DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz Podcast  By  cover art

DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz Podcast

By: Khalabo Ink Society
Narrated by: DJ Drama
Episodes
  • Trailer
    Jul 20 2023

    Before rap music made its way onto the radio, mixtapes reigned as the primary means of distributing the genre. It was in 1996 that a young and talented DJ Drama made his debut in the mixtape scene with "Iladelph," a remarkable release that showcased Black Thought of the legendary Roots. Fast forward 25 years, and DJ Drama has transformed into a Grammy-winning hip-hop producer, record executive, and tastemaker earning himself the well-deserved moniker of "King of the Mixtape." Throughout his illustrious career, he has released a series of groundbreaking mixtapes that have not only disrupted the music industry but have also featured some of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time.

    Enter the world of DJ Drama's Gangsta Grillz Podcast, a captivating Audible Original presented by Kenya Barris' Khalabo Ink Society. Each episode of this highly anticipated podcast features DJ Drama and a legendary guest artist, including luminaries such as Lil Wayne, Tyler, the Creator, Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, Pharrell, T.I., Jeezy, and Fabolous. Together, they delve into the intricacies of Drama's revered mixtape series, exploring its inception, production process, and enduring impact on the music landscape. Whether you're an avid fan of hip-hop or a lover of modern music, DJ Drama's Gangsta Grillz Podcast is an absolute must-listen, offering invaluable insights and enthralling conversations with the trailblazers of the genre.

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    1 min
  • Episode 1: KENYA BARRIS.
    Jul 20 2023
    In this quick sit down, DJ Drama and Kenya Barris talk about the history of the Gangsta Grillz mixtape series, the legacy of mixtapes in hip-hop, and the similarities between what DJ Drama does as a producer and what Kenya does as a writer.
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    11 mins
  • Episode 2: TYLER, THE CREATOR.
    Jul 20 2023

    Tyler the Creator and DJ Drama talk about their Grammy winning Gangsta Grillz album, Call Me if You Get Lost. They also discuss Tyler’s influences - Q-Tip, Native Tongues, and Pharrell - and Tyler’s place in hip-hop.

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    44 mins

Watch the trailer

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About the Producer- DJ Drama

About the Host

Tyree Simmons, better known to the world as DJ Drama, is one of the most iconic voices in the history of hip-hop. With a career spanning nearly 2 decades, the multi-platinum selling artist and DJ single-handedly helped forever change the hip-hop landscape with his legendary Gangsta Grillz brand, which has over 200 classic mixtapes to date.
As one third of Generation Now, DJ Drama added record executive to his resume. He won his first GRAMMY for his work on Tyler, The Creator’s CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, which helped give the Gangsta Grillz brand a new life.
Drama once again showed the world why he is one of the greatest of all time with the release of his latest album, I’M REALLY LIKE THAT, earlier in this year.

About the Performer - Tyler, The Creator

About the Artist

Tyler, The Creator is an auteur. A recording artist, songwriter, producer, director, designer and more; he first emerged in 2007 as co-founder of the collective Odd Future before going on to co-create and star in the cult TV show Loiter Squad on Adult Swim with his Odd Future cohorts. This was just the beginning for Tyler — since then he has become a Grammy Award-winning artist, releasing six studio albums, launching internationally acclaimed music festival Camp Flog Gnaw that has sold out 8 years running, creating two lifestyle brands (Golf Wang and GOLF le FLEUR*) that have collaborated with heritage brands like Converse, Lacoste and more, as well as developing two more TV shows (The Jellies! for Adult Swim and Nuts & Bolts for Viceland). His 2019 album IGOR debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, saw him crowned GQ’s Man of the Year and Wall Street Journal Magazine’s Innovator of the Year in addition to being named Best Rap Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. His most recent album CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST was released in June 2021 to universal acclaim, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and earned him his second Grammy for Best Rap Album.

