Jermaine Dupri has had such a prolific career as a producer, songwriter, collaborator, and lead artist in the 16 years since his initial splashdown with Kris Kross' "Jump" that you could fill multiple volumes in UMG's Gold series with his great(est) work. Sadly, for some reason, Island Def Jam decided to instead, almost secretly (it was done with such little fanfare), drop a stripped-down ten-track comp of some of Dupri's biggest hits in late 2007. That said, the ten songs presented here are fairly impeccable in both pedigree and execution, from Dupri's own hits "Welcome to Atlanta" and "Money Ain't a Thang" (featuring Ludacris and Jay-Z, respectively), to monster hits he crafted for two of the planet's biggest pop stars, Usher ("Confessions, Pt. 2") and Mariah Carey ("We Belong Together"). Add in some killer one-offs from mid-table artists like Chingy ("Pullin' Me Back," featuring fellow mid-tabler Tyrese) and Bow Wow (the lovely Ciara-featuring teen pop fantasia "Like You") -- both of which spotlight Dupri's unfairly overlooked gift for writing some ridiculously pretty melodies -- and you've got a compilation that, while incomplete, regardless slams from one end to the other. Dupri deserves a much more comprehensive career-to-date summation than this, but damn if this really doesn't represent his crème de la crème.
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AllMusic Review by Thomas Inskeep
feat: Kris Kross
feat: Mariah Carey