Dren Starr is a 44-year-old producer, artist and tour manager. A native of the Lower East Side, Manhattan, Starr has had an exciting career spanning three decades. He has given a lot to the entertainment industry, starting from the early 1990s. His impact continues years later, even after being incarcerated for more than five years. He has bounced back almost like he never left and continues to chase his dreams.
Starr has always been determined to bring joy to people through music. He was first a DJ at 14, and then later, at age 18, he took the major step of starting his own hip-hop radio station, which was eventually shut down by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Starr operated a pirate radio station reported by investigative journalist Barbara Nevins Taylor to be worth $75 million if it was operated on a legal frequency.
Starr has had many successes and is proud of his journey. He says, “I have been featured on the cover art of Ghostface Killah’s 2007 studio album The Big Doe Rehab (CD Insert) when CD’s existed. I was also featured on the intro for the fifth track on Biggie’s Duets album (featuring Big Pun, Fat Joe, and Freeway). This is the only time Biggie and Big Pun were on a song together. I’m on this track having a conversation with Big Pun.”
Many people have reported that they have had trouble finding work after serving prison time or are only left with the option of doing low-wage jobs with little opportunity to ever advance in their jobs. People within the entertainment industry who have been ordered to serve jail time have faced severe implications for their careers. But some entertainers have had a major comeback after being imprisoned, including Starr.
After doing time in New York State prison for gun possession charges, Starr did see some changes in his career. Nevertheless, these were mostly related to how he was expected to do his work now. Music and entertainment were now based on digital technology and social media. He still had a good reputation from the work ethic he had displayed over the years and now only needed to adjust to new ways of work.
Starr says, “One of the most difficult things I’ve had to face since getting out is learning all the new technology. It’s interesting how much different the world is today when compared to what it was like before I was incarcerated.”
His hard work continues to pay off. From opening up the intro of Fat Joe’s 2019 Album, ‘Family Ties’, and working with other big names in the industry, such as Meek Mill, Fabolous, Bobby Shmurda, and billionaire Michael Rubin.
Starr can be reached on social media at: