What’s A Mixtape? Drake and Future Blur Lines in Hip-Hop

Is the mixtape infrastructure changing before our eyes?

Mixtapes are an essential part of Hip-Hop Culture. They have taken an unconscious evolution in the last few years. This summer seems to be shaping up to be heavy with new music. Headlining summer 16 is Drake’s “Views” and now Chance The Rapper’s “Coloring Book Mixtape”. It sparked a conversation about all of the projects that Drake has put out in the last 12 months. I said in a pre-streaming era What A Time To Be Alive and “If Your Reading This It’s Too Late” would be considered mixtapes. With lucrative streaming dollars from services like Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music and so on give incentive to officially release music that is originally. The culture of mixtapes has changed since the early 2000’s. Lead by a push of Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, the music became more album quality with original production.

Only difference is it would be hosted by DJs. Jeezy Can’t Ban The Snowman was highly regarded as a classic because it spawned classics such as “Ya Dig” but was hosted by DJ Drama. Future continued the trend as recent as his Astronaut Status which was hosted by DJ Scream. Future Hendrix hit at the right time and hasn’t had a DJ assisted mixtape since dropping “Pluto”. Where are the Future mixtapes? On a streaming service near you. Is there a hierarchy to mixtapes? Will we get more major artist who keep a mixtape lane like Lil’ Wayne? We are at the beginning of a new era in Hip-Hop. The mixtape has changed forever.

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This post originally appeared on #DaRundown South. Atlanta’s New Hip-Hop and Sports Blog.

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