During a recent interview with HipHopDX at the Lovers & Friends festival, Jermaine Dupri addressed criticisms that he had not done enough for Latto’s career after her appearance on The Rap Game reality show. At the time, Latto went by the name “Miss Mulatto.”
People keep saying, ‘Jermaine, you dropped the ball on [Latto],’” he told the outlet at the Lovers & Friends festival earlier this month. “But what people don’t understand is, I put Latto’s record out. The deal was, if you win on The Rap Game, you get a single from Jermaine Dupri. So that single came out.”
Dupri explained that he had fulfilled his promise to the winner of the show by putting out Latto’s single. However, he added that the issue was that Latto was only 16 years old at the time, and the media did not support her. According to Dupri, people did not start paying attention to her until she began making more explicit records, dressing more provocatively, and presenting herself as more mature.
He continued: “The problem was, was that Latto was 16 years old, and the outlets didn’t support it. And nobody was like speaking on it. Nobody talked about it. If you watched the TV show, you saw it. But people didn’t really start talking about Latto until she started making more vulgar records, dressing more sexual, and being more adult.”
The Rap Game was a competition show where five young rappers, including Miss Mulatto, Lil Niqo, Lil Poopy, Supa Peach, and Young Lyric, competed for a recording contract with Dupri’s So So Def label.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Jermaine Dupri’s roster of teenage artists included Kris Kross, Bow Wow (formerly known as Lil’ Bow Wow), and the girl group Xscape, which included members Kandi Burruss, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, LaTocha Scott, and Tamika Scott.