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Dupri: New Generation Doesn't Want to Start at Bottom

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News Headlines: Dec. 7, 2007

Talk About It:
Jermaine Dupri (Op-Ed): Start at the Beginning — "I find that this new generation of go getters doesn't really wanna start at the bottom. They wanna start in the middle, at the very least. But the last time I checked, the definition of "start" was to have a beginning. That's the time in your life when you'll do ANYthing to make it in the business, from driving all night to get to a music convention, to answering phones at a studio and picking up take-out for the engineers."

Do you agree with Dupri's position? Is there such a thing as being too ambitious?

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Before anyone can begin to analyze this, you have to think about what today is considered "the beginning", because as technology advances, each generation is starting out at a better advantage than the one prior to it. Dupri himself started out with a major advantage being the son of Michael Mauldin, former president of Columbia Records. I'm pretty sure some his pops' influence and connections rubbed off on him, and he wouldn't be where he is today without that.

So Jermaine, please...siddown somewhere if you don't have the pertinent facts to back up why so many thirsty artists are running to you to get a single. It's really not that serious.

Sent by Frank Fresh! | 1:28 PM | 12-7-2007

Kudos to Jermaine Dupri for this op-ed. I saw a feature in this same vein on "60 Minutes" about three weeks ago regarding what was wrong about Generation Y in the job market. However, I don't see anything wrong with being too ambitious; I just have a problem with folks who don't want to do the work.

Most times the work involves starting at what some folks might call the bottom. I love a certain scripture which says ". . . do not despise the day of small beginnings." Sometimes, I've had to drum that saying to a sibling or a mentee. It's great to have big dreams but first you might be on that path by doing some of the most mundane things.

A few days ago at lunch with some colleagues, they were complaining about a certain order of the food they got from a fast food joint. I told them a trick to know next time they order their food since I worked at a fast food restaurant as a teenager. To say they were surprised I ever worked in a fast food restaurant is an understatement. It's amazing to see how people perceive you just based on your current state.

Sent by Moji | 1:34 PM | 12-7-2007