DJ Drama Rides Out With Rick Ross, Westside Gunn & Lule In The “350” Video
DJ Drama is at his best when simply dropping hits on us. Thus, it looks like he’s back to business as per usual with a new music video for his latest single “350” featuring an all-star lineup of Rick Ross, Westside Gunn and Lule.
The visuals this time around are pretty standard to the lifestyle of the many rappers and producers in hip-hop that we see regularly at the moment. As the featured emcees toast it up with Drama alongside beautiful video vixens, some impressive automobiles and cleverly-positioned product placement in the form of big bottles of Belaire, you can’t help but think that this is simply the life they’re accustomed to. Add a touch of fly fashion in the mix, from iced-out chains and Gucci silk scarves to a “OFF-WHITE™ Virgil sweater that’s in the season” as Lule croons repeatedly on the chorus, and you’ve got a winning combination. Shoutout to the stylist!
The legendary DJ, producer, executive, mogul, and co-founder of Generation Now DJ DRAMA has maintained an enduring career by consistently identifying and championing the voices of tomorrow-whether it be hosting and compiling game-changing mixtapes for Lil Wayne and Jeezy, DJ-ing for T.I., or signing Lil Uzi Vert. A passion for the future defines every move he makes and remains a recipe for his sustained success as a revered arbiter of the culture and fan favorite behind the decks.”I’m really just addicted to new music and staying ahead of the curve,” he exclaims. “What I represent and how I envision the culture comes from a mixtape background, because I can’t stop searching for what’s next. That’s the way it’s been from the beginning. As a mixtape DJ, you always want to be the first. Similarly, I’m consistently looking for artists at early stages and cultivating them to be the superstars of tomorrow.”
Born in 1978 (coincidentally the same year as hip-hop), the Philadelphia native dropped his first mixtape, Illadelph, at just 15-years-old. After a trip to Atlanta with his pops soundtracked by OutKast’s Southern Playlist Cadillac Muzik, he fell in love with the city and eventually attended Clark Atlanta University. During his college years, he often DJ-ed outside and hustled his wares, becoming renowned throughout the local campuses and cutting his teeth at school parties and gigs at nearby clubs. Following his graduation, Drama continued creating, manufacturing, and selling mixtapes throughout Atlanta. Developing a burgeoning D.I.Y. operation, he literally did everything-printing out artwork, pressing CDs, and handling distribution. He also unassumingly built a foundation for his now legendary Gangsta Grillz series. Moving countless physical tapes and tens of millions of downloads, his discography is highlighted by classics such as DJ Drama Meets T.I. & P$C, Jeezy’s Trap Or Die, Lil Wayne’s Dedication 2-“one of the 10 best records of 2006”-according to The New York Times, Gucci Mane’s The Movie, and more. Simultaneously, he assumed DJ duties for T.I. on tour, becoming a knockout presence on stage. Additionally, he unleashed a string of influential official major label full-lengths, beginning with Gangsta Grillz: The Albumin 2007 followed by Gangsta Grillz: The Album (Vol. 2). Meanwhile, 2011’s Third Power spawned his first Top 20 hit, “Oh My” [feat. Fabolous, Roscoe Dash, Wiz Khalifa]. A year later, Quality Street Music bowed at #15 on the Billboard Top 200 and Top 3 onthe Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart powered by the hits “We In This Bitch” [feat. Young Jeezy, T.I. Ludacris, Future] and “My Moment” [feat. 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Jeremih], which went Top 10.
Most recently, 2016’s Quality Street Music 2 boasted collaborations with Post Malone, Mac Miller, Young Thug, and more as well as his highest charting hit “Wishing” [feat. Chris Brown, Skeme, & Lyquin], which peaked at #77 on the Hot 100.Blurring the lines between mixtapes and “albums”in the traditional sense, his approach provided a template for the culture’s penchant to defy distinction between the two categorizations nowadays. “From day one, I always treated every project like an album,” he affirms. “I put personality to it. I elevated everything to a new level in order to align with the theme of the artist. The idea is to say something meaningful and have it play out like a full-length.”
His influence as a businessman parallels that of his artistry. Accepting a position as A&R for Atlantic Records in 2013, Drama founded Means Street Studios, which doubles as the label’s home in the south. With 40-plus employees, it stands out as the site of his Shade 45 Sirius XM Streetz Is Watchin Radio Show. 2016 saw him co-found Generation Now-home to multiplatinum superstar Lil Uzi Vert and many more. Meanwhile, he launched the Ju-Tox juice bar. Along the way, Drama ignited a high-profile Las Vegas residency. He holds the distinction of receiving a nomination for “DJ of the Year” at the BET Hip Hop Awards every year since its inception in 2007. He took home the honor in 2013 and received a nod again in 2018. In the end, his forward-thinking vision consistently drives the culture forward. “When you listen to Gangsta Grillz, hear a Generation Now artist, or attend an event I’m headlining, I want it trigger positive memories,” he leaves off. “I know the feeling that I got when I first heard certain records. I hope people can say the same thing for my projects and they get that wide-eyed excitement.”