DJ Drama Talks Shelved Outkast ‘Gangsta Grillz’ Mixtape

While visiting the Rory & Mal Podcast, DJ Drama talked about his shelved Gangsta Grillz project with Outkast.

Could the world eventually hear a DJ Drama x Outkast mixtape? The Gangsta Grillz series DJ and producer recently stopped by the Rory & Mal podcast to discuss the Outkast project that never saw the light of day.

“Outkast was supposed to do a Gangsta Grillz,” Drama explained. “Me, their manager at the time, Blue Williams, Dre and Big Boi all got on the phone, we were gonna do a Gangsta Grillz … It was supposed to come out before [Outkast’s sixth and final album] Idlewild.

“They said, ‘Listen Dram, honestly as much as we wanna do it we don’t have the time, we’re working on the soundtrack and we’re working on the movie. But we wanna offer you a record for your album, like an Outkast record.’ And I was like, ‘What? Hell yeah! OK.’”

The record ended up being “The Art of Storytelling, Pt. 4” featuring Marsha Ambrosius from Drama’s 2007 debut Gangsta Grillz: The Album.

The Generation Now co-founder reflected on the lengths it took to land the Outkast feature.

“So I started sending Dre every hot producer in the game’s beats,” he told Rory and Mal. “I sent him everybody’s beats. I’m not gonna name no names, but, you know, at the time I was on fire, everybody was sending me beats … I was sending them and he was turning everything down.”

Drama went on to ask fellow Philadelphia DJ and business partner Don Cannon to make a beat similar to one he produced on Jim Jones’ 2005 mixtape with Drama, The Seven Day Theory. Drama then sent the beat to André 3000 upon his 2007 release from jail after being arrested for bootlegging and racketeering.

“Literally days after I got out of jail and the raid happened and everything, I had the beat and I sent it to Lake, who was working with Marsha at the time, and I called her and I was like, ‘Listen, I need something like: This is not the end for me. I can’t be stopped, nothing’s gonna stop us. We gon’ keep going.’ And she literally took what I told her and that was her hook.”

Watch DJ Drama’s appearance on the Rory & Mal podcast below.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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