The Different Types Of Mixtapes

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various genres of mixtapes available

There are many ways a music compilation can be put together.  Some DJs even release projects that are entirely blends.  A blend is when the acapella of a popular song is mixed together with an instrumental of another popular song.  This produces a new sound.  Some of these blends are great and some you will want to pass on and skip to the next track.  A few of the popular mixtape blend DJs are DJ Vlad, DJ Cinema, DJ Ty Boogie, and Mista Rello & Jadel.  Although blend projects are not as popular now as they were about 6-7 years ago, DJs continue to release them.

Another mixtape format is a ‘best of’ mixtape.  Some DJs can produce these mixtapes consisting of 100+ tracks.  Since 100 tracks is over 80 minutes of music, which is well over the standard 80 minute CD, these tracks can only be around 1 minute long.  Even though the songs are so short, it is a sample of the featured artist’s musical work and makes for a great listening experience.  One of the most popular DJs to do these types of products is Rob E Rob.  He has released many ‘best of’ drops consisting of over 70+ tracks.  For a DJ to be able to release a mixtape with that many songs by an artist also tells you that this person is serious about their music career.  If they already have a greatest hits mixtape with that many songs, then they have a bright and lucrative future in the music industry.

One method for a hip hop music artist to be recognized in the mixtape community is to freestyle over the beat of a popular song.  Some artists rely solely on this to gain acceptance and recognition in the hip hop community.  Well-known artists do this to show they can take a popular song, flip it to their style and be able to make it a hit record as well.  This was the primary format used in the beginning on mixtapes.  Fabolous would do this to show he can take a popular song and make it even better with his style of rap.  Music artists still do this today, but it is not used as heavily as it once was.  Also freestyles are not very long, the majority only lasting around 1 minute and 30 seconds on average.  Today, artists will record full original songs with original beats as they would for a retail album and release them on these music compilations.  These products are official releases to let the public know that it is not just some product consisting of the artist’s music released by a DJ without their knowing.  Many of these drops exist to try and hype up the DJ as having exclusive access or content when they really do not.


Mixtapes and How They Can Help Music Artists

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New artists can use mixtapes as a way to connect with fans.

There are many artists who have been discovered through these products and have landed major recording deals. One of the first who was featured on many DJ Clue releases was Fabolous. His real name is John David Jackson and is from Brooklyn, New York. He first appeared on DJ Clue drops in 1995 and after that was featured on many of his projects. His slick freestyles and catchy jingles is what landed his a recording deal with Elektra Records. He ended up releasing 6 albums and is still going hard in the underground scene. Just this past December of 2013 he released his 3rd official feature in the series titled ‘The Soul Tape’. This series alone solidifies his presence in the rap music genre, as well as the underground game.

One of the most notable and famous rap artists to be signed to a major recording deal after being discovered through mixtapes is Curtis Jackson better known as 50 Cent. He is well known as the rapper who was shot 9 times and did not die. His first retail album was ‘Power of the Dollar’ in 2000, but it was never released. After this, he resorted to distributing his music to the streets and then finally landed a million dollar deal with Eminem on Shady Records in 2002. Before he released the highly acclaimed ‘Get Rich or Die Trying’ in 2003, 50 Cent released about 4 features consisting solely of him and his G-Unit crew. G-Unit was comprised of 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo. The projects he released in the following order were ’50 Cent is the Future’, ‘No Mercy, No Fear’, ‘God’s Plan’ and ‘Automatic Gunfire’. A few weeks after his highly successful ‘Get Rich or Die Trying’ album was released to retail markets, he dropped another mixtape titled ‘Bulletproof’. All of these drops were hosted by DJ Whoo Kid who was just as famous as G-Unit at the time. 50 Cent’s fame helped launch Whoo Kid’s DJ Career. 50 Cent went on to have an excellent career in music even though it did not last as long as anticipated. Most of his wealth was acquired from Vitamin Water which was sold to Coca-Cola for 4 billion dollars. His share in the health drink was 250 million dollars. 50 Cent also went on to release a retail album with his G-Unit crew entitled ‘Beg for Mercy’. The artist Young Buck was added to G-Unit after Tony Yayo became incarcerated. Another rapper that was eventually signed to G-Unit because of his freestyle material was west coast music artist The Game, who is now known as just Game. G-Unit and Game had their differences and split. Eventually Young Buck also followed and split from G-Unit.


