Despite the tragic loss of Kriss Kross rapper Chris Kelly, Jermaine Dupri and So So Def, celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year, will go on. Dupri will bring all of the acts that made his label great to the Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando, Florida Labor Day Weekend August 29 – September 2.
Da Brat, Xscape, Bonecrusher and more will be onstage with the The So So Def reunion but it’s just one of the acts that will be there this year in an event that Tom Joyner likens to a the “family” version of the annual Fantastic Voyage cruise. “We’ll party all night,” he promises. Fantasia, Anthony Hamilton and other acts to be announced will also be in Orlando.
Dupri said he remembers fondly the beginnings of So So Def and the famous party scene that went along with it.
“My Atlanta parties period were some of the most incredible parties we ever had. We used to have the Freaknic here in Atlanta that was a time that came around that we all used to wait for, that we all miss now. The parties of today for Jermaine Dupri and So So Def are probably bigger now because the clubs are more exciting than they were back then. And I was a lot younger so my younger days I was going to clubs and not really knowing. Now the clubs are in my backyard.”
Bow Wow, one of So So Def’s biggest successes as a teenage star, is now hosting “106 & Park.” It’s a full-circle moment for the 26-year-old whose moniker was once “Mr. 106 & Park” because his videos were so popular on the show. Dupri says he’s proud of his protege’s success outside of the hip-hop arena.
“I told Bow Wow to take the job at “106 & Park,” Dupri says.”I thought he should have stopped rapping and stayed in movies because he’s more original and natural in movies. He never took lessons or none of that. He’s just a natural.”
While Kelly’s death was tough for the So So Def family, Jermaine says he’ll do his best to keep his memory alive. “We’re going to still rock and make sure people don’t forget the legacy of Kriss Kross.”
There may be no one more excited about the Family Reunion than Dupri, who says he hates to miss out on a good thing.
“I’m excited because I’ve never been. I hate not going to things so I get my opportunity this time.”