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DJ Scream: ‘If you kill mixtapes, you kill hip-hop music.’


From Shawty Lo to Crime Mob and J-Money, DJ Scream is known for breaking artists. And while his Heavy in the Streets brand has grown to include Hip Hop Nation Hood Rich Radio, on Sirius Satellite and, an artist management and marketing webcast — at the end of the day his motivation remains the same.

“Before I was relevant, I always wanted to see something new or hear something new,” he says simply, in his deep baritone. “That’s what wakes me up early in the morning.”

Currently, Scream is working on his upcoming album, Heavy in the Streets which will feature everyone from Gangsta Boo and J Money to Roccet and Mistah Fab. Ro caught up with him to get his take on the mixtape game and the future of hip-hop.
jacinta howard

What’s your take on digital music distribution and leaks?
You have to move with the times. I think the artists just have to step up to the plate and be up for the challenge. That didn’t affect Lil Wayne. He didn’t use that as an excuse —‘Oh, my album keeps leaking.’ He just made more music. He’s an artist and if you’re an artist you can paint a portrait at any time, it’s not like you stop. This is the future, now. It’s not cassette tapes — it’s digital.

They say mixtapes are dead.
Mixtapes ain’t dead. I think they’re more relevant than ever. Look at all the artists that have been relevant in the past year or two. They all came from a mixtape or mixtapes. Mixtapes made Lil Wayne sell that many albums, they made Gucci Mane hot. He hasn’t even put out an album, [and] Rocko … the list goes on and on. If you kill mixtapes, you kill hip-hop music. It might be a little funny right now, but it ain’t dead — no way.

How has the mixtape game changed in the past three years?
Technology makes it easier to make mixtape. It makes it easier to make music, so everything is a little saturated right now. But other than that, I apply the same formula.

What’s the formula?
If I tell you that, I’ll have to kill you. No, just hot music [and] whatever I think is hot with a mixture of what the people think is hot. So I might be first to put on Shawty Lo, Shop Boyz, J Money or whatever. But once I put them on the people let me know if they want to hear more.