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Jermaine Dupri on supporting the Hawks, collaborating with Trae Young on shoe

Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

State Farm Arena holds a special place in Jermaine Dupri’s heart.

The legendary music producer and mogul had the first event in the renovated building in August 2018 with the So So Def 25th Anniversary show. Most recently, he had his own “So So Def Night” at the Atlanta Hawks game, celebrating the Atlanta-based So So Def record label that dominated the hip hop charts through the 1990s and 2000s.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Dupri told rolling out.

Every timeout and entertainment segment of the night included a hit single from the record label, not repeating a song for the stretch of two-and-a-half hours. It was a playlist curated by Dupri.

Supporting the Hawks is something Dupri has always done, even in the franchise’s dark seasons in the mid-2000s, polluted by a teenage Josh Smith and an over-the-hill Antoine Walker air balling free throws.

“I was telling my daughter because she was here when she was little,” Dupri said. “Real young girl, but through the Josh Smith’s, I was coming here when it was the Omni. It wasn’t the Omni, but over there with Dominique Wilkins. Just the continuation and to be able to do it in this late era of life 2021 going into 2022 and have So So Def Night? It’s something that, like I said, is amazing and something to keep thinking about to continue to keep going.”

A part of the Hawks’ So So Def promotion was an opportunity for fans to buy the So So Def colorway of Adidas’ Trae Young 1’s collection at the game. During the night, Dupri even signed some of the purchasing fan sneakers and took pictures with them.

“I wouldn’t have done this tonight if I didn’t think the city of Atlanta has appreciated what I’ve done, and appreciated the collab I’ve done with Trae,” Dupri said. “If I had done a sneaker with some other player from like the Timberwolves or [Brooklyn], you know what I mean? Y’all would have hated me in Atlanta.

“People would hate me if I had a sneaker deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. To have a sneaker deal with a player that’s with the Hawks that’s actually the superstar of the team- it’s pretty amazing.”

Young scored 42 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds that night in a 120-100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. It marked the first victory of the Hawks’ current seven-game winning streak.

“Feels good to be home!!” Young tweeted after the game. “Soso Def Night.”