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Music review: DJ Drama gathers rap's best on new album

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 2:31 pm

DJ Drama, "Quality Street Music"

(E1 Music)

DJ Drama has earned respect in the music industry for boosting numerous careers of rappers such as Lil Wayne, T.I. and Young Jeezy through his popular mixtape series, "Gangsta Grillz."

The success of the mixtapes helped ignite Drama's popularity too: He is one of the few DJs in hip-hop to land a record deal, releasing his debut album, "Gangsta Grillz: The Album" in 2007.

Now, Drama returns with his fourth offering "Quality Street Music," a 15-track album filled mostly with hard-thumping, high-energy street anthem songs. The album features a cast of rappers and singers that includes Drake, Common, Wiz Khalifa, T-Pain and Llyod.

Drama makes it all work with his uniquely assembled combination of artists meshed alongside solid production work. This is clear on the album's singles, "My Moment" featuring 2 Chainz, Meek Mill and Jeremih, and "We In This Bitch" with Young Jeezy, T.I., Ludacris and Future.

One of the album's highlights is the Cardiak-produced "Never Die," featuring Jadakiss, Cee Lo Green, Nipsey Hussle and Young Jeezy. With Cee Lo singing chorus, each of the rappers talks about how they were able to survive their own gritty streets.

Other standout songs are the V12: The Hitman-produced tracks "Clouds" featuring Rick Ross, Miguel, Pusha T and Curren$y, and "Same 'Ol Story," with Kid Ink, Schoolboy Q, Corey Gunz and Childish Gambino.

There are some downfalls here, but overall Drama delivers another respectable album. He continues to show he's one of hip-hop's top curators, creating a musical platform for artists so they can all flourish together.