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Universal Music Introduces Legal Mixtapes

ume-logo.jpgEver since the Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA] arrested DJ Drama and Don Cannon in January 2007, mixtapes have slowly died out. Universal Music Enterprises, though, is looking to revive the stagnant scene by introducing a new series of legal mixtapes entitled, Lethal Squad Mixtapes. According to Billboard, the first volume of the series was released on July 13 to little fanfare. The mixtape, which was mixed by Washington, D.C.’s DJ Bear, featured songs by Kanye West and Fabolous but has only sold 5,800 copies. “How ironic,” DJ Drama told Billboard. “I guess they’ve realized just how important mixtapes are.”

“I’m excited to see them do something different,” says Thuy Ngo, Vice President at Irvine, Calif. music wholesaler Super D. “But it’s like they’re a day late and a dollar short. After the RIAA cracked down, all of us stopped carrying mixtapes.” The second edition in the Lethal Squad Mixtapes will be released in September, but according to one of the anonymous retailers Billboard interviewed, the idea isn’t likely to succeed. “It’s a good idea,” the retailer said. “But you need the underground credibility, and nobody knows the DJ on it.”

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