The responses to the arrests of DJ Drama and Don Cannon show that, though mixtapes do raise many issues, they can be produced in a legitimate manner and the general consensus seems to be that Drama was particularly known for working with the artists to produce products that they wanted to release.
DJ Drama and Don Cannon were released on bail Wednesday.
Lil Wayne had this to say to mixtape artists in the above article:
"You gotta do it right," Wayne reiterated. "It’s gonna be a message. [The authorities] ain’t playing. They gonna make an example. They gonna straighten the game out. A lot of companies take a fall with those mixtapes. N—as be caking up off them mixtapes. The artists can drop his album — and everybody knows that hip-hop [album sales are in] decline — nobody ain’t gonna buy the album, and everybody gets the mixtapes off of the Internet or whatever way they get it. The artists ain’t caking, but the n—a you made the mixtape with is caking up. Thank God I ain’t got that problem, but I know a lot of people who do."
The NY Times’ Kelefa Sanneh:
Mixtapes are, by definition, unregulated: DJs don’t get permission from record companies, and record companies have traditionally ignored and sometimes bankrolled mixtapes, reasoning that they serve as valuable promotional tools. And rappers have grown increasingly canny at using mixtapes to promote themselves. The career of 50 Cent has a lot to do with his mastery of the mixtape form, and now no serious rapper can afford to be absent from this market for too long.
In Hip-hop mixtapes get a bad rap, the Boston Herald’s Chris Faraone interviews Statik Selektah:
Statik Selektah, a Boston-bred, Bronx-based mixtape DJ who recently released CDs with Nas and Q-Tip, said the RIAA is acting against its own interests. He believes taking legal action against mixtape DJs will further damage a music industry already reeling from flagging CD sales.
“The RIAA is acting ignorantly,” Selektah said yesterday. “Someone like Drama develops brands and careers. Look at T.I. He was the biggest-selling rap artist of 2006. He’d be selling 200,000 copies without the mixtape support. The RIAA benefits, but they don’t take the time to figure that out.”
Complete Hip Hop Press Coverage:
Hip Hop Press Posts: DJ Drama/Don Cannon Mixtape Arrests