The Free DJ Drama & DJ Cannon Campaign Begins

"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."Until

the question is answered, supporters of DJ Drama and Don Cannon will continue

to protest their incarceration.Matthew

Kilgo, who oversaw the RIAA’s role in yesterday’s raids of The Aphilliates office

in Atlanta, was unable to comment due to a recently imposed gag order.

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