DJ Drama and Don Cannon Arrested For Piracy


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. 

Watch the report here. Big shout to Eric for the tip.  

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640 Responses to “DJ Drama and Don Cannon Arrested For Piracy”

  1. Matthew Kilgo Says:

    If you any of you guys want to email me, feel free to at They were obviously selling counterfeit CDs and we had to bring the SWAT team to them because all hip hop djs carry around drugs and guns.


    I dont really understand this whole situation. If the artists and labels are okaying these mixtapes and even promoting them, why is it a crime to sell the cd’s. Are they saying its illegal to sell cd’s unless they’re going through a retailer? Maybe im slow but i dont get this shit.

  3. pHalltheway Says:

    ever too often we fall prey to our blatant ignorance. Mixtapes with dudes rapping over other peoples beats? Sounds illegal to me if you follow the law (don’t get me started on if the law make sense or not) because u making mullah off of somebody elses work without paying gratuity. Dudes hosting DVD’s talking about how much people they killed and kilos they moved? Sounds like they going to be there worst prosecutors in court when shit hit the fan and the people that be come knocking. Rappers talking about real like murders and dope dealings they being in and two-timing the youngins by saying that all that shit is real in one breath and in another breath saying that that shit is art and in a final breath doing community work with the cash they got rapping about shit that make the community worse. we killn ourselves faster than anybody else is and most of us don’t see it.

  4. K-ROB Says:

    I GUESS THIS PUBLICITY STUNT IS COSTING THIS FOOL MORE THAN HE THOUGHT.this guy is such a fool and its shows all over, he cant even pull off a stunt and come out on top.

    The Game postpones Cdn. tour

    By NEIL SPRINGER — For JAM! Music

    The Game

    It looks to be game over for The Game’s Canadian tour — for the time being, anyway.

    The Doctors Advocate Canadian Tour will be postponed due an arrest warrant for the hip-hop artist.

    The warrant was issued after he failed to show up for a court date in New York City yesterday. The Game was originally arrested late last year for impersonating a police officer after entering a taxi cab and instructing the driver to ignore all traffic lights.

    A spokesman for The Game said that the rapper will turn himself in and reschedule his court date.

  5. » Blog Archive » Two big hip-hop mixtape DJs arrested for bootlegging Says:

    […] Link, and more here (thanks rafi kam) […]

  6. Ang Zwo Pusateri Says:

    “…arrested both he and fellow Aphilliate….”

    That should be “…both him and fellow Aphilliate….”

    (Bad logic is hard to take at this hour; sorry.)

  7. Biggavocabulary Says:

    Big shout to anything that brings down rap music, bad jewelry and baseball caps!

  8. Charles Jillian Says:

    So the RIAA has mercenaries with which to arrest their competition. This action is meant to show Djs that if you want to perform your art, you have to do it through their channels and with content approved by them and their money interests.

  9. Big Jon Says:

    They use mixtapes to wash drug money from all the homies in the hood!

  10. Steve Says:

    I will never buy another CD every again. Not one, NEVER! This is out of control. Thank god for Mexico and there pelethora of copied dvds, cds, etc.

  11. VISAR Says:

    Why men?

  12. who Says:

    1. Ghost & Raekwon

    how could you guys leave them out:????

  13. boomerfb86 Says:

    this is rediculous riaa is trying to set an example, but everybody just gonna start copping bootleggs even more

  14. DJ TRE' Says:

    This is the most fucked up thing to happen to a DJ & especially a DJ that found a extra hustle for DJ’s who are trying to get out there & make a name for there self, it’s not everyday you here about a DJ getting a record deal like you do artist. When your a DJ you have to bust your ass 100 times more than an artist to even get noticed much less get respect in the game.

  15. Fly-BoyTM CEO Says:

    The shit is digusting. this demonstrates racial profiling at its best. FREE DRAMA, FREE CANNON

  16. jay Says:


  17. dj duicey doo Says:

    man thats crazy they make laws to break laws why do the make tools to make the cds but if you get caught you go to jail its stupied.without dj drama i never would have heard about jeezy here in gainsville he promote the artist i think they should step up for all djs the first thing they do before they get hot is give their singles to the djs and say here you go bump this or put this on a mixtape. but what i dont understand is how the hell is this illegall when they pay him to make a mixtape for them, they need to take that up with the artist forgiveing him the right to do it and the music. cds can get your more time than dope he would be better off getting caught with a couple pounds he will get off easier than to mess with the white man money

  18. Fake Janice Combsa Says:

    Now this is a damn shame…I hope Sean don’t get locked up. I ain’t babysittin these twins all the time.

