Mixtapes

date as far back as the 1970's, but have since emerged into a new definition of what is considered a mixtape. One of the most popular mixtape DJs started in the 1990's by the name of DJ Clue. Mixtapes were compilations of unheard or unreleased music and were distributed on cassette tapes. In the 90's, the quality of the music on the mixtape didn't matter because most of the music was unheard or yet to be released. Many popular artists would release 'freestyles' over popular instrumental beats. A 'freestyle' is where an artist takes a beat and puts his own melody and hook on it. In early 2001, 50 Cent and G-Unit made this very popular by freestyling over popular beats, then distributing them on CD. The term mixtape still held it's title as it still does today even though most mixtapes are now released in mp3 format. Many unsigned artists will release a mixtape to obtain a buzz. Music labels will also ask artists to release mixtapes to the public to hype up an artist. Even signed artists release mixtapes in between retail album releases to keep relevant with the music industry and to also let their fans know they can still make hits. Many popular artists today release mixtapes frequently. These artists include Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Chief Keef, Nicki Minaj, Currensy, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Young Jeezy, and many more. Major artists will also release singles on mixtapes to see what kind of buzz their music is receiving on the streets. Sometimes this buzz will decide what the artists next retail single will be.

     There are many different genres of mixtapes. These genres include hip hop, r&b, reggae, reggaeton, instrumentals, blends, and any other genre you can think of. A blend is where a DJ will take the lyrics or acapella of one song and play that over the beat or instrumental of another song. Some DJs will release mixtapes with 10 or more tracks of these blends. DJs also release mixtapes that have a certain theme to them such as an all r&b music mixtape or a mixtape containing all east coast music, west coast music, or dirty south music which is now referred to as trap rap.

     Many people do not know that mixtapes play a major part in the music industry. If your looking to create buzz about an artist or for yourself, release a mixtape. You would be surprised how far a mixtape can go, especially with today's internet. It might even land on the desk of a major record company such as Interscope, Atlantic Records, Bad Boy or even Cash Money Records. Hard work and dedication to your music can pay off in a major way.

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