Skip to main content

Dr. Heidi R. Lewis Interviews DJ Drama

Feminist & Gender Studies is proud to announce Dr. Heidi R. Lewis, Director and Associate Professor and Coordinator of Early Career Faculty Development Programs, recently interviewed Tyree "DJ Drama" Simmons to discuss her developing multimedia research project on “mumble rap” and his innovative thinking in relation to that subgenre and hip hop as a whole.

Drama, also known as Mr. Thanksgiving, began creating mixtapes in 1998, starting with Jim Crow Laws, which featured Outkast, Three 6 Mafia, and others. Over 20 years ago, he co-founded the Aphilliates Music Group with Don Cannon and DJ Sense, releasing the Gangsta Grillz mixtape series responsible for classics like Drama's own Gangsta Grillz: The Album, Tip "T.I." Harris' Down with the King, and Jay "Young Jeezy" Jenkins' Trap or Die. For over 15 years, Drama has also produced all 7 of the mixtapes in Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter's Dedication series—7, if you include Reloaded. He is a winner of three 2008 Justo Mixtape Awards for Best Dirty South DJ, Best Mixtape Team (with The Aphilliates), and Best Mixtape Series (for Gangsta Grillz); winner of a 2013 BET Hip Hop Award for DJ of the Year; and winner of a 2018 Global Spin Award for DJ Record Label of the Year with Don Cannon for Generation Now, the Atlantic Records imprint they co-founded in 2015, which is home to rappers Lil Uzi Vert, Jack Harlow, Seddy Hendrix, Skeme, and others. 

Click here to access the full, 45-minute conversation, which includes mature language.

Report an issue - Last updated: 05/30/2021