DJ Drama - Updated May 2024

Updated On February 12, 2024
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DJ Drama

DJ Drama is a DJ, record executive, and producer from the United States. DJ Drama gained prominence as the official DJ for rapper T.I. and is also known for his contributions to the mixtape scene. He is a co-founder of the Atlanta-based mixtape label, Aphilliates Music Group.

Early Life

DJ Drama was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the United States, on April 22, 1978. Currently, he is 45 years old and his birth sign is Taurus. His birth name is Tyree Cinque Simmons holds American citizenship. He belongs to the African-American ethnicity and he has his belief in Christianity religion.

The names of his parents are Michael Simmons and Dina Portnoy. By profession, his mother is a teacher. In addition, he grew up with his sister whose name is Aishah Shahidah Simmons.

Meanwhile, his sister is a documentary filmmaker, author, educator, and activist. At the age of 13, his sister drove him to New York City, where he bought his first mixtape. He quickly started recording his recordings, including one called Illadelph, which included Black Thought, Dice Raw, Malik B., and others. Moreover, he also experimented with turntables.

DJ Drama – Education

He attended Central High School in Philadelphia and completed his graduation in 1996. Later, he moved to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University (CAU) where he studied mass communication.

During this time, he met two other Philadelphia-raised DJs: DJ Sense and Don Cannon. The three later formed Aphilliates, a DJ and artist collective. During his studies, Simmons began creating and releasing mixtapes under the name DJ Drama.

One of his initial series (titled Electric Relaxation) comprised a selection of R&B music. Meanwhile, he completed his graduation from the university in 2000.

Professional Career

DJ Dramahad’s debut mixtape, “Jim Crow Laws,” was released in 1998 and included only Southern hip-hop acts. In 2003, he along with Don Cannon and DJ Sense, officially founded the Aphilliates Music Group (AMG).

The group released DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz mixtape series, which had early success with T.I.’s “Down With the King” (2004) and Jeezy’s “Trap or Die” (2005). By 2005, Drama and his A M G colleagues were presenting radio shows on Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 and Eminem’s Shade 45 station on Sirius Satellite Radio.

He produced and hosted Lil Wayne’s “The Dedication” mixtape in late 2005, the first of several ‘Dedication tapes.’ “Dedication 2,” released in May 2006, debuted on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums list and was hailed by The New York Times as “one of the ten best recordings of 2006.”

AMG and Asylum Records formed a joint venture in September 2006. The first artist signed was Willie the Kid, an American rapper. Fulton County police officials raided AMG’s Atlanta offices in January 2007, seizing more than 80,000 mixtapes, four vehicles, and some recording equipment. DJ Drama and Don Cannon were arrested on RICO charges.

Even though Gangsta Grillz: The Album, Drama’s debut “official” album, was set to be released “above-board” by Grand Hustle Records via Atlantic Records, hard disks containing its tracks were confiscated. Drama and Cannon did not face any more legal action as a result of the raid.

In December 2007, Drama released his debut album “Gangsta Grillz: The Album” got released. The album’s lead single “5000 Ones” debuted on BET. While the second single “The Art of Storytellin’ Part 4” peaked at number 26 on the Billboard 200.

Continued his successful musical career

He then released his second album “Gangsta Grillz: The Album (Vol. 2)” in May 2009. He also continues to work on mixtapes for Gucci Mane (Mr. Zone 6), Chris Brown (In My Zone 2), Dead Prez (Revolutionary yet Gangsta Grillz), and Wyclef Jean (From the Hut to the Projects, to the Mansion), among others. In March 2010, he voiced Mr. Thanksgiving, a radio announcer, in T-Pain’s musical television special “Freaknik: The Musical.”

Caption: DJ Drama performing in the concert (Source: Instagram)

He released his third album “Third Power” in October 2011. The album single named “Oh My” reached number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100. In late 2012, he released his fourth album “Quality Street Music.” Meanwhile, the album was able to reach number 15 on the Billboard 200.

Moreover, Drama, Don Cannon, and DJ Sense created The Academy, a DJ incubator and art group, in August 2013. In January 2014, DJ Drama joined Atlantic Records’ A&R team. He signed various musicians to the label, including Kap G, Spenzo, and Que. DJ Drama and Don Cannon co-founded Atlantic Records’ Generation Now label in 2015.

Drama executive produced Lil Uzi Vert’s 2015 promotional mixtape, Luv Is Rage, who was one of their first signees. In July 2016, Drama released his fifth studio album, “Quality Street Music 2.”

He served as executive producer of Lil Uzi Vert’s August 2017 debut studio album, “Luv Is Rage 2.” In 2021, he narrated Tyler, the Creator’s album “Call Me If You Get Lost,” and was featured on the opening track, Sir Baudelaire.

DJ Drama – Awards

DJ Drama has won several awards during his career. In 2008, he received three Justo Mix Tapes Awards: “Best Dirty South DJ,” “Best Mix Tape Team,” and “Best Mix Tape Series.” In 2013, he won the BET HIP-HOP Awards for “DJ of the Year”. He received the Global Spin Award for “DJ Record Label of the Year” in 2018.

Net Worth 2024

As of 2024, his net worth is estimated to be around $13.4 million while his salary and income are under review. Primarily, he makes money through producing Mixtapes, collaborating with artists, and DJing

Relationship Status

In terms of his personal life, DJ Drama is a divorced man. Previously, he was married to Summer Walker. Walker divorced him after finding out about the extra-marital affair he had with another girl.

Summer was caring for DJ Drama’s two sons, whose names are unknown. The children were from Drama’s previously unknown relationship. He dated Jessica Burciaga. She is a Playboy model. Unfortunately, they broke up in 2018 after four years of dating.

DJ Drama – Body Measurements

Caption: DJ Drama in front of a huge crowd (Source: Instagram)

This American DJ stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs around 75kg. Moreover, has a pair of black eyes with black hair colour.

Social Media

On his Instagram page ‘@djdrama’ there are over 1.2 million followers. Likewise, there are over 2 million on his Twitter page ‘@DJDRAMA’ and over 1.5 million followers on his Facebook. He runs a self-titled YouTube channel and has over 351k subscribers.