Legendary music producer and entrepreneur Jermaine Dupri recently discussed his role in popularizing the phrase “make it rain” during an interview with The Estelle Show on Apple Music. Dupri, who boasts a storied career, including his executive role at So So Def Records, asserted that he was the originator of the “make it rain” phenomenon.
According to Dupri, he introduced this concept in the 1990s at Atlanta’s Magic City strip club, coinciding with the release of “Money Ain’t A Thing.” In the interview, he recalled a pivotal moment when he and rapper Jay-Z showcased this gesture in the music video for the song.
“Talib Kweli talks about the first time that he ever came to Atlanta,” he said in the interview. “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.”
Dupri went on to explain that, at the time, the strippers at Magic City were somewhat perplexed by this novel action. He recounted his initial experience, saying, “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.”
However, Dupri’s attempt to introduce this trend wasn’t universally understood. He mentioned, “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.'”
It’s worth noting that “Money Ain’t A Thing,” released in 1998, featured Dupri and JAY-Z liberally tossing money, even though the lyrics did not explicitly mention the phrase “make it rain.” The closest reference in the song was, “Drop a little paper, baby, toss it up.”
Interestingly, Dictionary.com attributes the popularization of the term “make it rain” to Lil Wayne and Fat Joe in 2006, owing to their hit song of the same name.
Jermaine Dupri’s claim adds an intriguing twist to the history of the “make it rain” phenomenon, sparking discussions about its origins and evolution in popular culture.