Mixtapes and How Artists Use Them to Gain Exposure

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Mixtapes and how an artist can use them to gain popularity

What is a mixtape you might ask? In today’s music industry a mixtape has a few different meanings. It can contain one single artist’s musical works with other featured artists, many different artists on a compilation mixtape, or even just instrumental tracks from one producer or many producers. This article will discuss each of those topics.

When a music artist releases a mixtape, they are either signed to a major music label and want to keep fans interested or is an unsigned artist and is looking to sign a recording contract. When an already established major recording artist releases a mixtape, they are letting fans know they still have what it takes to make hits and also hype up their next album release at the same time. A great way for unsigned artists looking for a record deal is to release a mixtape. With the internet, mixtapes and music can be heard by anyone at little to no cost.  Music artists do not have to know someone on the ‘inside’ of a recording label in order for someone to sample their music. It’s as easy as taking a few minutes to go on the internet and give a listen. Some artists that have just been signed to a major recording contract may be required to continue to release street products before they actually release their debut album. This will help the record companies get a feel for how this artist will perform for them in the long run. Some unsigned artists that have signed a deal with a record company and have released a underground product or two after that, may find that they no longer can live up to the hype they had before signing a recording deal.

Sometimes these music compilations contain many different artists and their musical work. What this does is help save the record companies money by releasing a few of their artist’s tracks and seeing which gets the most positive feedback. They will let the streets help them make a decision on what is the best track to release as the next single. This will make sure the record companies do not waste money on releasing a single that will just become a flop.

Music producers also use mixtapes to let record companies they are serious about making beats for major recording artists. Half of a hit song is the instrumental part. Although not nearly as popular as a recording artist’s mixtape, they still aid record comapines that are seeking star talent.



Mixtapes and the Music Industry

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The digital availability of mixtapes

The Music Industry

In today’s digital age of music, downloading music is very common. Mobile phones have evolved to allow you to browse the internet anywhere you are. You can also plug headphones into your mobile device and listen to music you have on it or on the internet. What defines a mixtape today is much different than what a mixtape was 20 years ago. Mixtapes 20 years ago were mostly many different musical tracks recorded on a cassette tape. Today, even though cassette tapes are obsolete and the new format is CD, which is on its way of being replaced by digital music, these compilations are still called by the same name.

These products in the hip hop and rap genre are used today to break new artists. Unknown or well-established artists use musical tools to hopefully land a recording contract with a major record label. In today’s hip hop music industry, it is a must even for signed music artists to release projects to the streets. This helps to keep the artists relevant with their fans and also remind them that they still have what it takes to make hit records. Many artists will release free music downloads in between their album releases to hype up their retail efforts. Sometimes, if not most of the time, these projects are better and more in tune with the artist’s emotions then their retail album. This is because many of the record companies want their music to be album specific and liked by the general population. Mixtapes contain raw and uncut music that may not be suitable for an album, so it is released on a mixtape.

These products have been around for a very long time, but one artist that made these underground music compilations very popular was 50 Cent. He claims to have to be the inventor of these projects, but that is not true. Artist were being signed from street material before him. 50 Cent may have invented releasing a whole project with just him and his G-Unit members on it, but he did not invent it. DJ Clue, Fabolous and a whole slew of other artists would say otherwise.

Many aspiring hip hop musicians use these music compilations to help boost their career. They use this as a way for their music to be heard. Anyone that is serious about their music career will use this product to help establish them in their local community, city, state or even worldwide by means of the internet. Although these works mostly contain hip hop and rap music, some r&b artists have also used them to help establish themselves.


Mixtapes and the Best Place to Find Them

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The best place to find mixtapes is on the internet.

