Atlanta singer Jermaine Dupri is an iconic figure in the South and was the biggest R’n’B in Georgia when he first rose to fame in the early-2000s. The vocalist (real name Jermaine Mauldin) is an Atlanta native who grew up around strip club culture. However, the singer asserted that he invented “making it rain” during an appearance on The Estelle Show on Apple Music.
Speaking with Estelle, the So So Def label executive insisted that he pioneered making it rain at the notorious Magic City strip club in downtown Atlanta in the 1990s when his single ‘Money Ain’t A Thing’ featuring Jay-Z first started hitting the airwaves.
Revealing how he supposedly created the famous money motion, Dupri explained, “Talib Kweli talks about the first time that he ever came to Atlanta. He went to Magic City with me and Janet. They’re throwing the money in the air, and people seeing that ‘Make it rain.’ I actually was the person who created this because I did this first in the ‘Money Ain’t A Thing’ video. Me and Jay-Z are in the car throwing money throughout the whole video.”
The Georgia vocalist told Estelle that, as a result of his 1998 single alongside Jay-Z, every club began throwing money when he performed it, stating, “That became my thing with that song, that became my thing going into these strip clubs. And I remember going to the club throwing the money.”
He continued, “The first time I ever threw the money in the air, I probably threw a thousand dollars on the floor. And the girl at the strip club said, ‘You want me to get down on the floor and get my money?’ She didn’t understand what was happening.”
He insisted he was the first person to do it, as when he performed in other US cities, they didn’t know what was going on, and he taught them, unveiling, “I tried this a couple of places where I was out throwing money, and people weren’t… It wasn’t a thing for them; they didn’t understand what was happening. And this is just my confirmation of me saying, ‘I know that I was the first person doing this.'”
Many hip-hop fans credit Louisiana Lil Wayne and Bronx legend Fat Joe with popularizing the term “make it rain” in 2006 after they made a hit song of the same name. You can watch Dupri’s ‘Money Ain’t A Thang’ below.