DJ of the Year: DJ Drama
When you say the mixtape game is back, DJ Drama has to be your poster boy. A few years ago, Drama and DJ Don Cannon actually went to jail for selling mixtapes. Now, the music industry seems to have a better understanding of how integral a mixtape can be to an artist's career.
In 2009, Dram unleashed a heavy volume of work, collaborating with other DJs such as Skee, Scream and Holiday, singer R. Kelly and a multitude of red-hot street rappers such as Gucci Mane and Yo Gotti. Even platinum-sellers like Wyclef Jean and Soulja Boy Tell'em had to holla for Dram's cherished Gangsta Grillz brand stamping their underground projects.
No, Dram didn't have that definitive street CD like Trap or Die or Dedication, but those don't come around frequently. They're undeniable classics for a reason. What Dram did have was consistency, impact and growth.
| MIXTAPE YEAR END AWARDS|
Outside of mixtapes, Dram's Gangsta Grillz radio show (on satellite radio and Atlanta's 107.9) had its biggest year with big guests like Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Diddy and the on-air reunion of the Goodie Mob. The program even served as a venue for the Philadelphia-born DJ to end his differences with Young Jeezy. On the same show, Jeezy squashed his own beef with Gucci Mane.
On the artist side, the head of the Aphilliates dropped his second official LP, Gangsta Grillz: The Album Vol. 2, which featured guest spots ranging from Nas, T.I., Snoop and Akon to Gucci Mane, Juvenile and Rick Ross.
"Mr. Thanksgiving" didn't drop anything to the streets on Turkey Day that just passed, but on Christmas, he and Fabolous are releasing There Is No Competition Part 2: The Funeral Service. In early 2010, Dram has tapes with Meek Mill and Yo Gotti, and he and Jeezy will attempt to make one more timeless project, Trap or Die 2.
Drama's Selected 2009 Catalog
» Gangsta Grillz: The Album Vol. 2
» Wyclef Jean a.k.a. Toussaint St. Jean - From the Hut to the Projects to the Mansion
» Cam'ron and Vado - Boss of All Bosses
» Cory Gunz - Heir to the Throne
» French Montana - Cocaine Konvicts
» Gangsta Boo - The Rumors
» Gucci Mane - The Burrrprint (The Movie 3-D)
» Gucci Mane - Guccimerica (Cold War Series)
» Gucci Mane - The Movie 2
» J. Futuristic - Mr. Miyagi
» Juicy J and Project Pat - Play Me Some Pimpin Mane Pt. 2
» La the Darkman - Living Notoriously
» R. Kelly - The Demo Tape
» Roccett - The Free Agent
» Shawty Lo - Fright Night
» Skyzoo - The Power of Word
» Soulja Boy Tell'em - Follow Me
» Tony Yayo - Gangsta Paradise
» Willie the Kid - The Fly
» Yo Gotti - Cocaine Muzick 2
» Yung L.A. - Lamborghini Leland
Breakthrough Mixtape DJ of the Year: DJ Holiday
DJ Holiday perfected his come-up in 2009. The key with the Atlanta DJ was making impact. With everyone expecting Gucci Mane's first post-jail mixtape the way teenage girls anticipate the opening weekend of "Twilight" films, the Gucc handpicked Holiday to set off his comeback. LaFlare's Writing's on the Wall was one of the year's most talked-about mixtapes, as was Nicki Minaj's jump-off tape, Beam Me Up Scotty.
Nick's collaboration with Holiday connected 'hood to 'hood, and even radio jumped on one of the tracks, "I Get Crazy" with Lil Wayne. In October, Gucci called on Holiday again to be part of his historic Cold War Series, when three mixtapes were released simultaneously. Holiday did Brrrussia. Meanwhile, Soulja Boy Tell'em followed Gucci's lead and dropped three mixtapes on one day, commissioning Holiday for DatPiff. In 2010, Holiday promises he'll capitalize on his momentum with his first album. He's signed to Gucci Mane's new label. The mixtapes will continue to come. Big Kuntry and Plies are two of the first we'll hear.
Holiday's Selected 2009 Catalog
» Gorilla Zoe - Feeding Time
» Gucci Mane - Writing's on the Wall
» Nicki Minaj - Beam Me Up Scotty
» OJ Da Juiceman - Alaska in Atlanta
» Short Dawg - Southern Flame Spitta Vol. 2
» Soulja Boy - DatPiff
» Yung L.A. - I Think I Can Sang
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.