I went to my high-school class' 10th reunion back in November - and actually had a great time (who knew?). Anyway, a friend of mine mentioned that he'd heard that one of our classmates, Tyree Simmons, had gone on to become a big name in hip-hop . . . so we were all wondering whether he would show. He didn't, unfortunately, and I hadn't thought anything of it since. But then today an email came in to the class mailing list that was set up for announcements related to the reunion, with a link to a story in today's NY Times:
Turns out, my classmate Tyree Simmons is DJ Drama, a big name in the production of hip-hop mixtapes, as well as the DJ for "King of the South" rapper T.I., who's 2006 album King was reportedly the top-selling hip-hop/rap album of 2006, with over 500,000 copies sold in the first week of its release alone.
Tyree was arrested yesterday by law enforcement working in collaboration with the RIAA, because they regard his mixtapes as no different from bootleg / counterfeit CDs . . . this despite the fact that (according to the NY Times) he has been a major factor in launching many rappers careers, and artists line-up to get their tracks included on his mixtapes for the promotional benefits. Kinda bizarre.