Hip-hop uber-producer Jermaine Dupri and his So So Def label have signed an exclusive worldwide contract with Arista, four months after the imprint ended its decade-long association with Columbia Reco

Hip-hop uber-producer Jermaine Dupri and his So So Def label have signed an exclusive worldwide contract with Arista, four months after the imprint ended its decade-long association with Columbia Records. Under the new deal, future So So Def Recordings will be distributed worldwide by Arista, and Dupri will become a senior vice president of Arista. So So Def's past roster, including recent hitmakers Jagged Edge and Bow Wow, will remain signed to Columbia.

Dupri will continue to be based in his hometown of Atlanta, and will record as a solo artist for Arista as well as lending his production and artist development skills to the label. Under the terms of the deal, Dupri will only produce artists in the BMG family of labels, which includes Arista, RCA, and Jive.

"Jermaine has been one of the outstanding creative forces in the Atlanta music scene," said Arista president/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid in a statement. "We have known each other for more than a decade, and it has been a source of personal satisfaction for me to watch him work with and guide many of Atlanta's hip-hop and R&B artists to superstar status. Jermaine has produced some of the greatest names in contemporary music, and I welcome the opportunity to bring him into the Arista family."

The 29-year-old Dupri first rose to public prominence in 1992, when he produced the debut album by adolescent rap duo Kris Kross. Since then, he has worked with a who's who of music notaries, from Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Elton John, Janet Jackson, and Destiny's Child to Arista acts such as Usher, TLC, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, and Run-D.M.C.