DJ Don Cannon
Step Back

doncannon1.jpgWith all due respect to the Triple Six, the most known unknown of late has been the Philly-born DJ/producer Don Cannon. Though you may not know the details of his resume, you’ve probably heard his name dozens of times, either on his 28 Grams mixtapes, over tracks on DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz series or at the beginning of his head nod–inducing productions for the likes of Young Jeezy and T.I. Now, with Jay-Z cosigning his beats, production work streaming in and his own stable of emerging artists, Cannon is taking aim at the industry. Get Aphilliated or get left behind.

A huge turning point for your production career was landing the beat for “Go Crazy” on Jeezy’s album. How’d that come about?
What happened was I originally gave that beat to T.I.

And he turned it down?
No, he didn’t turn it down. He did a verse on it and Drama put it out. At that same time, ironically, I had given that beat to Jeezy and he was just coming up and he was like, “Wow, I love this beat,” and he ended up using it for his album. I think they were about six songs deep at the time when they cut the deal with Def Jam and Jay-Z got in the office. They wanted to play the songs for [Jay] to show progress and my song was number six out of the songs they played. Jay-Z was listening and when my record came on, he just stood up like, “That’s the one I want.”

How’d you feel when Jay-Z hopped on the remix?
It was weird. Jay-Z is my favorite artist, so I was like, Damn, my favorite artist got on my first major beat, what do I do now? I already did what I wanted to do, so where do I go now but make more beats for him?

So what would be your dream production job?
Jay-Z, probably. I already did that, but maybe producing a whole album. Jackson 5 is one of my favorite groups of all time, or I would like to do a Stevie Wonder record.

Jay’s gonna need somebody to put together his comeback mixtape…
If I did the Jay-Z comeback tape, it’s out of here. Also, I’d like to do a Beanie Sigel tape. He’s my second favorite artist and I’m already working on some songs for him.

You started producing at a young age, right?
Yeah, I’ve been producing since I was 11. I didn’t have nothing to do the beats on, so I would do this thing called pause tapes. I would put a sample on a tape, press pause, then go back on the record and do that loop again, pause it and do that for 5 minutes until I had continuous loops to rap on.

DJ Drama is also from Philly. You linked up at college in Atlanta, but did you ever have contact with him before that?
Well, my homeboy who knew a lot of people that went to his high school in Philly was telling me, “Yo you got to hear this cat Drama, he’s crazy,” but I never had a chance to get in touch with him. As soon as I came to Atlanta to go to Clark [University], I ran up on him told him what I did, that I produced, and he put me down with the squad. He had been there a year before me, so he was already putting a whole team together. Drama and Sense lived together. They had a duplex in the 4th Ward of Atlanta and I used to get a bus and just go chill at they crib. We just started being really musically inclined together.

A lot of people became familiar with your name because Drama would do the “Cannon” drop on all his mixtapes. Was that always the plan?
It’s all branding. We so tight, brotherhood-wise, [if] you hear a tape by me, you gonna hear a Dramatic drop. You might not hear a “Gangsta Grills,” ‘cause that’s the name of his tapes, but you will hear a Drama or Sense drop. We brand each other. I got fans that he don’t have, he got fans that I don’t have. That’s how we make you see. It’s all about marketing.

You’re working on establishing your own crew of artists, including Detroit Red and Willy The Kid. What made you sign them?
Yeah, they’re signed to the Aphilliates Music Group. I’ve been down with them since ’98. We also got a little crew called Blood Sweat and Tears. It’s kind of like an N.W.A.-type thing with me, Detroit Red and Willy. Detroit Red is crazy right now. I’m excited about his project because he has the mind of a prodigy. He likes to do so much stuff with his music. He wants to really get into the music and bring certain elements of rock into it and [combine them with] hip-hop and R&B. Willy, he got crazy buzz in the streets, as far as him being the second coming of rap. Everybody I talk to about him is like, Man this guy is crazy. You don’t see too many young people with wordplay. He has that raw flavor from ’94, ’95, with a little 2006 glazed sauce on it.

