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Mixtape buzz is a myth

New Rule: Just because 50 Cent once rapped on mixtapes and now lives in Mike Tyson’s old house doesn’t mean that Saigon’s going to. Or whatever shitty mixtape rapper you happen to be into.

In case you don’t read the paper[1], there was a story in the USA Today the other day about how mixtape DJs and rappers are the proverbial new ska. In fact, XXL‘s own (he still works here, right?) DJ Drama was quoted in the piece. Get familiar, or whatever.

As my esteemed colleague himself put it:

“50 Cent revolutionized the mixtape game […] This game has nothing to do with numbers. It has to do with the streets, and when the streets talk, the labels pay attention.”

Oh goody! In that sense, it’s certainly a good thing 50 Cent came along, now isn’t it? Ever since the hip-hop community was introduced to mixtape uber alles, rappers sell way more albums than they did before. Wait, they don’t?

The USA Today puts forth Saigon (star of HBO’s “Entourage”), Chamillionaire (the fifth hottest rapper in Texas), and Lupe Fiasco (a Muslim with a Reebok deal) as beneficiaries of mixtape buzz, as if a) no rappers ever got record deals before mixtapes and b) we should give a rat’s ass about any of these bags anyway.

Then later in the article Dipset CEO, or whatever he’s referring to himself as, DukeDaGod explains that he uses mixtapes to get music by artists like Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Hell Rell and J.R. Writer out to the fans, because they don’t receive as much exposure from radio and video outlets as other artists.

You wonder if it ever occurred to him, business-minded indivdual that he is, that media outlets are passing on giving a J.R. Writer mixtape a commercial release because there’s not a business case to be made for doing so. If these bags’ albums were better, there wouldn’t be any need for all this extra promotion.


[1] Not that the USA Today could really be called “the paper.”

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