DJ Drama Says 2010 ‘Was The Return Of The Mixtape’: Mixtape Daily Year-End Awards

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By Hillary Crosley, with reporting by Jayson Rodriguez

This year, RapFix screamed “Big Meech” while going “Hard In Da Paint” and grooving to “Kid Frankie” as we drove a “Beamer, Benz or Bentley” — OK, maybe not that last part but — frankly, we couldn’t have been happier.

Now, after careful consideration, a bit of arguing and a lot of shrewd choices, the MTV News Hip-Hop Brain Trust presents our Mixtape Daily Year-End Awards for the Top Mixtape DJs of 2010. Check out MTVNews.com for the official list as well as the video at the top of this post.

RapFix is celebrating the awards with a behind-the-scenes interview with comeback kid DJ Drama about getting back into the groove — both he and the mixtape game in general — in 2010.

“Naw, I can definitely feel that in a way. It may’ve started like mid-last year,” Drama said of people who said the DJ reign reignited recently and the tide began. “I remember even coming into 2010, the two first tapes I dropped were Cam’s Boss of All Bosses 2 and I think the Yo Gotti. I remember a blog had done post like ‘Gangsta Grillz is back, DJ Drama is back.’ I kinda felt [like] I didn’t know I went anywhere but I understand from the outside looking in.”

The shrewd lyrics of Fabolous on his Funeral Music mixtape also put Dram back in the spotlight.

“Another redemption for me was how big and enormous the Fab tape was,” Mr. Thanksgiving said. “I always rememeber when I was reading VIBE and they were saying how good Fab’s tape [was] but how it went under the radar because Gangsta Grillz is over. So for me and Fab to go back in, all praises to him for the work he put into it, it was an enormous project to come out as an EP.  It shows the strength. Like ‘OK, the path is still here, I’m still doing what I do best.

“Tape after tape, they were really coming and I felt like those ’04, ’05, ’06 type of years,” the Atlanta native continued. “Not even just as far as me being back but the game being back, mixtapes were full throttle. People were coming to them before albums, between albums. And for the last couple years, I always call it ‘post the raid,’ [the mixtape game] had to build back up, but with the success of artists, as well as different projects, 2010 was the return of the mixtape.”

Did we miss anything? Share your picks for the best mixtape DJs of 2010 by tweeting us at @MTVRapFix or leave us a comment below!

For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.