Archive for January, 2007

DJ Drama, DJ Don Cannon Released From Jail

January 17th, 2007 | By Administrator

AllHipHop.com has confirmed that both DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon have been released from the Fulton County Jail, where they were held overnight on Tuesday (January 16) on racketeering charges.

The two DJ’s were freed on a $100,000 signature bond this afternoon (January 17).

They are set for a second appearance at the Fulton County Court on January 24.

The raid on the Aphillates Music Group?s offices in Atlanta were apparently the result of a partnership with a nationwide joint vice task force working to stop the sale of pirated music.

DJ Drama, born Tyree Simmons and Donald ?Don? Cannon, were arrested on felony charges under the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

In a May 2006 report posted on the RIAA?s website, Atlanta was named one of 12 ?Piracy ?Hot Spot? cities last year, along with Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, San Diego and San Francisco.

The report stated that in 2007, the RIAA would ?step up law enforcement training and commit additional investigative resources in all of the cities.?

Meanwhile members of the Mixtape and Internet communities continue to show their support for DJ Drama and Don Cannon, who have become champion for a much debated cause.

A petition supporting the DJ’s has received over 200 signatures, since it was started around 11:00 am Wednesday morning.

Fans, fellow DJs, journalists, and even record label executives have all come forth to share their opinions and voice endorsement.

The Free DJ Drama & DJ Cannon Campaign Begins

January 17th, 2007 | By Administrator

“You know you’re hot when you got the Hip-Hop police on your ass,” said one internet poster on DJ Don Cannon’s myspace page. “FREE DRAMA & DON CANNON.”

The Hip-Hop community has immediately responded to the office raid and arrest of DJ Don Cannon and DJ Drama of the Aphilliates, a collective of DJs based in Atlanta.

Yesterday, 17 people were apprehended from the company’s offices in a raid where all off the mixtape CDs, computer and recording equipment were confiscated by the federal government and the RIAA.

Drama and Cannon, the most recognizable faces of Aphilliates Music Group, were the only people arrested and slapped with racketeering charges.

Now, the graphical image of DJ Drama emblazoned with “Free Drama & Cannon” has begun to spread across the Internet, through message boards and artist’s music pages.

The arrests have raised questions about the validity of the charges, by fans and professionals.

“These guys weren’t selling official barcoded albums, like the type you buy on 125th Street in Harlem, but should be buying from a legitimate retail store,” said one music industry professional under the auspices of anonymity. “The artists were apart of the creation process on most – if not all of the Gangsta Grillz.”

DJ Drama, who serves as T.I.’s DJ, has received a number of accolades for his ability to turn his mixtape CDs into wholly new works of art with the aid of rappers like Lil’ Wayne, Bun B, Young Jeezy, 8Ball & MJG and a host of others.

The RIAA raids aren’t a new phenomenon.

Days after mixtape staple Justo Faison died, the RIAA announced a series of raids that were executed in New York City.

“Retailers who are making money on the backs of musicians and record companies by selling pirated CD’s should know that this is absolutely no way to conduct a business,” said Brad Buckles of the RIAA to the New York Times in 2005.

Of the RIAA, one protester inquired as to the apparent conflict in raids like the Aphilliates and others that create Hip-Hop mix CDs.

“[DJ Drama and Cannon are] putting out mixtapes , creating a buzz for an artist and then the artist sells records and the major [label] makes the bucks, so what’s wrong?”

A high ranking executive that is familiar with both DJ Drama and Don Cannon said the arrests of DJ’s of their stature would have a chilling effect on the entire mixtape culture.

“Record labels have always utilized the important DJ’s to help promote the records,” the unnamed executive told AllHipHop.com. “The DJ’s help promote the records. For the most part the records they put out are given to them by the labels. It’s something that has to be taken into consideration. The mixtapes are done cooperatively, where the labels and the mixtape DJ’s work together to break artists. It’s a tough position. The RIAA and the corporate people feel a certain way.”