DJ Drama Addresses The Modern State Of Mixtapes

DJ Drama explains what he things of so-called "mixtapes" in 2012.

Recently, DJ Drama discussed his take on projects being currently labeled as mixtapes.

"I'm still a believer that when it comes to mixtapes, there's supposed to be a deejay involved," explained Drama in an interview with Bootleg Kev. "Truth be told, I'm not a fan of the no-deejay tapes after you've done the tape with the deejay."

"So for myself to still be wavin' a flag, it's important," continued Drama. "I'm totally for whoever, if you wanna put a project out without a deejay - and I get it, if you call it a mixtape - but I even heard Kay Slay on the radio the other day: 'Don't be scared, that's your album.' If you're not using a deejay, that's your album."

Drama also explained that he has a distaste for artists that release a completely deejay drop-free release after doing the project with a deejay. He did, however, concede that some songs do need to be cleaned up for the radio, and released sans drops.

"I've had these conversations with artists I've done tapes with...and I just think that if you're gonna call it a mixtape, and you're gonna use a deejay, go in. ...You ain't come to us if our value wasn't something.

Watch the interview below:

RELATED: DJ Drama Announces New Album "Quality Street Music"

43 Comments

  • PhuckAmixtapeDJ

    wow, just lost the last bit of respect i had left for drama... if u wanna argue, a mixtape is supposed to be MIXED, u know, actual DEEJAYING, not just screaming all over the tracks with ur voice twice as loud as the rapper's vocals. plus it ain't even real mixtape if it's only one artist. u might as well call it a street album, dj or not...

  • Anonymous

    It's a sad state in music today when rappers who used to put out "real product", now waste time and energy putting out free music and calling it a mixtape. In a few cases, you might get lucky and stumble across a mixtape that has the feel of an album, but I think all this DJ affiliated stuff needs to be phased out. If you want to make music so bad, go learn how to produce.

  • lk

    dj explains what he "things" of so-called mixtape...... can you people please proof read your articles

  • DJ MikeE

    As a DJ, I can see where he's coming from. But at the same time, before I started DJing I was always annoyed with DJs dropping their names all over songs. When I record my mixes or mixtapes (different songs from different artists) I always throw a drop before the actual mix starts, at the end, and once or twice during the actual mix. 4 times over the course of a 45 minute to 1 hour tape is acceptable I think. As the DJ, you don't need to talk, or do various drops over 1 single song. You're a DJ, let the mixing, scratching and song selection speak for itself.

  • ItsTheTruth

    Well I'm a fan of the no-DJ mixtapes, such as Lloyd Banks' series, Krit's mixtapes, Joe Budden's Mood Muzik tapes, etc. They have more of an album feel and they are free. Much respect to the DJs but I can do without the non-stop shouting over the tracks and listening to a song 30-40 seconds in and then having it start back over. lol. Just my opinion tho.

  • Anonymous

    The problem I'm having with mixtapes is that these days you can't separate them from albums. Just take a recent example in Ace Hood's mixtape Starvation from the other day. The quality ain't much different from his albums. It kind of adds to the fact that music ain't selling much because people can get the same kind of stuff for free, legally.

  • Anonymous

    All whats left is pop hop, radio and corporate mind fuck. Shut the real rappers down, The mixtape dj was about bringing those exclusives and advancing the sound

  • So Icy Boi!

    this white boy iz gay. fuck 50 Cent that nigga iz fake. check out ma new singe "Check My Swag" featuring Mystikal. http://soundcloud.com/yungicyboi/yung-icy-boi-check-my-swag ma debut album Hip Hop Is Alive comin soon. YMCMB! swag

  • TRUTH

    The industry has gotten so lazy...Dj DRama...still got it wrong....REAL MIXTAPES...were a collection of songs from MULTIPLE ARTIST..up to like 15 different artist. The dj would take them mix them scratch and do drops over them..making it flow and transition smoothly form song to song. THAT IS A MIXTAPE. This shit today are NOT MIXTAPES....one artist gives a dj some songs...then the dj ...just does shot outs over the tracks...thats it....THATS BULLSHIT....NOT A MIXTAPE.

