Published Jun 16, 2011After a decade in the game, hip-hop heads may be familiar with underground mixtape maven DJ Big Mike's prolific output, but following an arrest on piracy charges, the artist's name has hit the mainstream for all the wrong reasons. Last week, the producer (real name Michael Wilcox) and half-brother Stephen Sabato were picked up after police raided three homes in Danbury, Bethel and Newtown, CT and uncovered thousands of discs full of illegal song files.
According to the Newtown Patch, one home alone housed 3,500 CDs suspected of containing pirated material. Artists allegedly pilfered by Wilcox include Lil Wayne, Mya, The-Dream and G-Unit, while discs were labelled with titles like Blue Label That Was My joint, Hard Knock Life, New York Struggle, R&B Jump Off 50, Red Apples Falling and Trapaholics.
The arrests followed a two-year investigation from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which revealed suspicions that Wilcox had a "burner lab" in Danbury that he was using to make and distribute the illegal mixtapes.
Considering the tricky nature of the unlicensed, sample-heavy mixtape scene, a lot of underground DJs might be panicking over their art right now.
Wilcox and Sabato are set to appear in court within the next week.
Thanks to XXL for the tip.