  19. eastside04 Says:

    Damm!!! Why did someone snitch on them?????

  20. Mike Says:

    yea, they cant really arrest them, cause there not buyin the cd or the music, there buyin the cover of the cd. the case of the cd, and shit the cd. but not the music. that shit is corny as hell. how the fuck am i gonna find my mixtapes when dont got shit.

  21. Mike Says:

    get back 2 me on my comment, cause this is a big fuckin issue, the whole mixtape world can get fucked over this.

  22. Mike Says:

    n on the mixtape it should say promotional use only.

  23. NewTeeVee » WBAI’s Jay Smooth on the DJ Drama Drama Says:

    […] Ever since the story broke that a detachment of SWAT cops decended on an Atlanta recording studio to arrest mixtape legends DJ Drama and Don Cannon on piracy charges, I’ve been looking for an angle appropriate for NewTeeVee — besides the obvious implications for anyone who’s ever assembled clips of audio or video into something new and entertaining. […]

  24. Says:

    The crazy thing about it is that the artist themselves could squash this shit..however, they don’t want to get out of line with the labels or distributers…All these so-called label C.E.Os but not one brotha has the distro on locky..why?

  25. The Funkadelic Relic Says:

    I got this message straight from The Wu-Tang Clan in a bulletin sent to me on MySpace. RZA & Co. know the deal. Drama & Cannon should beat these bogus charges real soon. Then they can sue the f*#k out of the RIAA, Brad Buckles the FBI, The Fulton County Sheriff’s Dept., Morrow Police Chief Jeff Baker, the Sheriff’s Joint Vice Task Force for Clayton County, Georgia, The Prosecutor that went to the Magistrate to get the warrant for the raid and the Magistrate that signed the damn warrant cause the whole thing is BULLSHIT! Here is the business straight from the Wu. (Drama & Cannon are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday January 24)

    “DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon are preparing to defend themselves against charges brought on by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) last week, after the duo’s Atlanta offices were raided by a Swat Team on Jan. 16.

    DJ Drama, born Tyree Simmons and DJ Don Cannon are the owners of Aphilliates LLC, the company that created and produces the popular Gangsta Grillz mixtape series, which has featured top artists like Sean “Diddy” Combs, T.I., Young Jeezy, Jim Jones and others.

    Aphilliates offices were raided by a 30-member Swat Team from Fulton County at the behest of the RIAA. Police seized over 50,000 CDs, as well as computers, recording equipment and cars, that will be used as evidence in the event of a trial.

    Officials charged DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon with racketeering. The pair posted $100,000 bail and were released from prison on Jan. 17.

    DJ Drama, 28, has hired prominent Atlanta defense attorney Ed Garland, of Garland, Samuel and Loeb Trial Attorneys.

    “This is an attempt by the government to paint an image of those involved in Hip-Hop as criminals,” DJ Drama told in a statement. “Don Cannon and I are being negatively depicted despite the fact we are legitimate businessman, highly involved in the community and college graduates that have never been arrested. We are being accused of damaging the music industry, when in fact, we are hired by record labels to help develop and elevate the careers of their artists by previewing unreleased material to the masses.”

    Don Cannon, 27, has retained the services of Janice Singer and Don Samuel of Thompson and Singer, P.A.

    Cannon said the arrests came as a shock because of the relationships the pair have cultivated with the major labels, to help promote and break new artists over the years, via the Gangsta Grillz mixtape series as well as other endeavors.

    “Our track record for success has made us some of the most sought after music producers and DJ’s in Hip-Hop,” DJ Don Cannon said. “We are looking forward to being exonerated of all charges and continuing to build our brand.”

    The raids are part of the RIAA’s increased efforts to coordinate its online and physical goods piracy operation.

    The organization has been identifying pre-released tracks and albums that are available on the Internet and peer-to-peer networks.

    The titles are then placed on heightened alert for RIAA street piracy investigators nationwide.

    DJ Drama’s attorney Ed Garland has handled high profile cases for NFL stars Ray Lewis and Jamal Lewis.

    He disputes the RIAA’s claims that his client was selling pirated CD’s.

