Last December, Atlanta mixtape king DJ Drama invited rap star Young Jeezy onto his Hot 107.9 (WHTA-FM) radio show to publicly end their beef the one where Jeezy threatened to rough him up and accused him of getting rich off his work. After smoothing things over, Drama had another on-air surprise: Jeezy's longtime adversary Gucci Mane was on the phone.
"It's about that time, we're getting older, growing," Gucci said, calling from prison. "So, let's do it for the city."
Jeezy sounded skeptical. "What are we doing?" he asked. It would have been understandable if Jeezy didn't want to buddy up with the guy who'd killed one of his alleged associates. But before long, Jeezy agreed to make peace. "We're gonna do this for the city," he concluded.
When Drama began crafting mixtapes nearly a decade ago, he likely had no idea he'd one day have to master mediation skills. But he dutifully played the role because, he says, he believed bloodshed could have resulted otherwise. "The city's too small," he says. "No one wants to see anyone get harmed."
Sure, it was a feel-good moment for Atlanta hip-hop, but it was also fuel for DJ Drama's career. His own fortunes, after all, are intertwined with the careers of these artists. Having broken out nationally through collaborations with rappers such as Gucci, T.I. and Lil Wayne, he has watched all three of them go to jail. With his Gangsta Grillz: The Album (Vol. 3) due out later this year, Drama has every interest in keeping his name out there.
(Photo by Zach Wolfe)
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