DJ Drama is a 44 year old DJ, record executive & music promoter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who got his start by founding Aphilliates Music Group alongside Don Cannon a decade ago. His profile would grow exponentially shortly after by beginning his iconic Gangsta Grillz mixtape series that’s still going 19 years strong today & becoming one of the most in-demand mixtape DJs ever by hosting some of the hungriest tapes from a wide range of already established artists including T.I., Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne & Fabolous. Dude even has 5 solo albums under his belt also, starting with Gangsta Grillz: The Album at the end of 2007 & the previous being a sequel to Quality Street Music the year after founding the Atlantic Records imprint Generation Now Entertainment with Don that initially discovered one of the biggest names the 215 has seen in recent memory: Lil Uzi Vert. Fast forward 5 years later, Drama would see a resurgence in his career after narrating Tyler, The Creator’s 6th album Call Me If You Get Lost fittingly enough since that itself was a homage to the Gangsta Grillz series. So coincidentally as T drops The Estate Sale to hold everyone off until his upcoming 7th album drops later this summer, DJ Drama is coming off hosting the recent mixtapes from the likes of G Perico & Kash Doll to name only a couple to drop HIS 6th album.
“Legendary” by Tyler sets off the album with Yung T detailing the influence that the Dedication mixtape series had on him during his adolescence over a rich, drumless instrumental from the Cannon whereas “Ho4me” by A Boogie wit da Hoodie is a disappointingly mediocre trap/pop rap ballad about taking it slow. “Raised Different” by Jeezy & the late Nipsey Hu$$le has a more somber approach touching on being made in the streets just before “F.M.F.U. (Fuck Me Fuck U)” by Gucci & Wayne find the 2 over some twinkling keys & hi-hats courtesy of CashMoneyAP paying homage to Keyshia Ka’oir Davis & Denise Bidot respectively.
Moving onto “Free Game”, we have Uzi & 42 Dugg joining forces to get in their bag over a Detroit trap beat from Helluva just before “350” by Rick Ross & Westside Gunn deliver some fly braggadocio with some pianos & hi-hats backing them. “Been a While” by G Herbo & Mozzy is a lavish trap banger that Nick Papz & Pooh Beatz laced about how they ain’t going nowhere leading into “No Weakness” by Symba, T.I. & Wiz Khalifa having a more cinematic groove to the instrumental as they remind y’all that no one built like them.
“Mockingbird Valley” by Jack Harlow is one of the weakest cuts on the album despite Don Cannon’s smooth production & that’s primarily because I personally found Jack’s performances to be mediocre until “Forever” by Benny the Butcher, Fab & Jim Jones makes up for it with it’s victorious trap beat & the razor sharp lyricism from all 3 MCs respectively about the lives they live. “Andale” by Moneybagg Yo & Offset is a decently aggressive cut quenching for blood while the song “Iron Right” by Boosie Badazz, OMB Peezy & the late Trouble is another dull moment from the annoying bed-squeaking sounds throughout the slick instrumental given by the late Traxamillion to the lyrics about not being the one to fuck with.
The penultimate track “I Ain’t Gon’ Hold Ya” by Jeezy was originally first heard on the Snoman’s latest effort Snofall that dropped about 5 months ago by now & there’s nothing wrong with hearing it again at the backend of I’m Really Like That since not only was Snofall amongst the trap pioneer’s best in recent memory, but this very song from it that makes it’s way over here just so happened to be amongst my favorites on it. “We Made It” by CyHi the Prynce wrapping things up with a heartwarmingly melodic trap song about success.
As someone who also grew up on the iconic Gangsta Grillz series much like Tyler, I personally found Drama’s last 3 solo albums to be subpar at worst & mediocre at best. That however is not the case with I’m Really Like That, as I consider it to be his best full-length in a while & a solid one to make a comeback on. The performances from the guests are more consistent as are the production choices & the theme reflecting on his journey in the game as well as the relationships he’s built over the years further reminds us of his legacy as one of the greatest mixtape hosts ever.
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