Last night the Atlanta-based mixtape crafter DJ Drama, who has worked with artists like Young Jeezy and T.I., was arrested after the RIAA and a SWAT team raided his studio, confiscating more than 50,000 CDs, recording equipment, and his car. Nah Right‘s eskay offers his take on the situation:
Atlanta’s Fox 5 reports that a police SWAT team in conjunction with RIAA anti-piracy agents raided DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz recording studio earlier today and arrested both he and fellow Aphilliate Don Cannon on piracy charges. The ramifications of something like this are potentially pretty huge for high profile mixtape DJ’s. The RIAA just disgusts me to the point where I don’t want to ever pay for a retail cd again in my life.
They didn’t seem to mind a year ago when Drama was promoting T.I. and pushing his album to Gold status in a week. And check out the report below and notice how even though the cops didn’t find any illegal drugs or weapons, they were sure to mention how the discovery of such contraband is typical during these raids on “counterfeiters.” In the video they are clearly confiscating boxes of Gangsta Grillz mixtapes, yet they act like these guys were in there burning copies of retail albums.
The Fox report was pretty clueless, lumping mix tapes in as “illegal CDs,” and the RIAA rep interviewed seemed to be more than happy to assist in that conflation, referring only to the “900% profits” that resulted from the albums’ manufacture. Reports say that DJ Drama and Cannon were charged with racketeering and that they’ll be in court this morning, and the Gangsta Grillz site now only advertises an album that DJ Drama is putting out in conjunction with Atlantic Records. What this raid means for the mixtape industry–which, as Eskay notes, has been key to promoting hip-hop artists’ new records–is uncertain at the moment, although the RIAA rep’s incessant, smug references to “counterfeiting” in the report linked above can’t be seen as a good sign.