Just as he was about to take his So So Def reunion on the road, Atlanta music mogul Jermaine Dupri was hit with a $1.9 million lawsuit by SunTrust Bank accusing him and production company of defaulting on a loan.
The bank alleges that the “Welcome to Atlanta” rapper affectionately known as J.D. is in default and still owes money toward a $4.9 million loan from 2010. The loan is backed by copyrighted music owned by Dupri, So So Def and other businesses, as well as a building on Briarwood Court in DeKalb County that houses two recording studios.
According to a separate court document, the debt originated in 2009 as part of an earlier loan that Dupri took on to pay off income tax and other liabilities.
The loan was adjusted in 2010 and Dupri, So So Def and another company controlled by Dupri, Southside LLC, were listed as guarantors.
At one point, SunTrust agreed to allow Dupri to sell a catalog of songs as part of a plan to repay the debt. The documents do not specify which songs, but that deal apparently fell apart.
This is not Dupri’s first brush with money troubles. He has reportedly twice faced foreclosure for his home on Mount Paran Rd. in northwest Atlanta.
In 2011, foreclosure proceedings were initiated on Dupri’s mansion on Mount Paran Rd., but a planned auction in May of that year was canceled at the last minute, according to WSB.
Dupri’s Mount Paran home was advertised for foreclosure again in December 2012, according to records in the Fulton County Daily Report. It does not appear that a foreclosure took place.
The mansion today is valued at around $4 million, according to the AJC.
Last November, the Briarwood Court recording studio property also was advertised for foreclosure. Before it could be auctioned off, Dupri’s company, Southside, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to federal court records.
The music mogul also has been hit with multiple liens for unpaid property and income taxes, including federal income tax liens for close to $183,000 in unpaid 2008 taxes, as well as more than $2.5 million owed for 2003 and 2005. Virtually all the liens, however, were quickly canceled or listed as satisfied after they were published, presumably for full payment.
Dupri also had other income tax liens of $3 million from 2008 and $10,500 and one lien from 2010 in Fulton County appears to still be active.
In February, Dupri held an “All-Star Anniversary Concert” to mark the 20th year of his record label. The concert at the Fox Theatre featured So So Def’s laundry list of artists, including Kris Kross, Da Brat, Jagged Edge, Xscape, Bow Wow and others.
(Photos: Lightshow in Miami advertising Jermaine Dupri’s upcoming show; Dupri at a party in 2009 with a fan)