It used to be that these products in the 1990’s and early 2000’s could only be found at your local mom and pop’s stores or at the barber shop. These places of business would make purchases in bulk and sell them for a profit. This was done under the table since these products were never cleared of any copyright issues with the record companies. Some record store’s would also sell these under the counter or would give them away for free with the purchase of a retail album. This method would entice people to buy a retail album from the store in order to obtain a copy of a music compilation they wanted. They were originally circulated on cassette tapes, but as technology has evolved, the faster, cheaper and more efficient way to distribute these musical projects is on CD media.  Just one computer tower containing 11 CD burners can produce up to 11 drops within a matter of minutes, so this method is very quick, easy, and consumes much less time than dubbing on cassettes. Eventually some of these business that were selling were raided by the RIAA and they faced hefty fines and possible jail time.

The internet is what made them as popular as they are today. These products began on the internet in 2002 and were distributed the same way as they were on the streets. Although a business on the internet is a little smarter on how to distribute them without facing any legal issues. Hard copies of mixtapes are still distributed on the internet today, as well as at your local mom and pop’s stores. Another way to obtain these music compilations is through digital download. This has become the most popular method for these products to be distributed. It is easy to do, the only wait time you have is based on your internet connection speed, almost always free to download, and best of all you never have to leave your house! This method helps to get an artist’s work to a ton of their fans quickly rather than take the time to produce and distribute hard copies. It is also much cheaper and faster to do it this way. Using this method, rap artists can obtain the feedback they are looking for much quicker and at a much higher rate. The only downside of digital downloads is that fans might put the artist’s hard work at their disposal and not have much appreciation for it. Where as if they took the time to obtain a copy from one of their local mom and pop’s outlets, they might appreciate the artist’s hard work more. There is also a downside to purchasing hard copies because you run the chance of the products being a bootleg and not being a legit copy of the music artist’s work.  When you download these projects, there is no worry if it is a bootleg or not.  Going on the internet is also a way to obtain free mp3s.


Mixtape Review of Vado’s Official ‘Sinatra’ Release


Vado releases his new official feature, an EP titled ‘Sinatra’ on February 11, 2014.  On this project he brings along Rick Ross, French Montana, and Ace Hood.  With Production by Cool and Dre, SAP, Scott Storch, Dolla Bill Kidz, Heat Makers, Butter Beats, and B Wirks.

Vado, who resides from Harlem was once Camron’s protégé and sidekick.  His most notable releases and probably best works are from the ‘Slime Flu’ mixtape franchise.  Since the days of being Camron’s partner in rhyme have passed, he has recently matched up with Miami native DJ Khaled.  That would explain the Rick Ross, French Montana, and Ace Hood apperances.  It has been awhile since we have heard any new material from Vado as many critics and fans thought his career was over.  Now he is back with this mixtape EP that is 8 tracks of his recent efforts to gain critic’s acceptance and let fans know that his rap career has only begun.

On this release, Vado wastes no time handling his business by rapping about clothing style preferences, lavish women, and drug cartel lifestyle.  This style seems to have been handed down to him from Cam’ron.  On the track ‘Pimpin’ produced by B Wirks, he flows over Jay-Z and UGK’s  ‘Big Pimpin’ hit record with a reworked instrumental.  He still uses Jay-Z and UGK’s voice slowed down in the background on the hook.  The line is ‘You know I thug em, f*ck em, love em, leave em/cuz I don’t f*ukin need em’/I’m a pimp in every sense of the word b!tch/better trust and believe em’.

On the track ‘2 Fingers’ he brings along label mate Ace Hood to let the haters know he does not need or care what they have to say, it’s peace to them.  His flow is quick over this fast pace beat with r&b artists Kevin Cossom.

About Vado’s release of ‘Sinatra’, he still has what it takes to keep his name relevant in the mixtape/rap game.  This is just the beginning for Vado as he has signed with the ‘We The Best’ crew.  He may not be Camron’s sidekick or partner in rhyme anymore, but with his flow you can tell Camron was his Harlem mentor.  After this EP release, fans are looking forward to a retail album release by him.  Will he have it what it takes to keep his fan base raving about him since he has signed with DJ Khaled?  Be sure to check out and download this free mixtape release from Vado.