About the Performer - Wiz Khalifa

About the Artist

Multi-platinum-selling, Grammy- and Golden Globe-nominated recording artist Wiz Khalifa burst onto the scene with the release of his first major-label debut album, Rolling Papers, in 2011. Rolling Papers spawned the hugely successful hits “Black and Yellow,” “Roll Up,” and “No Sleep,” and gave Wiz the platform to win the award for Best New Artist at the 2011 BETAwards and Top New Artist at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. “Black and Yellow” also earned him his first two Grammy nods for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. As a follow up to Rolling Papers, Wiz Released O.N.I.F.C. in 2012. This album featured tracks “Work Hard, Play Hard” and “Remember You,” featuring The Weeknd. His third studio album, released in 2014, Black Hollywood debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart and included the hit single "We DemBoyz."
Soon after, Wiz’s track “See You Again,” off the Furious 7 soundtrack, catapulted to the top of the charts across 95 countries and earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song. Wiz released his album Khalifa in February 2016 as a thank you to fans, which included the tracks “Bake Sale” featuring Travis Scott and “Elevated.” In June of the same year, Wiz collaborated with Juicy J and TM88 to debut TGOD Mafia Presents: Rude Awakening.
On April 20, 2017, to celebrate 4/20, Wiz launched his mobile app Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm, which has garnered more than 10.1 million downloads and is currently being played in more than eight countries and six languages. In February 2018, Wiz partnered with Sovereign Brands to create- McQueen and the Violet Fog, an award-winning gin and rated by the New York Times as the “Best Gin.” In April 2019, Wiz released his five-part docuseries with Apple Music, Wiz Khalifa: Behind the Cam, which gives viewers an exclusive look into his life and career. Wiz was also a series regular in Fox’s animated sitcom Duncanville, which had its season 3 finale in 2022.
Wiz released his project The Saga of Wiz Khalifa, which was followed by his critically acclaimed collaborative album Full Court Press with Girl Talk, Big K.R.I.T., and Smoke DZA. In July 2022, Wiz released his full-length solo album Multiverse to rave reviews. This spring, Wiz stars as George Clinton in the motion picture Spinning Gold, out now. Wiz’s new album, Wizzlemania, is out this summer.

About the Performer - Jeezy

About the Artist

With more than a dozen RIAA gold, platinum, and multi-platinum hits to his credit, Jeezy, the Atlanta pioneer of hip-hop’s dominant trap genre, has amassed more than 6.5 billion catalog streams, and more than 960 million YouTube channel views. The year 2020 marked the 15th anniversary of Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, his seminal RIAA platinum Def Jam label debut LP. It entered the Rap and R&B charts at #1 (#2 on the pop side), and immortalized trap music with the double-platinum #1 hit “Soul Survivor,” featuring Akon.
The RIAA platinum TM 102: The Inspiration (2006, with “Go Getta,” featuring R. Kelly, and “I Luv It”) entered at #1 across the board (pop, R&B, and rap), as did the album that followed, the aptly titled The Recession (2008), containing the #1 double-platinum hit “Put On,” featuring Kanye West. Jeezy’s next two albums, TM 103: Hustlerz Ambition (2011, with the Top-5 hits “Lose My Mind,” featuring Plies, and "Leave You Alone," featuring Ne-Yo) and Seen It All: The Autobiography (2014, with the RIAA gold title tune "Seen It All," (featuring Jay-Z) kept up the momentum, both of them again entering the rap and R&B album charts at #1.
Trap or Die 3 (2016, with “All There,” featuring the late Bankroll Fresh) was Jeezy’s third LP to debut at #1 across-the-board on the pop, R&B/hip-hop, and rap charts. Guests also included Plies Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, French Montana, Yo Gotti, and Bankroll Fresh. Jeezy headlined the Trap Or Die 3 Tour in March-April 2017. Pressure (2017) featured fellow Def Jam MCs YG and 2 Chainz, as well as Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Puff Daddy, Kodak Black, and others. In February-March 2018, Jeezy headlined The Cold Summer Tour, during which he shocked fans around the world by first announcing that his next album, TM 104, would be his final one in the TM series.
TM 104: The Legend of the Snowman (2019) was in fact the final album chapter in Jeezy’s career-spanning Thug Motivation series. His 13-city TM104 Fall 2019 Tour of the U.S. in November-December sold out instantly. The events of 2020 were just about to engulf the planet, leading to the creation of The Recession 2.
While music is Jeezy’s talent, business is his passion. As an entrepreneur, he established Agency99, his marketing and brand management company. New business ventures include multiple real estate properties, ownership and partnership in Defiance Fuel fitness water, a partnership with American Cut Steakhouse, and his ongoing partnership with global spirits brand Tequila Avion. Jeezy announced in February 2019 that he launched a full service sports management agency called Sports99. In 2020, Def Jam announced that Jeezy would be taking on an executive role as senior adviser to the chairman on issues related to A&R and artist development. Currently, Jeezy is the host of his own weekly talk show Worth a Conversation, on Fox Soul, where he connects with thought leaders and career experts on a range of topics. Most recently, Jeezy has formed a new international partnership with Naud Spirits.
Jeezy’s social profile includes more than 5.3 million Instagram followers, 1.3 million Twitter followers, 1.76 million YouTube channel subscribers, and 6.8 million Facebook likes.

