DJ Drama is the stage name of American producer, record label owner, and music promoter Tyree Cinque Simmons, who rose to fame thanks to his collaborations with Atlanta rapper T.I. in the early aughts, as well as the Gangsta Grillz mixtape series. Born on April 22, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he became infatuated with hip-hop after a trip to New York City with his sister during his teenage years. Shortly after, he started experimenting with turntables and released the cult mixtape Illadelph in 1996. After relocating to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University, he teamed up with DJ Sense and Don Cannon to found the Aphilliates artist collective, which served as a platform to release his critically acclaimed studio debut Gangsta Grillz: The Album in 2007. Featuring cameos by Nelly, T.I., Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Jadakiss, and Outkast, among others, the album entered the Top 5 of the US R&B and rap charts and was followed by the equally successful Gangsta Grillz: The Album (Vol. 2) in 2009. During this time, DJ Drama also continued to work as a producer on mixtapes by Gucci Mane, Chris Brown, Dead Prez, and Wyclef Jean. Preceded by the single "Oh My" featuring Wiz Khalifa and Roscoe Dash, a third album titled Third Power appeared in 2011 and reached Number 42 on the Billboard 200. Over the next few years, DJ Drama scored his biggest pop crossover success up to that point with the album Quality Street Music in 2012, and followed up with a second installment in 2016. Between 2020 and 2022, the prolific producer released ten mixtapes recorded in collaboration with rappers like 24hs, Hardo & Deezlee, Fat Joe, Jim Jones, Badda TD, OMB Peezy, Symba, Snoop Dogg, David Sabastian, and Jeezy, whose guest verses can be heard on the US Top 10 mixtape SNOFALL (2022).