doncannon2.jpgOutside of the crew, who are you producing for?
I did about three or four tracks for Jeezy’s [next album]. I’m not sure how many they’re keeping. I know two of them are keepers so far. I did a joint for Claudette Ortiz [with Ma$e]. I co-produced that with Brian-Michael Cox, he kinda arranged it. I’m working on the Paul Wall album. I just got a page while I was on the phone with you from Mike Jones. I’m working with Slim Thug and his group Boyz N Blue. I was just talking to Sha Money earlier today, trying to get on a couple of projects. I’ve been working on Drama’s album. His stuff is my main priority right now.

What’s the craziest thing someone has done to try and get you to host their mixtape?
This guy said he’d give me $30,000 to do his tape.

And you said no?
Yup. Some people might have said I’m a fool for that. You can’t pay me enough money to destroy what I’ve built. [Maybe] if the music was halfway decent… But we get it all day, people want to give us clothes, people want to do this, but we turn down a lot of stuff because it’s all about quality. Fuck the quantity.

I guess you’re always running around with Drama and Sense. Which one of you gets run up on the most by fans?

The funny thing is, we all get it. If they know one of us, they know all of us. We can’t go out no more, especially Drama. He just went to Wal-Mart at 11:30 this morning and he had people following him around the store. It gets uncomfortable. We were at the mall the other day and in less that 15 minutes, people walked up on us asking us to sign autographs. When we in the street we get love because we still the people’s people. We doing what we do. The people love that, especially in Atlanta. Drama goes a little further. When he goes to Cincinnati or New York, somebody will stop him and say, “Yo, you DJ Drama!” But the rest of us, it’s coming.

  • http://theman.com MIGHTY WHITEY

    CANNON!!!!! CANNON!!!!!! CANNON !!!!

    STEPS BACK!!!!!!!!!

  • john cochran

    PHILLY STAND UP!!!!!
    I love to see these niggas gettin they money, him and Drama. They got a crazy movement. I cant be mad that they reppin the A too cause thats thats they stompin grounds, but I cant wait to see them work with niggas from home. Either Cannon or Dram GOTTA DO A TAPE WIT CASS. Shout to North Phil and all my Germentown niggas. IF YOU IN PHILLY LOOK OUT FOR MY ARTIST’S PILLS NEW TAPE,”BACK OFF MY HIATUS”. GAME CHANGERZ, WE BOUT TO GET ON YOU BASTARDS, HOLLA FOR BEATS. JCOCHRANGC@HOTMAIL.COM

  • A.L. home of da yay sales

    cannon is hot but a mixtape with cass and his g.o.a.t. potential,might scorch da world

  • ReDiCuLouS

    “He has that raw flavor from ’94, ’95, with a little 2006 glazed sauce on it.” That’s that shit right there…thats what I am…freshest of the fresh…best of the best!!!!Big up to Don & Dram on this one…they been hot for a while, so it’s past due for they props!! ~Holla~

  • outda954

    Cannon is definetely one of the hottest things on the streets right now.

  • Cannon77

    DJ Don Cannon and the Aphilliates are holding it down for the streets. I bump all your music down in the The Big D (Dallas) keep up the hard work and banging music! THAT’S WHAT’S UP!!!

  • http://www.trendsettazinc.com DJ Main Event

    thats whats up. cant ban the cannonman.

    http://www.myspace.com/djmainevent

  • musichutal@YAHOO.COM

    CANNON AND DRAMA ARE THE HOTTEST
    OF THE HOTTEST IN MY STORE IN SC
    IF YOU A DJ AND YO JOINTS IS TIGHT
    HOLLA

  • Stink Dollars

    Is good to see DJ’s getting their name out there in a major way!!

