Today in Hip Hop History: January 4, 1979
Mel Jason Smalls, best known as Drag-On, was born in The Bronx, New York in 1979. Drag-On is a rapper, actor and entrepreneur best known for his affiliation with the Ruff Ryders Entertainment imprint as an original member. He released his debut album, Opposite of H2O, through the label in 2000. The album featured production from Swizz Beatz and featured the likes of DMX, Case, Styles P and Eve, among others. It became RIAA Certified Gold and peaked in the top 5 of the U.S. Billboard 200.
Despite a successful debut album, Drag-On never seemed to overcome the shadow of his fellow peers within Ruff Ryders. After switching from Interscope to Virgin Records, he released his sophomore effort, Hell and Back, to much less success in 2004. Drag-On then elected to pursure his own record label with Hood Environment Entertainment, which currently uses indie-friendly company IMF Distribution. After such an endeavor, the rapper cites himself as much more business-minded and experienced in the music industry and its ways.
In addition to making music, Drag-On also featured in films such as Exit Wounds and Cradle 2 The Grave, starring alongside Ruff Ryders de facto leader DMX in both pictures. Almost 9 years removed from his last full-length project, Drag-On plans on releasing another mixtape soon. Until then, Happy 37th birthday Drag-On!