News: DJ Drama Speaks On Mixtape Game's Evolution, "There's Nothing Like The Internet" [Video]

Thursday, Jul 9, 2009 3:10PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Grand Hustle's DJ Drama recently spoke on the status of the mixtape game and why his 2007 FBI raid may have sparked a newly innovated underground circuit.

In addition to speaking on the new wave of mixtape strategies, Drama also touched on the careers of artists like Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne who have benefited.

"The mixtape game still exists," Drama said in an interview. "It's definitely still some key players, some things happening in it but it hasn't been the same since [the bust]. I miss that time before that, I miss the excitement for what mixtapes represented for hip-hop. But the ironic part of the situation is I wonder where we would be if that didn't happen because...around that same time, the blogs and Internet really started to take over. So it was almost hand-in-hand, the situation happened with me, a lot of people scattered from the mixtape world and the Internet really took precedent in breaking new music at the same time...Mixtapes had so much in effect from [Young] Jeezy to [Lil] Wayne to T.I. to 50 [Cent]...I still think there's a lane for the hand-to-hand. I mean, there's nothing like the Internet, if you look at my come-up in mixtapes, it was different from the Doo Wop's and the Clue's and Kay Slay's, 'cause you know I had things like MixUnit, I had the Internet where people could go from all walks of life and get the Gangsta Grillz faster than the early 90's." (Mr. Peter Parker)

Chamillionaire recently spoke on his "retirement" from the mixtape game.

"It's your boy Chamillionaire," he said in a video. "We're officially signing off. [August 4th], that's the official date for Mixtape Messiah Part 7. Get it on when the counter runs down. Download it, take it, do whatever you want with it, but just know this is the final chapter. No more, done. We're moving on to something else, bigger and better things. I'ma call 'em authorized leaks. CDs and songs that I authorize to be in the public. Real, real material, not jacking everybody else's beats. We creating a whole bunch of new, fresh, innovative material so y'all know what it is." (Chamillionaire TV)

Fabolous previously spoke on the problems with today's mixtape circuit.

"That game is really saturated," Fab said in an interview about the mixtapes. "I feel like you really have to do something special now, but there's not really anything special you can do on a mixtape besides trying different things musically or with the way you distribute it...There's nothing special to me about a mixtape now...There's pretty much one coming out every five minutes. Right now, I think the dopest thing is to have a mixtape online--don't even have a hard disc, because even that's slowed down. When was the last time someone went somewhere and bought a hard copy of a mix CD? So maybe the next step is to release something digitally and tie it in with that." (Hip Hop DX)

Drama's FBI bust made headlines around January 2007.

What did hurt was a January 2007 police raid on the Aphilliates office, which found both Drama and Don Cannon under arrest for racketeering, along with 81,000 mixtape CDs being confiscated. Three months later, legal threats from another DJ Drama forced him to change his name to simply Drama. Despite these legal hassles, Drama took his Gangsta Grillz series aboveground late in the year as the legit release Gangsta Grillz: The Album arrived in December courtesy of Grand Hustle/Atlantic. Lil Wayne, OutKast, Pharrell, T.I., and Young Jeezy were just a few of the artists who contributed to the star-studded album. A second volume followed in 2009. (All Music<%

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