XXL Presents… Top 5 Most Important Mixtape Rappers of All Time

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    <em>XXL</em> Presents... Top 5 Most Important Mixtape Rappers of All Time
    It all started with a mixtape. For years, rappers have contributed to the mixtape circuit but, very few have been able to make lasting impressions. Since the days of Kid Capri scratches, vivid Doo Wop intros, classic Ron G blends, and signature DJ Clue drops, the game has shifted and thanks to a small crop of MCs it's been consistently taken to new plateaus. To take a closer look at this, XXLMag.com lines up five rappers that have been instrumental to the mixtape game. <em>XXL</em> Presents...The Five Most Important Mixtape Rappers of All Time...—<em>XXL Staff</em>
  • Jeezy
    Young Jeezy
    Young Jeezy made a name for himself way before the release of his solo debut <em>Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101</em>, “and that’s on some real shit.” The man known as your “Favorite Trapper's Favorite Trapper,” had been reeking havoc on the southern mixtape circuit for years, thus popularizing what was once a signature East Coast staple to the region. Releasing a slew of streets-approved projects including the tour de force, <em>Trap or Die</em>, Jeezy’s penchant for pacifying the streets with a flood of material solidified his stance as one the mixtape genre’s favorites. Aside from being one of the few artists to introduce the now popular mixtape-DVD package (Trap Or Die), Da Snowman's impact is nothing to sneeze at. Can’t Ban Da Snowman…
  • Drake
    "Dropped a mixtape that shit sounded like an album, who woulda thought a countrywide tour would be the outcome..."When Drizzy’s <em>So Far Gone</em> hit the net in 2009, it not only garnered huge success but also shifted both the mixtape game and the music industry. The TO native's breakthrough cleverly woven project reinvigorated the now fundamental mixtape-album format; offering original, polished records that quickly picked up radio airplay along with two Grammy nods (for “Best I Ever Had”). One of the highlights of the tape was its quality and ability to sonically capture the essence of an actual retail LP. <em>So Far Gone</em> would later land Drake into what Billboard called, “One of the biggest bidding wars ever,” as well as become the mixtape formula for other MCs (Wiz Khalifa’s <em>Kush & Orange Juice</em>, Big K.R.I.T.’s <em>Return of 4Eva</em>, etc.)
  • Dipset
    When Harlem’s own Dipset crept into the scene in early 2000 the term “movement” was given a whole new meaning. After securing his deal with Roc-A-Fella, Cam’ron made it an agenda to get his crew, the Diplomats, some notoriety. Killa rounded them all together for what would become an impressive mixtape run. From <em>Volume One</em> and on, Dipset became the first group to do single-artist dominated street albums. Steering away from the routine DJ-curated compilation tapes, Cam’ron, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana pacified the streets with catalogs of heat from solely their camp.
  • Lil Wayne
    Lil Wayne
    Lil Wayne's contribution to the mixtape world remains untouchable. Releasing a plethora of material, the Louisanimal gave another meaning to the phrase, "no days off." The insurmountable level of output he's flooded both the blogosphere and streets sums up exactly why he's often referred to as, "Mixtape Weezy."
  • 50 Cent
    50 Cent & G-Unit
    50 Cent's name is synonymous to mixtape conversation. Along with Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and DJ Whoo Kid, the G-Unit crew’s mixtape run ultimately revolutionized the game thanks to its strong impact. During a time when mixtapes were strictly dominated with DJ drops and dubbed freestyles, Fif and the Unit introduced the album-format approach, where they’d completely remake other artists’ tracks into their own. The phenomenal grind landed Fif a $1 million dollar deal with Shady/Aftermath/Interscope, Billboard chart spots for 2002’s <em>Guess Who’s Back?</em> and street single “Wanksta,” and more. Things haven't been the same since.
  • W.S

    How could y’all put Cam on this and leave out Loso/DJ Klue and Papoose/DJ Kay Slay?

    *Ed Lover voice* C’mon Son!!!

    • A.C. says 10%

      Who the fuck is Papoose?? LMFAO!! & What has be contributed to hip-hop??

      Naddadamn-thing!

      • HipHopkins

        If you dont know papoose then you really dont know much about music

    • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

      Actually they left out the most important one of all Eminem.

  • Commenter

    W.S. is absolutely right. Pap may have fallen off, but when he was hot, it was only from mixtapes. He had a lot of brothers who weren’t paying attention to the mixtape scene taking notice. I aint gon front.. Pap could be old news. But his mixtape presence is undeniable, and I’m not surprised that someone brought him up on the very first comment. Basically, you can’t just have 5 “mixtape” rappers on here. That’s too little. The mixtape environment isn’t small, so that’s almost like saying the top 5 album artists. You can’t have just 5. Top 10 would have been better. Then you’d have people like Fab and Pap on it.

  • JOHNISDOPE

    What about Spitta????!! 7 mixtapes in 7 months. come onnnnnn

    • @JeffXGreen

      CoSign…. $pitta is def Mixtap HOF

  • Taylor Gang

    One mixtape dont make you da king of that. Drake is not an underground king he is mainstream just as his mixtape did when you sell it then itss not a mixtape that ish is supposed to be free. Spitta, Gorilla Zoe they are mixtape kings they put out quality tapes fo free. Wiz use to but now atlantic got him held down we will see for this next one i guess!