    • tim

      exactly. technically dj drama aint dropped a "mixtape" in the 00's at all. them shits were just submitted MP3s and they track em together and fuckin tak shit over. shit dont even mix. i remember back then mick boogie charging 200 dollars for him to host ur tape. same shit with DJVlad and them.. man all u really paying for is promo.. and then i look back at all the 'mixtapes' back then.. of how many people blew up through these djs.. was it cause the djs really 'discovered' these artists (like the traditiona dj should be doing.. LOOKING for artiists and introducing them to the masses.. not HEARING what everyone else likes and playing it.) or was it because they got paid heaps.. djs today aint djs. they aint even digging for new music (meaning like some next shit from other countries.. and believe me.. there are tons) they just sit on they asses all day recycling each others playlists.. im not even a dj and i know this.. i respect the art form of real DJing so much .. fuck this

  • Scooby

    I always agreed w/ this mixtape. We are losing or deleting one of the essence of DJs. Before the MC, the DJ was 1st, now they using Serato and other components this is why the music is so crossed and shows weaker than ever. Mixtapes should have a DJ, artist should have a DJ...It's like the Boom Bap, but now youre trying to go Boom Boom and then realizing something is wrong after the fact.

  • Anonymous

    drama got the hardest tags gangsta!!!!

  • GrimGenius

    they say lil wayne & t.i. put dj drama on the map, i don't really know how that is BUT i think DJ-free mixtapes are better anyway & at least with khaled, he talks his little shit in the beginning of the song & that's it.

  • Dolo

    i respect the DJ's but i can't stand when they're talking the whole fucking time. like dude, i didn't download the joint to hear to shouting out your sponsors and bullshit. gtfo drama, lame ass

  • JC

    Peeps that don't like DJ mix tapes are listening to the wrong DJ's. Props to real DJ's out there like Rob Swift, Boogie Blind, Evil Dee, J Period...

  • RJ

    Talk about arrogance. I respect the fact that if use a DJ, they deserve the props but the shout outs are so FUCKING lame. This is 90% bullshit

    • dARTz

      Rap music fans have been listening to DJ drops and MC shoutouts since the live show cassettes from Flash, Cold Crush, Love Bug Starski to the Kid Capri, Diamond D, Tony Touch, Ron G mixtapes. Stretch & Bobbito used to throw a quick drop in to keep the EXCLUSIVE as theirs. World's Famous Supreme Team used to do the same, a clown would walk around with a new song on the boombox and act like THEY got the exclusive. WHY SHOULD IT BE DIFFERENT NOW? Although I AGREE that some drops are EXCESSIVE, it's done for a REASON. PEOPLE STEAL.

  • YoungBoyWise

    The artist and dj are supposed to go hand n hand... Befor this Internet shit u had to have your shit poppin in the streets, and who would play your song in the clubs, bars, strip joints and give them to a&r's the Dj... Wise

  • Jay

    Nah bump what he's saying. EVERYONE gets annoyed with the DJ's. Thats why websites always put out the DJ-free version. no one wants to drive though the hood blasting music with some dude screaming on the track, restarting it 3 times. nope.

  • Anonymous

    Drama dissin Tyga. He mad that Tyga stopped using him as a host and he blew up without Drmama.

  • This dude is a clown

    This guy is a straight up clown. The quality of mixtapes has gone up over the past couple of years. We get at least 10 mixtapes per year that are just as good, if not better than all of albums that drop. Section 80 and ReturnOf4Eva was just as good as album that dropped. No one has ever liked having some clown as dude yelling at the top of his lungs over tracks. Every mixtape that drops with a DJ on it gets a no DJ version a week later. Is that supposed to be a coincidence? You know what? What even makes this dude a fucking DJ anyway? I have never heard this dude actually scratch a tape. No one needs Djs to distribute music anymore. If all your contributions to songs are is just yelling over the songs why the fuck does anyone need you? How is this dude still making a living off this shit anyway?

