My fact-checking cuz Noz already went over a lot of the key points in this case, including the following: a) a mixtape operation such as DJ Drama’s is probably illegal, if not illegal as, say, selling heroin to school children, b) the RIAA is not, in fact, a government agency, but rather a trade group protecting the interests of the tall Israelis who run the music business, and c) it’s not like the tIs themselves haven’t benefited from the mixtape game.
Still, DJ Drama et al. probably should’ve known an operation such as theirs could only last so long. As fellow white southern rapper Jamie Radford put it, “Sampling and mixtaping of uncleared material has never been “legal,” per se, but it’s survived under a “live and let live” mentality. [...] But once somebody like Drama starts getting rich off mixtaping material owned by large labels and publishing houses who aren’t getting a cut, its not surprising that the industry people aren’t willing to let it slide.”
Now, without further ado, the winners and losers of the Gangsta Grillz SWAT raid:
Tall Israelis. Obviously the tIs wouldn’t have sent the Feds in the first place if they didn’t think they’d somehow benefit from this financially. See, that’s how a tall Israeli’s mind operates. The real question is whether the tI’s plan to shut down the mixtape game altogether, or if they just want a piece. Just like the real mafia – or the government, for that matter.
People who don’t particularly care for mixtapes. Mixtapes are ostensibly great because artists can use them as an opportunity to put out the kind of music they’d never be able to release on a major label, but let’s keep it real: When’s the last time an artist used a mixtape to put out anything other than the same ol’ bullshit they always do, albeit over beats they couldn’t afford otherwise?
DJ Drama, obviously. Both DJ Drama and Don Cannon were both arrested during the raid and are currently being held without bond. Maybe their fellow inmates are big fans of Gangsta Grillz and will make sure nothing bad happens to them. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. I don’t even want to get into what could happen other than to say that there were rumors about 2Pac…
Record labels. Of course the tIs who own these companies stand to cake up lovely once it’s all said and done with, but what about the poor bastards who are charged with promoting this bullshit, who already couldn’t come up with any better ideas than leaking tracks to mixtape DJs? I know some of these d-bags jobs basically involved promoting records to mixtape DJs. They might wanna holler at Craigslist.
People who actually like mixtapes. Obviously DJ Drama can’t be in the studio working on the next Gangsta Grillz, if he’s in the joint purposely not washing his ass (not a bad strategy, btw). My guess is that a buncha other mixtape DJs might be rethinking their own careers before it’s too late. At the risk of sounding typically cynical, how many DJs will bother if there’s not a dollar to be made?