He'll hopefully make more. Sadly, Gangsta Grillz: The Album has to exist for us to learn that. No single narrator or speaker to guide and anchor.
No fixed regional style to diverge and return to. Just overstuffed tracks like loosely spooled nylon or hastily booked professional wrestling matches Jeezy! Skits red-line embarrassment; Katt Williams going on for three minutes too long about Kush, Diddy just smiling and shouting shit on that annoying DJ Clue self-echo.
By now, labels were calling Drama, paying him money to work with their artists. He became the industry plug. But Gangsta Grillz's popularity was starting to present some problems. Drama made a deal with an independent distributor that started selling his mixtapes in a major retail chain.
That's when he started getting a little nervous. I didn't even realize that was possible. Over the next few years, Gangsta Grillz' impact on the culture became immeasurable. The list of artists to get the Gangsta Grillz treatment expanded to include surprise standouts like Pharrell, Little Brother and Gnarls Barkley. Drama stepped outside to move his car when he realized they weren't alone.
Drama played it cool because he knew that whatever it was, he wasn't the target. But things escalated. Officers pulled up and jumped out with Ms drawn, pointed at Drama. They called him by his government name, Tyree Simmons, and told him to get on the ground. They took his ID. Drama says he heard the officers get on their radios, saying: "We got one of the perps. Like, who? Y'all got one of them like — Wait, it's gotta be a mistake. Then, all hell broke loose.
Police stormed the offices, waving guns and telling everyone to get face-down on the ground. It was a full-on raid. Drama says they were looking through the building for guns and drugs — which they didn't find.
What they did find was tens of thousands of mixtape CDs, which they confiscated along with studio equipment, computers, four cars, bank statements and even the hard drives containing songs recorded for Drama's new studio album.
Then, they took Drama and Cannon. They told Drama he was being arrested for bootlegging and racketeering under RICO laws — the kind of serious conspiracy charges used to take down dangerous crime outfits, like the mob. Drama didn't even know what RICO stood for at the time. The news hit the streets like a tidal wave. In local footage on the 11 o' clock news that night, Drama and Cannon are dressed in blues with their hands cuffed in a courtroom.
Drama's trademark fitted cap is missing, like he's lost his crown. Together, they look like two deer caught in headlights. The next morning, Drama woke up in a jail cell for the first time in his life.
That's when they found out how serious the RICO charges they'd been slapped with really were. On the phone, T. A bank account, consisting of several hundred thousand dollars, reduced to nothing. In that moment, Drama says, he broke down and cried. When Drama found out his arrest was made in conjunction with the RIAA — the same trade organization whose seal appears on the gold and platinum plaques hanging in his offices — it felt deeper than a personal betrayal.
It was a betrayal of hip-hop. Everything in hip-hop from '95 to came from mixtapes. That became a style of music that the labels got rich off. This is what y'all make billions off. Don't sit here and tell me that what we're doing is wrong.
For Drama, it felt like a bait and switch. One day, he was working with major labels to promote their artists; the next, the industry trade group was working with law enforcement to haul him to jail and take his money — money he made, in part, by working with the labels. Why, then, did the labels go after Drama?
Drama and Canon were charged with a Georgia state law that made it illegal to sell CDs without putting your name and address on them — essentially, it was a way for the state to enforce federal copyright law — and they added a RICO charge because they were mass distributing the CDs.
The charges were "dead docketed," meaning Drama and Canon wouldn't be prosecuted, but the charges could be reinstated at any time. Drama says the DJs never got their money back; according to him, law enforcement claimed they couldn't prove what was earned from legitimate mixtapes and what was from illegal bootlegs, so they kept it all.
In a larger sense, Drama even started to blame himself. It is one of the few mixtapes in the hip hop genre to be both financially successful and critically acclaimed. Bush" was also acclaimed for its "mesmerizing indictment" of President Bush. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Where da Cash At. Lil Wayne. Pitchfork Media.
Retrieved August 28, George Bush". Retrieved October 7, The Village Voice.
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