Ask Jermaine Dupri: Question From A White Boy


Photograph of Jermain Dubpri

Do you have questions regarding the nature of ballin’? Jermaine Dupri is here to answer them…

Dear Jermaine,

I’m at a loss here, fingers crossed that you can help me. I’m torn between two disparate impulses: the wish to “represent” my love of black people music and culture, and my wish not to “front” and look like I’m trying to be something I’m not. I grew up wearing Lacoste and riding horses, but i have the soul of a thug and i know you have that too. what should i do?

Much Respect,

Whitey McWhite

Dear Whitey,

I find your letter intriguing. It would seem that this heartfelt desire to represent a culture, of which you are not a part, stems from the same place as the rest of suburban America. The key here, Whitey, is marketing.

What you don’t realize is that you have been marketed too from a very early age to believe that the urban hip hop culture is inherently cool. This I am aware of seeing as I was among the pioneers of this movement. One need only observe the profound impact Kris Kross (an act I masterminded) had on suburban America to gain an understanding of the power a well marketed product has.

What I find interesting is that the urban ideas represented by such marketing are in direct opposition to the value systems of suburban America, and for that reason represents a form of counter-culture, albeit one that bears no ideological impact on the young people it is marketed towards.

I suggest you stop seeking identity in a culture you can never understand and return to your country club. That is where I be chillin’, shit, I got the fuck up out the hood.


Filed under Ask Jermaine Dupri on December 4th, 2003