DJ Drama

Gangsta Grillz: The Album | Atlantic
By ANDREW GRAHAM  |  December 26, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
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The first legal installment of DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz mixtape series has arrived, and the West Coast is conspicuously under-represented, a result of the shift in the balance of hip-hop power that has taken place in recent years to the South and the East. Drama, an Atlanta-by-way-of-Philly party DJ who worked his way up hustling street corners, has been dropping gray-market mixtapes for several years now, creating a brand that had household names like Lil’ Wayne coming to him for GangstaGrillz endorsement. Fearturing a plethora of MCs from the East Coast (Lloyd Banks and the G-Unit) and the Dirty South (8-Ball & MJG and Slim Thug), this disc (officially titled The Album, so as to distinguish it from the mixtapes that have come before) often keeps the Southern rappers seated at their own table. But it’s the cross-country collabos that are the real standouts. Posse cuts can suffer by cramming too many MCs onto one track, but on lead single “5000 Ones,” the seven participants shine (particularly Nelly, T.I., and Young Jeezy), and “Cannon RMX” shows why Drama and Weezy, a former collaborator turned adversary, are much better off being friends. Devin the (underrated) Dude’s sweet verse on “Beneath the Diamonds” is a perfect complement to the cushy beat, and don’t leave before Pharrell and the Clipse close with “Cheers.”
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Music,  More more >
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