Review of DJ GJerzey Boy’s mixtape Adventures of a Mastermind


Rick Ross’ new retail album ‘Mastermind’ is set to be released on March 4, 2014.  This mixtape ‘Adventures of a Mastermind’ hosted by DJ GJersey Boy, who has released some hot free mixtapes recently, is somewhat of a preview to that album release.

The first track ‘War Ready’ features Young Jeezy and is a hot single.  The track was just released so it is all over the mixtape circuit.  On the track, Rick Ross talks about money, power, and the drug game.  The beat is produced by Mike Will Made It and it pounds.  At one time, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross were at war but have declared Peace.  Young Jeezy has the second verse on this track and comes in hard on the beat.

On the track ‘Oyster Perpetual’, Rick Ross lays down a freestyle flow with his nice, laid back, nonchalant flow over a smooth beat.

‘The Devil is a Lie’ is the second single off ‘Mastermind’ and has been very popular on mixtapes as of recent.  The track features Jay-Z and is produced by Major Seven.  The duo had a hot record with ‘FuckWitMeYouKnowIGotIt’ so Jay-Z only had to repay the favor and appear on one of Ross’ tracks.  Some people like to talk about Jay-Z and his devilish flows, so he just pokes fun at the notion and drops a record to play with his music critics.

‘Look Me in My Eyes’ features his Bad Boy label mate French Montana.  These 2 have been featured together on many records as of recent.  Camron’s protégé Vado also appears on the track as French Montana sings the hook. Rick Ross makes an appearance on the DJ Khaled remix of ‘You Don’t Want These Problems’ and lays down the first verse of the track.  Many other artists are featured on this track including Big Sean, French Montana, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill of Ross’ MMG Label, and Ace Hood.  The remix track is mediocre at best.

There are a few solo efforts by the boss on this mixtape such as the track ‘Bound 2’.  This track is produced by rap superstar Kanye West, so he probably paid a hefty price for the beat.  Rick Ross lays down lyrics over an instrumental with no bass beat, sort of an a cappella flow.

The track ‘I Know’ has a new version of the ‘I Got 5 on it’ beat.  How many times has this track been remixed or rapped over already?  Featured on the track is newcomer Whole Slab.

There are many other hip hop artists on this mixtape such as Fat Trel, Lil Durk, Jadakiss, Young Cash, and the final track features a remix with Lady Gaga and R Kelly.  The track remix is of Lady Gaga’s newest single ‘Do What U Want’.

Importance of free download mixtapes

50centMusic in the hip hop and rap genre are used today to break new artists. Unknown or well-established artists use these to hopefully land a recording contract with a major record label.  In today’s hip hop music industry, it is a must even for signed music artists to release these.  This helps to keep the artists relevant with their fans and also remind them that they still have what it takes to make hit records.  Many artists also release these tapes in between their album releases to hype up their retail efforts.  Sometimes, if not most of the time, these are better and more in tune with the artist’s emotions then their retail album. This is because many of the record companies want their music to be album specific and liked by the general population.  These contain raw and uncut music that may not be suitable for an album, so it is released on a mixtape.
These have been around for a very long time and artists have been making these for a long time.  Artists were being signed before him.  Several even claim to have invented these. However, most of the artists claim otherwise.  Some artists like 50 Cent made such claims which was highly incorrect.

Many aspiring hip hop musicians use mixtapes to help boost their career.  They use them as a way for their music to be heard.  By offering them as free, these tapes can reach a wider range of audiences.  Anyone that is serious about their music career will use these to help establish them in their local community, city, state or even worldwide by means of the internet.  Although these works mostly contain hip hop and rap music, some r&b artists have also used these free commpilations to establish themselves.  The popularity of these tapes is increasing day by day and music artists all over the world are realizing their importance.

