Over the last decade, DJ Don Cannon has become one of hip-hop’s most successful producers and mixtape DJs, working with hip-hop heavyweights including Lil Wayne “Cannon (AMG Remix),” Young Jeezy “Go Crazy” and OutKast “The Art Of Storytellin’ Part 4.”

Working with his partner DJ Drama, Cannon has been instrumental in the success of the famous Gangsta Grillz mixtape series, co-hosting numerous tapes that have helped to solidify the rep of many of hip-hop’s biggest rappers. Meanwhile, he has become a successful club DJ maintaining regular spots at venues in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Tokyo and Los Angeles’ Playhouse Nightclub.

Last month, Don Cannon tacked another accomplishment onto his overflowing resume, being named Def Jam’s vice president of A&R, assuming the role after Sha Money XL left the position for an executive role at Epic. XXL spoke with Cannon earlier this week on what goes into making a successful mixtape, how he hopes to develop new artists at Def Jam and how the game has changed for A&R’s over the last ten years. —B.J. Steiner (@DocZeus)