Can a mixtape be considered a classic, or here’s a much better question for you, would a rapper actually give away that much of amazing quality for free? So I vent. Today’s hip-hop industry is all A&R-ed by none other than the dreadful social networks and which is why mixtapes these days are SO much better than albums. Why is that? So we begin.
Today, as I was walking to work I had a brief discussion with my lovely co-worker and he simply asked, “Why do rappers put so much effort into a mixtape only to give us sheer crap on an album”. Of course it was interesting topic, I mean why do they? Why is hip-hop such an inconsistent genre unlike all the other genres? Why do we expect so less on a mixtape and so much of an album? Easy, it’s the sales and distribution silly. Of course we expect a lot out of material that we’re planning to buy, why do you think sales are so low now? Rappers feel if only 50,000 people are going to buy first week then why give them something worth wild when it’s just going to end up on leaking sites those of; Hulkshare, KillerLeaks, Dopehood, Sharebeast & etc. I mean the list is never ending. Is it our faults as fans? Are we to the blame for our favorite artist feeling unwanted? Yes we are.
Big K.R.I.T. is a main artist who happens to be caught in that mix. He has given us basically four free albums (all met with Critical Acclaim) and even with his entire buzz and constant consistency, his album was well… let’s just say it didn’t meet expectations. His album was far from bad it was just good whereas many were expecting him to burst into stardom and his sales suffered from it. Singles like: “I Got This” & Money on the Floor” both flopped and even with a Top 5 album on the “Billboard 200” he still on a technical standpoint flopped (40,000 First Week, YIKES!). Maybe we were wrong for putting such a high bar for him (I mean “The Vent” is a modern day classic) but as I stated… THE CONSISTENCY! When one is constantly being as consistent in a very inconsistent genre (mostly now) what are we supposed to do? But K.R.I.T. still is in between peaking to stardom or staying true to his roots only time will tell if he breaks through. Besides he tours significantly well so he’ll be A-okay if he just manages to keep the consistency and relevance.
Anyways I’ve gone of subject, albums are supposed to be the defying point to where you stamp your legacy. No one remembers mixtape rappers, I mean maybe mixtape Weezy, Jeezy & 50 Cent but they all at some point crossed over and had maybe some undetermined success. Nas is remembered for Illmatic, Jay for “Reasonable Doubt”, Wu-Tang for “36 Chambers” and A Tribe Called Quest for “Midnight Marauders”. None of those are mixtapes (where mixtapes even available back then) they’re just legendary albums. Have we let hip-hop fall so far that we actually turn to hoping something as amazing as these projects grace the mixtape scene instead of actually paying for them. Personally, if something as amazing “Illmatic” was to drop right now, just somewhere out the sky, I would pay tons of money for it… well I’m over exaggerating maybe a little but you get my point. We don’t want to pay for the material when there’s probably already been a modern day “Illmatic” (got to wait a few more years Kendrick). Hell there has probably been hundreds or thousands of modern “Illmatic’s” we’re just too lazy to go out and support, which brings me to me closing statement.
Hip-Hop is our genre as fans and whether or not we take back control is purely up to us. But in the mean time enjoy all the wonderful free material out there while you can, because sooner or later rappers are going to get the message and stop giving away free material and focus purely on their albums and sites like Datpiff.com, HotnewHipHop.com, 2DopeBoyz.com, & Livemixtapes.com will be nothing but a long, forgotten, distant memory.
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