanta rapper-producer-mogul, which began Feb. 7, 2007, came to an abrupt halt Thursday. It is believed there is still time remaining on his contract with the Universal Music Group imprint.

His time at the helm, though, was notable for several underperformers, specifically Jagged Edge’s “Baby Makin’ Project,” and “Discipline,” from Dupri’s girlfriend, Janet Jackson, which sold only 428,000 copies.

His ankling puts a question mark on Tag Records, the hip-hop label he oversaw that was a partnership between Island Def Jam and Procter & Gamble’s Tag brand. Formed in April, the goal was to showcase Dupri and Tag artists across various Tag brand advertising and marketing initiatives.

The label has released only one single, “On a Mission” by Q Da Kid, which featured Dupri. It has sold only 3,000 downloads.

Dupri reported to Island Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid and president Steve Bartells. They created the urban division shortly before Dupri came aboard.

Dupri, who started as a teen producer and owner of the independent label So So Def, has been active as a performer, writer, producer and industry pro for more than a decade. He was president of the Atlanta chapter of the Recording Academy, a post he quit after accusing the org of not sufficiently supporting Jackson after her breast-baring incident at the 2004 Super Bowl.

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