    • ETK

      yeah an independent album to be more precise, kinda like Tech n9nes. A lot of people see some of Tech's albums as mixtapes for some reason

    • Anonymous

      Section 80 was an album just gonna point that out...

    • dARTz

      While you were typing your emotions, you missed the gist of the conversation. Kendrick and K.R.I.T.'s "mixtapes" are realistically FREE ALBUMS. Now if you want to get literal, Section 80 & Return have NO DJ MIXING on them, so why are they "mixtapes"? DJ's scream all over it because if they didn't suckas out there would slap their name on it and sell it as EXCLUSIVE. In generation download, since the fan base doesn't support anyone without the corporate machine behind them, they take the tags off later JUST IN CASE one of the songs on the mixtape makes the radio. Now who needed DJ's to distribute music back then? When did DJ's scratch a tape? Because you alone haven't seen Drama spin you're in denial?

  • So Icy Boi!:

    Drake and Nick Minaj are the worst rappers out there

  • DJ Clue

    drama is wack. he stole my style.

  • Daddy

    "distaste" for a "completely deejay drop-free release?" Well I personally enjoyed the Clipse WGIFC Vol.3 mixtape because it didn't have DJ Drama yelling at the top of his lungs....but its Dj Drama's opinion.

  • So Icy Boi!

    fuck DJ Drama. that white boy supports fake niggas like 50 Cent. fuck that! swag check out ma CD Cover: http://i42.tinypic.com/34yd9w3.jpg ma debut album DIE LIKE A SWAGSTAR comin soon. YMCMB. swag

  • Anonymous

    There's no art or skill involved in screaming over a song. Everybody from DJ Clue, to Khaled have destroyed songs. I don't blame rappers for eliminating them off the final product. People want to hear the music. Bottom line.

  • Anonymous

    dj drama is one of the worst offenders for bullshit yelling all mixtapes and songs, it is so unnecessary, i know its hard for these guys to believe but no one wants to hear him talk about hjw great he is and how hes doing it for the streets

  • anonymous

    dj drama is a worthless piece of trash

  • Anonymous

    there is a difference between demo tapes and mixtapes. Most of these upcoming no name rappers are dropping demos not mixtapes.

  • jg`

    i dont get it. why would you need a dj for a mixtape all you need is beats

  • TaZzZ

    Mixtapes with Deejays were cool until you and Khaled ruined it by yelling over every track... We are all fucking sick of it. Thank god for the new format of free albums. Now we can enjoy quality music without some no talent dumbs overshadowing the track with pointless comments. What do you do? Play previously made instrumentals for an artist? The art of the DJ's died, and you contributed to it... Asshole

    • Anon

      That trend began wayyyy before Khaled, see: Whoo Kid, DJ Clue and various other NY mixtape DJs. I never got why people hated on Khaled so much when there are much worse culprits of screaming on records than him. At least Khaled had some tact and didn't come on in the middle of a verse and give random ass shout outs and constantly add some superfluous gun cocking sound effects. I may be wrong about this, though, as I'm not a huge listener of Khaled. Anyway, no one likes DJs screaming all over tapes. That shit is annoying as fuck, especially when it interrupts the lyrics. I remember a g-unit tape from several years back when Whoo Kid just randomly came on and screamed "can't forget...all the moisture out there." I stopped listening to his tapes after that. I download tapes to listen to the artists, not to hear "gang grizzilles" over and over again while someone like Jean Grae is rapping. I understand that some artists do it in an effort to gain more exposure through riding off of the DJs fame, but the trend of dropping a tape without the use of a DJ is something that I really appreciate.

  • DaStudioKing

    Oh please! DJs have become vulture middle-man that prey on stupid rappers who think they need them to "break" records.

  • Anonymous

    DJ'S FUCK THE TAPE UP ALL THEY DO IS TALK AND SHOUT BULLSHIT 90% DONT EVEN SCRATCH OR ANYTHING THE NO DJ VERSIONS ARE SO MUCH BETTER THEY JUST LOVE THE SOUND OF THEIR OWN VOICE

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