  • Gotta be kidding

    Not having The L.O.X. on here makes this list a joke, son

    Can’t be serious…

    • OG BIG TONY ROME-aka-CARZYHORSE

      hip hop is not hip hop,im 45 year old.hip hop hit my hood in Los Angeles calf,in the 70′s like for me in 1979.but know that hip hop is not the same no more but i don’t like all that gangbanging shit on song’s .like that shit is not hip hop.i grew up with OG MONSTER form EIGHT TRAY GANGSTER CRIPS GANG,so i know gangster and gang banging.rap is -skill-fashion-art-dance-dj-love for the art.if you rap that dope boy/gangbanging/fuck hoes/sniff a line/pop pills/get high/killing shit in all the song’s out now to day.now that’s what you call you be killing them.keep it real.if you don’t do the things you you raping then don’t say it if not hood like you say you r then don’t lie.cuz the young kids think that your real so thay try to do the samethings you talk about and thay die.yhink about it real long and hard.GOD will have last say so.

  • EDDIE

    YEA

  • canadasmost

    i cant believe you guys completely left out pusha t and malice and the re up gang . we got it 4 cheap is way better then that dipset shit anyday .volumes 1- 3 is straight crack in a cd case .

  • DJ 1Mic

    No L.O.X really?

    Ya’ll smoking crack… these dude are ALL emulating what they did… I mean thats just bad journalism

  • Ronald Wood

    THIS LIST IS SO FUCKING SILLY. DRAKE BEEN OUT A FEW YEARS AND HE ONE OF THE ALL TIME BEST. SORRY LOX. WE FORGIVE XXL MAG FOR THIS ONE. THEY LIKE THE REST OF THESE DUMMIES OUT HERE JUST FOLLOWING SUIT. FUCK OUTTA HERE. #JOKEOFALLJOKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sean Izzle

    XXLMag really used to be a place for new interest, new artists, new everything and thy used to have good taste! But that stopped in 2010, when the new early 2010s began! Since day one of 2010 yall been wack, constantly on that wack Young Money /Drake / Trey Songs / J.cole / Nicki Minaj shit….

    cmon Young Money is confusing, just like the early 2010s music as a whole. Made up of wack artist with no soul, and no chemistry at all. Lil Wayne’s fave artists to his own taste all in a thrown together group :O They all have different accents, styles and doesnt fit together, they dont rep nothing and dont have any traditions in common. Drake’s from goddam Canada!!!

    XXLMag is following all the Facebook usin womens fave music, yall are followers now real talk! There is much better music out there for us all to follow and listen to…. Ive come to the day where XXL is not a platform of good new music, you dont work for me anymore. Yall reviews are wack, untastefull, stupid and non-traditional. Only good thing is you get your hands on new hot producers and do interviews with them

  • The Jux

    Why Isn’t Fab On The List?! This Is Bullshit

  • alderman j

    camron was making mixtapes in 2000, and somebody compared PAPWHO? to DIPSET!?!?!?!?!? damn!! I THINK NIGGAS FORGOT THE REASON THERE EAR RINGS ARE SQUARE AND WHY ITS COOL TO WEAR PINK!! NO HOMO!!! NIGGA MADE COVER OF GQ OFF OF MIXTAPES!!! WHO DOING THAT!!! KILLA CAM THATS WHO!!!

  • Reno Smiff

    can’t respect this list…u left out Stack Bundles!!! When U say “mixtape rappers” u should refer to cats who have yet to get a major label debut. Wayne shouldn’t even be on here just due to the politics of the game…its a known fact that ur exposeure for ur mixtape is based on how much money u spend to get it in prime position on the websites. Stack NEVER had a retail album come out while he was alive and most of these cats including YMCMB couldn’t f**k with him on his worse day. R.I.P. Stack Bundles…SK-SK-SK-SK-SK-SQUUAADUP!!!!

  • Fireforreal

    What about Fabolous ? back in 98 after he murdered N.O.R.E on hot 97 (at the time being his 1st time to rap on the radio with no deal) He became the 1st rapper since Canibus at the time to have no record deal and have fans buying mixtapes to hear him. On alot of those mixtapes he was the only one without a deal. Going in on beats on a mixtape with nothing but major lable vets on it,he continued to shine and STILL does his thing in between his album releases.

  • http://www.collabprojekt.com Guillermo

    What about Curren$y? Dude’s been at it since the Master P / Hot Boyz days. No love? But Drake gets love off one mixtape? EHHHHH

  • Decoder

    Khalifa needs to be on this list. Idk how you can leave him out with such a hot mistake like Kush&OJ? This in my opinion is way better than so far gone.

    • Decoder

      *mixtape* (auto-correct)

  • Charlton!

    Yoll bunch of pussycats milo! Lil wayne is the GOD of this shit lol!! 2010 2011 2012 WHATEVER he been doing this from lonp way back guys cant you see.. Much more of it he makes the Sorry for the wait Carter 4… coming soon! 2011 he is much high in doing ths kinda shit FUCK YOLL TILIGHS.

  • UKz CoNzEqUeNzEs

    For Any1 Who Doubts Dipset Just Listen 2 Jim Jones Vampire Life Mixtape Or Ghost Of Rich Porter Them 2 Shitz Right There Shoulda Been Albums They Straight Fire !!