Long before he released his first solo album, Jermaine Dupri established himself as a hip-hop hitmaker to be reckoned with. He sent Kris Kross, Da Brat, and Xscape to the top of the charts, provided hit remixes for the likes of Dru Hill, and ran the So So Def label -- all before he decided to launch a solo career with Jermaine Dupri Presents: Life in 1472 in 1998. Like many producers, Dupri has surrounded himself with an all-star cast of guest performers, all to make the spotlight a little less harsh. As it turns out, he needn't worry about his own skills -- he's a fine rapper, putting such peers as Puff Daddy to shame -- but all the other rappers and singers help make Life in 1472 feel like a real party. It's one of the few star-studded records to actually work, precisely because JD is such a talented producer -- he crafts slamming tracks with real bass grooves and catchy hooks. Life in 1472 drags a little in the middle, like almost any party, but the vibes are good throughout, and it creates some nice memories, which is enough to make it a top-notch debut.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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