About the Performer - T.I.

About the Artist

With millions of albums sold, over 35 million singles, 3 Grammy Awards, 11 Billboard Awards, 3 BET Awards, 2 American Music Awards, and more through the years, as well as being the one who led the explosion of Southern Hip-Hop music and, specifically, Trap Muzik, to a mainstream breakthrough—Tip “T.I.” Harris continues to share exciting new projects capturing the magnetic rapper, actor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist at the top of his game. 2023 marks 20 years since he released his breakthrough album, Trap Muzik, which launched the popular Hip-Hop sub-genre with the same name.

About the Performer - Lil Wayne

About the Artist

Lil Wayne rewrote the entire game in his image. The five-time Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum rap icon, Young Money Entertainment founder, acclaimed author, pro skater, philanthropist, and history-making superstar continues to leave an indelible tattoo on the culture. He has cemented his legacy forever as "one of the bestselling artists of all time," tallying sales in excess of 100 million records worldwide with 25 million albums and 90 million digital tracks sold in the United States alone. In 2022, Wayne earned his first Diamond certification from the RIAA with his generational smash hit "Lollipop," featuring Static Major. Not to mention, he has garnered 26 BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, se MTV Awards, 4 Soul Train Awards and 8 BMI Awards, as well as recently received the Global Impact Award at The Recording Academy Honors presented by The Black Music Collective. Among many milestones, he emerged as "the first artist to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100" and has logged a staggering 183 entries—the third most of all time. With a discography highlighted by five career-spanning #1 debuts beginning with 2008’s 8x-platinum, 3x Grammy Award-winning opus Tha Carter III and its 6x-platinum, 2011 successor Tha Carter IV, he released the latest version of the series, Tha Carter V, in 2018. Not only did it clinch #1 on the Billboard 200, but it also achieved "the second-largest streaming week for an album in history." Every song on the tracklisting charted on the Billboard Hot 100 as he became "the first artist to debut two songs in the top 5." It all bulldozed the way for his 13th full-length, Funeral, a year later. Simultaneously, Wayne owns and operates Young Money Entertainment as CEO. The company ignited the careers of some of the most successful artists ever—Drake, Nicki Minaj, and 14 RIAA-certified-platinum recording artist, Tyga. Additionally, Wayne is the co-founder of Young Money APAA Sports; the full-service agency currently represents more than 40 athletes and has negotiated more than $1 billion in contracts to date. The committed philanthropist also founded The One Family Foundation, a charitable group focused on helping underserved youth.

About the Performer - Fabolous

About the Artist

For more than 20 years, Fabolous has worn many (fitted) hats as one of hip-hop’s most versatile and elite talents. He’s been able to weather trends, set styles, and endure the turning tables of the industry. All the while the Brooklyn native has proven to be as adept as changing with the times as he is at transforming them. Two platinum albums, two Grammy nominations, one gold album, six Top 10 hits, and the blueprint for mixtape mastery.

About the Performer - Pharell

About the Artist

Pharrell Williams is a visionary recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, fashion designer, and entrepreneur with over 10 billion combined global music streams to date. He has been honored with 13 Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, and Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. In 2019, Pharrell founded Yellow, a nonprofit that evens the odds for youth through education. That same year, Pharrell launched his first Something in the Water festival. In 2020, Pharrell founded Humanrace to empower individuals in their pursuit of well-being. Williams also launched Black Ambition, a nonprofit providing a bridge to success for Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs. In February 2023, Pharrell was named Louis Vuitton’s new menswear creative director, having his debut show in Paris in June to wide success.

