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Miss Mulatto and Jermaine Dupri attend Miss Mulatto Visits Music Choice at Music Choice on March 31, 2016 in New York City.

Miss Mulatto and Jermaine Dupri attend Miss Mulatto Visits Music Choice at Music Choice on March 31, 2016 in New York City.

Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images.

Jermaine Dupri Responds to Critics Who Say He “Dropped the Ball” on Latto

In a recent interview with HipHopDX, Jermaine Dupri discussed his work with Latto, who won the first season of his Lifetime series The Rap Game.

Jermaine Dupri doesn’t think he ‘dropped the ball’ on “Put It On Da Floor” rapper Latto. While backstage at the Lovers & Friends festival in Las Vegas earlier this month, Dupri discussed Latto, who also won the first season of his Lifetime musical competition The Rap Game when she was a teenager.

“People keep always saying, ‘Jermaine, you dropped the ball on [Latto],’” Dupri said, tackling the notion that he missed out on the rapper’s post-The Rap Game success. But what I think 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 on So So Def. That single came out.”

Jermaine Dupri Talks Bow Wow, Latto, Confirms More Curren$y Projects & Re-Introduces Young

JD went on to speak about Latto not receiving enough public support due to her age.

“The problem was, was that Latto was 16 years old, and the outlets didn’t support it. And nobody was like speaking on it,” he told HipHopDX. “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.”

Latto, legal name Alyssa Stephens, was 16 at the time of winning The Rap Game and was also offered a recording contract with So So Def. The artist, who originally performed under stage name Miss Mulatto, would later tell VladTV in 2016 that the storied hip-hop and R&B label didn’t offer her enough money.

Miss Mulatto on Turning Down Jermaine Dupri Deal: "It Wasn't Enough Money" (Flashback)

Since The Rap Game, Latto has seen more wins, including her top-charting 2021 single “Big Energy (with a remix featuring Mariah Carey) receiving two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Melodic Rap Performance, being named Billboard’s 2023 Powerhouse recipient and performing at Coachella last month.