Death of the Mixtape
The mixtape was originally a compilation of songs from different artists. Mixtapes wern’t exclusive to just the hip hop community. They were also popular with the House music and indie rock subcultures since the 1970’s.
They were substantially cheaper than albums, but often contained more tracks then the average album deeming them value for money. It was an effective way of grassroots marketing as it cost very little to record and press copies, as technology advanced from tape to CD through the mid 90’s.
The Mixtape in 2005 to 2011:
- Mixtapes are now mostly digital.
- They are becoming more expensive to record then EP’s.
- For a major label artist, your album release can be dependent on the reception your mixtape receives.
- Lawsuits are arising from them. e.g Lil Wayne: I Feel Like Dying or Game: Heartbreaker
- RIAA began to prosecute DJ’s, websites, street vendors & small indie retailers who sold or hosted unauthorized mixtapes. As a result, many small mom & pops stores have closed.
- Certain mixtapes are now nationally distributed in mega retailers ( Walmart/Target).
- Inadvertedly becomes the new demo.