About the Performer - 2Chainz

About the Artist

2 Chainz, the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning MC first made his mark when he broke out of his native Atlanta as a founding member of the duo Playaz Circle. Their rap-R&B-pop crossover hit "Duffle Bag Boy" featuring Lil’ Wayne, released on the DTP (Disturbing Tha Peace)/Def Jam label, sent shock waves across the hip-hop universe in 2007. Chainz’ solo career began that same year with the release of his first mixtape.
Proving that he could write street anthems with crossover appeal, Chainz capitalized on his notoriety with the back-to-back mixtapes Codeine Withdrawal (2010) and Codeine Cowboy (2011). His 2011 mixtape T.R.U. REALigion mined downloads in the millions. The outspoken rapper had established a new sphere of influence.
2 Chainz’ name was on everyone’s lips in 2012, when he stole a verse on "Mercy," fellow Def Jam artist Kanye West’s RIAA triple-platinum #1 R&B/#1 Rap hit (from Cruel Summer). In August 2012, Chainz arrived as a Def Jam solo artist with Based On A T.R.U. Story, his Platinum debut album, which entered the charts at #1. Its success was fueled by the platinum #1 "No Lie" featuring Drake, the double-platinum "Birthday Song" featuring Kanye West, and double-platinum "I’m Different." "Mercy" was subsequently a Grammy nominee for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, while B.O.A.T.S. was nominated for Best Rap Album. Chainz’ dominance was extended when the sequel, B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time entered the hip-hop chart at #1 in September 2013, and spun off the gold single, "Feds Watching" featuring Pharrell.
In 2016, Chainz brought it back to his essence with a series of mixtapes that dominated the streets: Felt Like Cappin, Daniel Son, Necklace Don, and Hibachi For Lunch. Also in 2016, he released the lauded collaborative album ColleGrove with New Orleans hip-hop luminary Lil Wayne. The year was capped off with his first Grammy Award, Best Rap Performance for his verse on Chance The Rapper’s hit song "No Problem."
With momentum on his side in 2017, Chainz released his first solo album in four years, the RIAA platinum #1 Pretty Girls Like Trap Music. The album netted over 2 billion stream, three consecutive multi-platinum hits and accompanied by a 35-city tour of North America.
2018 brought the EP releases The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It (February, with the RIAA gold "Proud" featuring YG and Offset, boasting over 100 million streams); and Hot Wings Are A Girl’s Best Friend (November), a two-song bundle that included "Hot Wings" and "Girl’s Best Friend." They pointed the way to the March 2019 release of Chainz’ fourth solo album, Rap Or Go To The League, described as his most personal, most lyrical, most soulful record to date. It challenged the notion that the only way out of the inner city is either to become a rapper or a ball player. The album flipped that trope, celebrating themes of black excellence, the power of education, and entrepreneurship. A&R’d by LeBron James, Rap Or Go spun off two smashes: the MTV VMA-nominated "Rule The World" featuring Ariana Grande (over 22 million YouTube views); and platinum "Bigger Than You" featuring Drake and Quavo (over 62 million combined YouTube views).
Chainz returned to the front line in 2020, with So Help Me God his sixth studio album which featured Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, NBA Younboy, Brent Faiyaz, Latto, and more. Then in 2022 he released his seventh studio album Dope Don’t Sell Itself with the lead single "Million Dollars Worth of Game" ft. 42 Dugg.
2 Chainz’ cultural impact continues to flourish. His indie record label T.R.U. (The Real Uni¬vers-ity), featuring Skooly, Cap.1, Fresh, and C White celebrated its seventh anniversary. In addition to music, his wildly popular tv show Most Expensivest on VICE will be back for season 4 and he was tapped to host Amazon’s new weekly show Amazon Music Live. His influence in fashion kicked off in 2018 with the release of the widely popular "Chain Reaction" sneaker collaboration with Versace, and in 2021 he did a capsule collaboration with True Religion Jeans in honor of the 10th anniversary of his TRU REALigion mixtape. His cannabis brand, GAS Cannabis Co. is available throughout California. He not only launched his Crate Talk interview series on his YouTube channel in March 2019, the channel now hosts his Me & Halo podcast featuring his 6-year old son. 2 Chainz also hit the big screens this year with his role alongside Antonio Banderas in the action thriller film The Enforcer.

What listeners say about DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz Podcast

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Legendary

Love hearing the backstories to some of our favorite projects. Production is great. My only wish is that the episodes would be longer.

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History Lesson

I already knew most of this history but, it was good to hear some other tidbits of info that I missed back in the day.

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Super dope series

Love the guest choice, Dope interviews, hoping that there is more to come. Not sure how you can top these ones

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Epic!

This is without a doubt my favorite podcast released by Audible to date. Awesome guests, great conversation, and well produced. I'm hoping we get more episodes soon!

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Amazing and very long overdue

I love the stories I love the guest. It brings back a lot of high school memories. This man is a legend and a National treasure

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Legendary 🔥🔥

Drama is legendary always with the epic and classic tapes he has dropped with goat artists 🔥🔥🔥

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Legends on legends

Honestly is a blessing to be alive during the same time as pioneering to the hip hop world. Please keep this going Dj Drama!! This is just the beginning

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  • DX
  • 11-21-23

Great listen and insights

Just loved hearing about the different processes and stories. Kudos Drama 👏🏾 👏🏾 #DJDonX

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Wiz was great

Loved it! Could not put it down. Really enjoyed, but this is all I have to say.

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