Things just haven’t been the same since Fif entered the game with 2002’s 50 Cent is the Future. Teaming with DJ Whoo Kid, Tony Yayo, and Lloyd Banks the classic would anchor in a string of game changing mixtapes that would ultimately become the G-Unit general’s vehicle to fame. From grinding on tapes such as No Mercy, No Fear, God’s Plan, and Automatic Gunfire, 50 managed to not only have the New York City streets ablaze but, also revolutionize what was once a conventional mixtape game. Since then, what became an unorthodox winning formula birthed artists like Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Drake, and more to successfully follow suit in the marketing approach. Taking a look at his impacting strategy, XXLMag.com highlights five things Fif accomplished first during his monumental mixtape run. Your not ready…—Ralph Bristout (@ralphieblackmon)
First Rapper to Introduce the Album-Format Mixtape
It's hard to imagine a time when mixtapes where merely cheaply put together discs with xeroxed copied cover art and badly dubbed freestyles. The G-Unit General changed all that, making his tapes sound like official albums—a common tool with today's releases. Delivering both original tunes and remakes over other artists’ beats with his own bridges hooks etc., his first mixtape was able to introduce this format into play.
First Rapper to Score a Million Dollar Record Deal off Mixtape Buzz
After developing an irrefutable movement with his tapes, it wasn’t long until Dr. Dre and Eminem signed him to a $1 Million record deal with Shady/Aftermath/Interscope and giving him his own G-Unit imprint. The mixtape flood would serve as a potent marketing tool for unsigned artists getting a label’s attention (i.e. Young Jeezy, Drake, etc.).
Remix and Popularize Other Artists’ Tracks
Diddy may have arguably invented the remix but it was Fif who gave the phrase “respect the jux” needed clarity. The Queens-bred juggernaut was the first artist to completely remake other popular rap songs during the time and make them his own. A custom that was just unforeseen at the time and is now a norm.
First Rapper to Chart off a Mixtape
There’s nothing like having a mixtape chart on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. When Fif‘s mixtape version of the shelved Power of A Dollar debut released to the streets in 2002, the underground compilation dubbed Guess Who's Back? filled with classic freestyles and unreleased material hit the charts at No.28. It also topped the Top Independent Albums chart, and peaked at no. 14 on the Heatseekers chart.
First Rapper to Have Mixtape Single Chart on Billboard
When ”Wanksta” first appeared on 2002’s No Mercy, No Fear, a revamped version was eventually featured on Eminem’s 8 Mile Soundtrack. The buzzing street single would thus peak at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart.