MUSICALLY YOURS: SHANTI DAS
So So… I DEFinitely don’t feel inclined to write about too many of my experiences in this music game because now-a-days, I am not easily impressed or excited. And as a music executive over the past 20 years, well I guess I have seen a lot! This week Jermaine Dupri (JD) began celebrating his 20th Anniversary of So So Def recordings and it all culminated last night with a concert at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA. I attended the pre reception for press with my client/host Joe Clair and got to see a few of the acts. We then proceeded to enter the venue. I did have a press pass to go backstage, but I chose to chill in the audience as a FAN. Now I have known Jermaine since high school (went to my first Jack the Rapper conference with him!) and watched him grow into one of the top producers and visionaries in the music business. I knew this show would be hot, but it exceeded ALL expectations!!
I missed Kris Kross (bummer) but got to see members of Xscape performing (they still got it), songstress Dondria, the EVER soulful group Jagged Edge, Da Brat (hit after hit), Bow Wow flowing for the ladies, and the amazing Anthony Hamilton. There was a segment of the show that featured a DJ battle if you will, between JD and the most crunk Lil Jon, where they had various acts come out performing songs to get the crowd hyped. This was so HOT, especially for me being from the A and living through the golden era of the music coming out of ATL (90s/early 2000s). The true A- town crowd turned all the way up to the Youngbloodz, Dem Franchise Boys, Bonecrusher, and Zae (Thyow), and then they let out the arsenal: Nelly hit the stage looking most fit, then Ludacris, then Usher then Brooklyn’s finest Jigga Man! It was unreal!!! We were witnessing history on that stage! JD had a hand in some of the Biggest songs/artists careers certainly in my lifetime. It’s too many songs to name, but those guys had the crowd on fire & jammin’ (yea ATL I said jammin’) to everything from “Yea” to “Confessions” to “Welcome to Atlanta” to “Money Ain’t A Thang” to “N in Paris”!!!” This night was not only historic in it’s musical sense, but it was historic for a young girl from the S.W.A.T.S of Atlanta being a fan first and a sister second. I have grown up in the music biz with these artists and watched them ALL soar to unthinkable heights! The night was capped off with one of music’s Icons, Mariah Carey wishing JD a happy 20th on stage with a cake! If you missed this show, all I can say is I am so sorry. It will go down as one of those moments when you say…”I was there to witness the sheer magic of JD’s 20th anniversary.”
To Jermaine Dupri, all of the staff at So So Def and original crew of Judy Lane, I salute you on your 20th Anniversary! Poet W.H. Auden once said, “Music is the best means we have of digesting time.” JD thanks for taking us through some of the BEST musical moments in our time!
Shanti “Shoestring” Das