    “The charges against Tyree Simmons are false and we are confident this case will be quickly dismissed once everyone has a clear understanding of his business,” Garland said. ”


  26. Angel_Montree Says:

    Man This Sum Straight BS All They Doin Is Tryin 2 Keep Sum Real Killaz Down They Postin Tha Truth And Hip-Hop 5-0 Aint Feelin It They Sum Dick Ridahz They Need 2 Get Ghost

  27. Jae Wyze Says:


  28. Pig Motel: » free dj drama! Says:

    […] pessima notizia. praticamente l’altro giorno una squadraccia di burocrati armati fa irruzione negli studi di atlanta della aphilliates music group e blinda dj drama e il socio don cannon. l’accusa per il re del mixtaping è quella di pirateria, una sorta di ritorsione dell’industria discografica contro il dj simbolo di un movimento di diffusione musicale che ha finito per scavare il solco di un mercato parallelo che ormai riveste un ruolo promozionale irrinunciabile per rapper di ogni ordine e grado. il mixtape (ormai approdato al supporto digitale, negli studi di dj drama sono stati sequestrati 81mila cd) è una sorta di compilation più o meno abusiva curata da dj che, contattati dall’artista o sempre più spesso dalle case discografiche, preparano il terreno pochi mesi prima dell’uscita di un disco riassumendo la carriera del rapper in questione attraverso una miscela di pezzi rari, inediti, collaborazioni e preview con versioni demo di alcuni momenti del disco in arrivo. una pratica che ha rivilitazzato le carriere di rapper in declino e portato alla gloria mc esordienti nel giro di poche settimane. a dj drama sono da imputarsi in particolare una serie di poderosi calci in culo che hanno catapultato in altissima classifica gente come T.I. o young jeezy, oltre ad aver immortalato con la sue leggendaria serie gangsta grillz le carriere di alcuni pezzi grossi della scena underground sudista come project pat e 8ball & mjg (abilmente traghettati con un fenomenale “gangsta grillz legend series vol. 2″ verso un contratto dorato alla corte di p. diddy). mandare in strada un gangsta grillz garantiva a qualunque rapper una visibilità difficilmente raggiungibile altrimenti e nella sua crociata contro la pirateria la MPAA dimentica di tenere conto delle tonnellate di dischi che questi mixtape hanno fatto vendere, fondamentalmente grazie all’innata capacità di drama di assemblare delle compilation di rara potenza spesso ricorrendo a semplici b-sides o scarti di produzione. e una volta passata attraverso i polpastrelli di dj drama la discografia di qualunque rapper scintillava come non mai. costruendo basi per i rapper del sud quest’uomo negli ultimi anni ha contribuito come poche altre persone a forgiare il suono del dirty south che da memphis ad atalanta è riuscito a imporsi all’attenzione delle due coste. scheletrico, polveroso, spezzato, ruvido e pulsante bassi: il suono di dj drama deve continuare a rimbombare per le strade. […]

  29. Beam Says:

    I consider this an act of war

    not only will i never buy another retail album

    i will always support mixtapes and real hiphop these fuckin suits in the government are too stupid to realize mixtapes are what help start hip hop and what helps it stay “real” .. the guy in his garage doin his own thing – underground shit…once you get rid of anything underground and it all becomes corporate, its ruined.. shits gettin close to that

    that news report was on some straight propaganda bullshit

    1/2 of kids today into this shit cant tell you the difference between a bootleg and a legit promo mixtape, let alone your average jackass watchin the news ..for reals getup stand up for your rights peoples

  30. Left Coast LiveWire » Blog Archive » Mixtape DJs raided by RIAA jacketed agents in Atlanta Says:

    […] [via Nah Right] […]

  31. Dj Zac Attak Says:

    Mayne,,,, Thats Some Bull $hit…
    Keep Ya Head Up Drama…

  32. Man on the Moon « Sucking Funglasses Says:

    […] He’s part of a new mixtape movement (post DJ Drama) that has been forced to release mixtapes for free (also check out Wale’s “Mixtape About Nothing”). Not only have mixtapes survived but have now thrived because by not selling them, artists no longer have to clear samples and have a limitless catalog to pull from. The results are Spec Boogie interpreting Peter, Bjorn, and John, The Black Keys, etc. while Cudi takes on Gnarls Barkley and Outkast. And did I mention its free. And free music makes me happy. See how happy it makes me… […]

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