All of these free download mixtapes were hosted by DJ Whoo Kid who was just as famous as G-Unit at the time.  50 Cent’s fame helped launch Whoo Kid’s DJ Career.  50 Cent went on to have an excellent career in music even though it did not last as long as anticipated.  Most of his wealth was acquired from Vitamin Water which was sold to Coca-Cola for 4 billion dollars.  His share in the health drink was 250 million dollars.  50 Cent also went on to release a retail hip hop album with his G-Unit crew entitled ‘Beg for Mercy’.


A Review of Waka Flocka’s Most Recent Mixtapes

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Waka Flocka Flame releases From Roaches To Rolex

Though Waka Flocka’s has always maintained that he is not one of the traditional rappers and has no interest in being known as the lyrical artist, his recent release ‘From Roaches to Rolex’ changed the entire belief about him. He has also tremendously improved his flow and that is quite visible in the songs like ‘Took Off’. In this song, he delivers threatening words that turn more menacing as he goes on delivering his rapid cadence. He has also used his best flow on the song ‘7 Days a Week’. This song doesn’t seem to have any flaws and has been delivered with a real tightness.
Also, his overall vocal performance on the new projects has improved pretty much and this shows that he has also been practicing between his consequent releases. Still there are some songs where he uses his old yelling style- he screams from the starting to the end just like the song ‘Obituary’ that features Wooh Da Kid.
In the song ‘Ice Cream Cone’, a lot of lyrical shots have been thrown at Gucci Mane. Though he clearly stated that he was going to do a diss on the Gucci’s song but all his fans were disappointed to see no actual dissing in the mixtapes.
The things also get a little repetitive on the song ‘From Roaches to Rollies. In the songs ‘Running Them Lips’ Chazz has been featured and Waka ends up repeating the same uninventive hook. Same goes for the ‘Heavyweight’ song that features rappers Sony and Frenchie.
The improved vocal performance of Waka seems to be the only saving grace of this song and that he continues in his other songs as well like ‘Rainy Dayz’. In this a funky guitar riff has been effectively used that also fits with the improved flow of Waka. The other beats however, do not have the same level of dopeness and a lot of separation comes in between the instruments and the sounds. All this makes the project a bit unpleasant to listen some times. He also produces free releases from time to time.
However, what this tape clearly states is the underlying desire of Waka to improve and become a better rapper. Improved performance is always desired by everyone. Download music compilations of Waka and savor the performances.

The top three mixtapes of 2013


The internet and the mixtape culture go hand in hand. Any hopeful rapper or producer can reach the general public and record labels through the internet. They can also make their own labels. It can be called the breeding ground for rappers. They can release free tapes to see what kind of response is received from the general public and then they can release their final product. This is the best way to give the starving listeners a preview of what’s to come and build up anticipation for their final release.
The trend of mixtapes has breached into albums as well. The artist releases help them to get solid grounding and critical acclaim. Then they can build up from this foundation. What these tapes offer is sometimes even better than the actual retail album. They seem to be more fulfilling most of the time.
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular releases of 2013:

  • Blue Chips 2

Action Bronson and Party Supplies first came on the mixtape map in 2012 with their first ‘Blue Chips’. This project proved to be the breakout project for Bronson who had been gaining the momentum for some time. After that he released many project but none of them created much anticipation like the ‘Blue Chips’. So, when the Blue Chips sequel was released, there was a lot of anticipation amongst the fans regarding the hip hop mixtapes and they were not let down. With the 80’s classic touch, they proved that going back to the basics still pays off in the long run.

  • The Pimpire Strikes Back

Roc Marciano released free projects before the release of his full length album. He portrayed the good and the bad that he has actually lived. It is a completely fresh take as compared to the other musical works released. And, if you just want to understand what I mean, go ahead and listen to some of his tracks and I am sure you will get the knack of it.

  • Acid Rap

Chance The Rapper started with ’10 Day’ but what established him was ‘Acid Rap’ that came out in 2013. We can call this a true rap debut as he has displayed every element of his personality on the tape. He has also displayed his love for Chicago, his hometown. From slow to bursts of energy, he displayed everything in his music. This kind of versatility is rarely found.