Some people judge the passage of time by the rotations of the earth. Others feel change in the seasons. And then there's a select few that use rap mixtapes as their temporal benchmarks. Apparently, NPR is one of the latter, presenting an outstanding Decade in Rap Mixtapes, from Gucci Mane to Lil Wayne. It's hard to imagine a time without digital mixtapes, or MP3 mashups, but NPR lays it out for us:
Rappers began to take matters into their own hands, working directly with DJs to create artist-specific tapes of original material. As the format shifted to a digital medium, the “mixtape” became shorthand for releases that were neither mixed nor tapes. These days, mixtape DJs rarely blend or scratch on their tapes, and instead play more of a host's role — which usually entails them shouting the artist's name loudly or overdubbing the sound of explosions. Distributed through semi-official means — such as street-corner bootleggers and, later, shared MP3s — the artist-oriented mixtape has just about fully supplanted the album as the definitive full-length form in hip-hop
After the jump we have some miscellaneous MP3 mixtapes that have crossed West Coast Sound's digital desktop.
Here's our MP3 Mixtape Dump:
Gucci Mane as curated by Diplo:
From Fool's Gold Rec's: “Telephoned is DJ/producer Sammy Bananas and songstress Maggie Horn and their re-envisioned versions of popular R&B jams.”