Chris Brown, In My Zone (Rhythm & Streets) (2010)
DJ Drama: “When me and Chris Brown did that tape it was right after his first album back [Graffiti], which wasn’t super-successful on the charts or with the critics. When we went in to do that tape and started with the title of it, I knew what he was capable of with his creativity and talent.
He just sent me the songs and I started listening like, ‘Yo, you got a little bars!’ I was hearing some Kanye in there.
“It was a new lane for R&B mixtapes at a time when they weren’t as popular as they are now. I remember that tape being a Trending Topic on Twitter [when it dropped]. That tape was very influential in his comeback to the top of R&B.
“I remember listening to him on that tape and listening to those lyrics like, ‘Yo, you hear this guy?!’ He just sent me the songs and I started listening like, ‘Yo, you got a little bars!’ I was hearing some Kanye in there.
“[Despite the bad press about the Rihanna thing] I was hyped to work with him. I like being in the underdog position. It was an opportunity for me because it opened me up to a lot of his fan base. I’m sure there was an enormous Chris Brown fan base that never listened to a DJ Drama mixtape before.”