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Hip-hop artist DJ Drama has joined the A&R staff at Atlantic Records. Based in Atlanta, he will oversee recording projects, sign new talent and contribute to the artist development process for existing talent on the Atlantic roster. In addition, DJ Drama’s newly established Means Street Studios in Atlanta will become the studio base for Atlantic artists while in the market.
In a statement announcing the appointment, Atlantic chairman/CEO Craig Kallman said, “One of the most accomplished DJs and mixtape masters, DJ Drama brings brilliant instincts and consummate skills to our A&R team. A hugely influential force in the hip-hop community, I know he’ll be a tremendous asset in signing and developing artists and making amazing records.”
Stated DJ Drama, “My first two albums as an artist were on Atlantic. And I’m now looking forward to working with Craig and Julie [Atlantic chairman/COO Greenwald] in a new capacity, helping them break the label’s next crop of amazing talent.”
Born Tyree Simmons in Philadelphia, DJ Drama first came to national attention as the official DJ for rapper T.I. From there, he became a pioneering fixture in the mixtape arena with his critically acclaimed Gangsta Grillz series. In addition to T.I., DJ Drama’s list of collaborations includes Lil Wayne, OutKast, Pharrell Williams, Rick Ross and Kendrick Lamar, among others.
Named DJ of the Year at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards, DJ Drama is currently recording his fifth album, Quality Street Music 2. Its 2012 predecessor, Quality Street Music (eOne Music), debuted and peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on Rap Albums. He began his solo recording career in 2007 with the Grand Hustle/Atlantic release of Gangsta Grillz: The Album and Gangsta Grillz: the Album Vol. 2 in 2009.