A couple other interesting bits from Billboard’s article is that DJ Drama’s first two albums (huh?) were released by Atlantic, and that his freshly opened Means Street Studio will be the base for all Atlantic artists while they’re in Atlanta.
“Atlantic chairman/CEO Craig Kallman said, ‘One of the most accomplished DJs and mixtape masters, DJ Drama brings brilliant instincts and consummate skills to our A&R team. A hugely influential force in the hip-hop community, I know he’ll be a tremendous asset in signing and developing artists and making amazing records.’
“Stated DJ Drama, ‘My first two albums as an artist were on Atlantic. And I’m now looking forward to working with Craig and Julie [Atlantic chairman/COO Greenwald] in a new capacity, helping them break the label’s next crop of amazing talent.’”
No shade at DJ Drama, who undoubtedly did help to alter the game with his mixtapes (and whose screaming voice is one of the few I can stand), but I didn’t realize he was considered “an artist.” Then again, I say the same thing about DJ Khaled so go figure.
In the bigger picture, the hiring suggests that labels are moving away from the traditional and opting for people who actually had a hand in making music (No I.D. at Def Jam’s a good good example while Jeezy at Atlantic probably isn’t). No matter how you look at it, this appears to be a win-win for all involved: an A&R in touch with the streets, and lots of artists working at said A&R’s studios.