When you look at the mixtape game 20 years from now, 50 Cent could very well go down as the circuit’s most important artist. DJ Drama could definitely find himself named the street music game’s biggest DJ.

Thus, there’s no disputing that their Gangsta Grillz mixtape collaboration, The Lost Tape, had been a long time coming.

“We had a concept for it in ’07, [it would be called] Blood in the Gangsta’s Grill,’” 50 told XXLMag.com in his G-Unit office last week in Manhattan. “Then I started releasing the mixtapes without the DJs because I started releasing them through the computer. I had www.thisis50.com as a network. And that was a way to make the website more attractive to the fans who check out what was going on. That promotion did well for the website, but it didn’t do exactly what I needed it do now; that is to put my finger back on the pulse of what’s going on in the culture.”

50 recruited Drama to help him do just that. And Drama had just the thing to get it done.

“When I think about mixtapes, I think about 50 jumping on other people’s records and putting his flavor to it,” Drama said. “I wanted to excite the people by doing that. Shout out to 2 Chainz.”

Drama is the only other DJ to release a full body of work with 50 other than ’Fif’s DJ, Whoo Kid.

“Its 50 so I had to step up my cash shit talking game up, make a couple people uncomfortable and mad,” Drama laughed. “Just do what I do best. I came up in an era where ’Fif set the trend on what mixtapes mean and how you go about it. I learned a lot from what ’Fif and Whoo Kid were doing. One of the ways I was able to do what I was doing [in my career] was apply a formula they were doing up top and apply it to Southern music.”

50’s last mixtape, The Big 10, was made in a weekend.

However, the mogul from Queens says that this one took a little longer because he had to figure out the feel of the Gangsta Grillz.

“I wasn’t sure what music I wanted to present,” ’Fif explained. “I had the 2 Chainz remix, it made we want to do ‘OJ Gloves,’ the song with Kidd Kidd. I thought that was a perfect way to present him.

“The first joint we did was ‘Get Bizzy, me and Kidd Kidd,” he added. “It felt like ‘I Get Money.’ I started to move beats, production to the side for the tape before I started writing; ‘This will work. Put that there, put that there.’ I started casually going through beat CDs and I put it in a computer file that had [been titled] Lost Tape.”

Next week, 50 plans on releasing the first video from the mixtape. When that one does a million views, he’ll release another and plans on putting out a visual for each song on the tape once the prior hits that benchmark in views.—Shaheem Reid