Via The BoomBox
What started off as a passing joke between DJ Drama and rapper 50 Cent became something very real, very quickly. The head of the Aphilliates DJ crew says that he was genuinely surprised by the near-instant response from the streets one day after merely mentioning a collaborative idea to 50 at SXSW in Austin, Texas, last month.
"We ran into each other at my party out there," he tells The BoomBox. "I think I said a joke to him real quick about [doing a Gangsta Grillz tape], like, 'You playing...,' because a while ago we were supposed to be doing a G-Unit tape that never happened and we've been discussing some things. I was with his man Rene from G-Unit, went backstage after the show and mentioned it to him. But after that we never really spoke."
The next morning, Drama says he woke up to a barrage of phone calls and text messages. "People were calling, saying 50 went on Twitter and said he 'bout to drop the tape," he reveals. "So I was like, 'Cool. It's real.' It's good, because him doing that created a lot of anticipation and excitement and I'm looking forward to it."
Since the inception of Drama's Gangsta Grillz mixtape series, he's done tapes with everyone from T.I. and Young Jeezy to Dead Prez and Jean Grae. The Philly native has been a part of Atlanta's hip-hop culture for close to a decade, with his influence existing on a national platform for nearly as long, so it's curious that this particular collaboration with Fif took years to happen.
"It's just about the right timing and making it happen," Drama shares. "I was a fan of 50 and an employee of Shade 45; we were definitely in the family but I guess now is the time."
The news is official and Drama says they're aiming for a late April to May release for the project, titled The Lost Tape. But there's still the matter of upholding some very high standards on both ends. 50 Cent's career rebirth came through his 2002 mixtape, 50 Cent Is the Future, and DJ Drama's success kicked off almost instantaneously with the start of his Gangsta Grillz series, eight years ago.
"For me, it's a lot on the line," Drama states. "I think because it's a Gangsta Grillz [mixtape], because it's 50's first, because of what 50 means to mixtapes and because of what I mean to mixtapes. There's a lot... of ears. A lot of opinions. So I like the challenge, I'm excited for it, and I'm glad it's getting the attention it's getting because I'd like to be in the space where n*ggas ride to this 50, how they're supposed to ride to 50."
In addition to The Lost Tape, 50 Cent is recording his fifth album, tentatively set for a July 2 release.