    JMJ style

    Butter from Detroit is dope also

  • Hustle Hard

    oh shit. that was you on lil scrappy’s remix of “no problems”?

  • screw music nigga

    U NIGGAS NEED TO SEE AMG IS RUNNING THIS SHIT, NO U NIGGAS SEE DRAMA IS NOT DOING IT BY HIS SELF. THIS NIGGA CANNON IS WAY UNDA RATED,PHILLY WE N THE SOUTH THANK U. AMG THEY GETTING MONEY N THEY SLEEP

  • MelloYelloMDDCinATL

    Donnie Brasco has come along way from the days in the commons!Dem bois doing they thang and running the south. Shout to tha whole AMG…shouts to the bol Ox Banga too!

  • Shawn

    Hey Cuz, I am proud to see you doing your THING! Your Cus shouting out from New York. Much Love

  • maximus

    Niggas don’t even know where he got that “Cannon” name drop from….that’s from Madden…it’s really the announcer saying “Gannon” for Rich Gannon who used to qb for the Raiders back in the day…

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    drama reppin’ wal-mart? let me find out…

    lol jk. keep doing it, AMG.

  • breakdown

    The boy is doing his thing

  • CuzinYana

    Congrats Donnie B on doing ur thing. Much love from Harlem, NY.

  • Gwopy Grizzwald

    Cannon is the truth! Beats are crazy. T.I.killed that beat in one verse than Jeezy whole track. It is what it is!

  • http://deleted HOODLUM

    I WAS ON TOUR WITH DON CANON WITH MS JADE. A IF U READ THIS CANON THIS RL HOLLA A ME DOG IM FUCKIN WIT HEAVYWEIGHTS NOW.I WANNE GET SOME FIRE FROM YOU…MS JADE NEW MIXTAPE COMING SOON HOSTED BY CLINTON SPARKS PHILA,,,,,

  • http://www.soundclick.com/wyldfyer Wyldfyer

    Man I’m proud of AMG for real. Yall built it from SCRATCH and you deserve it all. Do your thing brothers. Philly stand up. I got next. http://www.wyldfyer.com

  • http://www.soundclick.com/wyldfyer Wyldfyer

    And make sure yall buy Nas’s new album, mane!!! http://www.soundclick.com/wyldfyer

  • Kristen Canada

    Whats up Don, congrats! I heard from the fam your doing your thing down in atl. holla at your cousin kristen from New York.. i’m coming down there in july, myabe we can get up..

  • http://OrganizedmindPromotions.com Dame

    Cannon whats happenin homie this ol boi who gave you that RIP THUG CD at the car wash “Do What You Do” holla back tell me what you think. OrganizedMindPromotions.Com

  • southside ced

    Big shout out to Cannon & Drama, they have the right recipe for whats needed in hip hop right now…all we need in the now is a 28 Grams or Gangsta Grillz with Twisted Black out of Ft. Worth(Fonkytown stand up), that would knock dust off of any street competition….YES SIR!!!!

  • ReDiCuLouS

    Yo anyone lookin’ for dem FI-YAH beats…holla at my boy Rick James… http://www.myspace.com/lowdownrecords …dat cat got mad shit…reppin’ the MidWest to the FULLEST….the O,NE…Stand Up!!!!

  • Satin

    Congrats Donnie!!

    I’m so proud of you! Keep up the good work!

  • Rodjilius

    hell cannon is tight tho i remember hearing him on some of jeezys songs

  • ching

    REDICULOUS…”thats what i am”…how old are you? why u tryin so hard to define urself whiteboy? u got NO flow. seriously, lol…you got the sauce part of it right, the way u be eatin dat giz…u shoulda never tried me fool, i be findin u

  • ching

    coming for u redick, whatch urself

  • Keith Boyd

    Congrats Donnie O

    I’m so proud of you! Keep up the good work! Uncle Keith.

    I’m glade I was able to pass something positive on to you.
    (The Music company for life.)

  • http://www.hi-flitones.com D Boy

    that boy cannon killed it on that “go crazy beat!”

    http://www.hi-flitones.com
    http://www.hi-flitones.com

  • Blaq Thought

    I should let my beard grow in so I can get on. Big shout out to Cannon for doing the damn thing. Maybe if I let my sideburns grow longer I might be able to get into this Rap Game. All the people blowing up right now got thick azz beards like Amish folks. You got Rick Ross, Cannon, Drama and even though Papoose ain’t got one look at who repping him – Kayslay. Facial hair rules!!

  • C Gutta

    Donnie whut it dew pimp, its Chad from Clark ’01. I been tryna holla at u for a min 2 congratulate u on all the success and wish u more in the future. Holla at me when u get a chance so we can politic, I might be workin at Def Jam b4 the end of the summer. One

  • http://www.myspace.com/mackfain C Gutta

    The email is chadm_fain@tmail.com or u can hit me on myspace.com/mackfain. Get at me

  • http://myspace.com/djdoncannon Don Cannon

    GOOD LOOKIN TO EVERYBODY WHO HOLLERED AT YA BOY MAN PRECIATE THE LOVE… ANY BODY TRYNA GET THE NEW GANGSTA GRILLZ OR 28 GRAMS JOINTS HOLLA AT ME ON MYSPACE.COM/DJDONCANNON OR GANGSTAGRILLZ.COM

  • http://www.soundclick.com/atrem God Himself

    http://www.soundclick.com/atrem

    Shady Guys is the Future!!!!!
    1st n Flite Legacy Entertainment

    NC Durham

  • DJ Xcalibur

    CANNON!!!! CANNON!!!! STEP BACK!!!!! AMG THE MOVEMENT!!! Detroit Red is sick and so is Willie the Kid!! Holla at your boy Cannon! GET APHILLIATED BOY!!!!

  • http://www.hi-flitones.com Brick Man

    its all love in the atl for all the aphilliates, i just wish i could download their tapes on

    http://www.hi-flitones.com

    make that happen cuz they stay true to the street

  • scorpian_queen

    yo he bout to be the next big thing so all ya djs coming up i suggest you step ya game up big time

  • ATL4YOA$$

    ATL!! we here baby!

  • ATL4YOA$$

    TI runnin shit, tha nigga goes hard, hes a beast, aint nobody fuckin wit em

  • CLASS CLOWN

    FAM THAT JUMP OFF ON DEDICATION 2 “CANNON” WAS BANNANAZ WIT WEEZY, FREEWAY, AND DETRIOT RED DUMB CRAZY STR8 UP I AINT GOT NO CONVERSATION FOR YA NICCA TALK TO THE (((((CANNON!!)))) (((CANNON!!)))

  • Saint Nick

    DJ Don Cannon!!! Much Luv from Da South!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LB

    canons canons!!!!!!

  • Face Phoenix

    How About an Article on the Top 100 Producers and Ones to watch in the future in XXL or Scratch

  • ReDiCuLouS

    Ching is a bitch….you want my address nigga…so you can fed-ex yo scrawny ass over here? Holla at me bitch-nigga…kountakulcha@yahoo.com….& I aint the Rick James…thats one of my producers ya “ignant” fuck. See, blacks like you is the reason nobody likes us in this world…even Africans hate on us. Step yo game up lil niglet…cause you the REAL slim shady, bitch boy.

  • DA BOL C (CT)

    keep doing your shit and i’ll call u lata…(at work, still on the grind)…so i’ll give u a call. peace
    da bol c

  • http://www.WordofSouth.com L.B.
  • Stax On Deck

    He is a fucking LEGEND!!! CANNON STEPS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://evansfamily Laura

    I have a list of songs I would like for you to do a cd for me with if you don’t mind please let me know what your price for doing it. “Thank You!”

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