Slow Down, Baby
Wednesday May 30th 2007,
Filed under: Not Your Average,Print Work
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Since the mixtape invasion that helped 50 Cent score a deal with Eminem (and subsequently move 11 million copies of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’), it seems that a little too much importance is being placed on grinding out multiple street CD’s before dropping your “official” album. Case in point – Papoose. Sure, releasing twenty or so mixtapes with Kay Slay might have helped him secure his “1.5 Million Dollar Man” status over at Jive, but there’s a fair chance that Pap’s already used-up most of his best ideas and punchlines already. It’s not just the new-jacks who are over-exposing themselves–even certified champs like Ghostface are approaching saturation point by releasing two albums and various mixes in 2006.

With rap CD sales taking a major fall over the last couple of years, it’s becoming tougher than ever to make a buck in the music game outside of constant touring and ring-tone sales. While the “Big 5” record labels and the RIAA will plead that mixtapes and downloading are killing the industry, it’s obvious to anyone without a serious chroming habit that the fans really just want good albums. Based on the last twelve months of hip-hop releases, I’d venture that a significant part of the problem is the random grab-bag of producers that get thrown together for any given project. While Illmatic demonstrated that a collection of separate but like-minded beat-smiths can deliver a classic, these days it’s more likely to result in a hit-and-miss compilation of tracks with a creatively burnt-out rapper over the top.

Although not everyone’s suited to recording with just one producer, it’s safe to say that most of your favourite records are the result of a single musical direction. Instead of arresting mixtape makers for doing exactly what the major labels have demanded (building a solid fanbase), it might be an idea to simply put their A&R department in check and get them to start putting some time into actually developing artists rather than rushing out half-assed LPs.

Originally published in Acclaim #6:

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12 Comments so far
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People still make mixtapes?

Comment by DF 05.30.07 @


Comment by turtle 05.30.07 @

thank you

Comment by richdirection 05.30.07 @

Dead on. One of the reasons Return of the Mac is the best thing I’ve heard all year is because its just Alchemist producing. To me, Its the one of the most unified sounding new york albums to come out in awhile.

Maybe thats why the south is so succesful. You know what a southern album will sound like. It won’t be a bunch of different producers trying to cover a combination of styles.

Comment by Pete 05.30.07 @

One thing that the media hasn’t spoken about yet is the death of the REAL mixtape!

Remember when DJ’s actually mixed two records together? Those were the days!

Some of us are still out there making them, but these wak ass MC mixtapes, PLEASE!!!

the recipe for a modern MC mixtape is as bland as it gets!

Muthaf*ckas need to stop pretending and admit they are lazy or wak and just make a real mixtape or real album.

This has been p*ssing me off for years. Surly the tide must turn and people will stop buying this crap.

As for Return of The Mac, it is surprisingly good, but at the same time, I have issues with several aspects on it. Mainly the use of blatant breaks that have been used many times before, and to far better effect.

Stuck on you is a killer track, but the Edwin Starr and Barry White breaks are used to very poor effect on that album. It’s a bit of sad state of affairs when we are desperatly hanging on to a record like Return of the Mac, because there simply isn’t much decent ish to compete with it.

Comment by Sheriff Rosco 05.31.07 @

Sure Hip Hop was much better when crews had their own producer (= their own sound) realeasing 15/20 tracks a year.

Comment by Trickykid 05.31.07 @

Return Of The Mac… to be honest he raps well on about two or three songs tops and the beats are like some rehashed wannabe Beatminerz shit. The best song from the whole project to me didn’t even make the album, “Raining Guns and Shanks,” look that up.

Comment by Tray 06.01.07 @

fact is that many of the ‘streetalbums’
are doper than the official releases.
listen to prodigy, styles, jada, busta,
and many more. for me most of the best
releases this year were on mixcd’s.

Comment by swordfish 06.01.07 @

the Progigy album i agree is mainly shitty..strange comment above about re-hashed Beatminerz its nothing like it.

Comment by P.M.ES 06.01.07 @

Sure Hip Hop was much better when crews had their own producer (= their own sound) realeasing 15/20 tracks a year.

Comment by Trickykid 05.31.07 @

I’ve been saying that shit for years. I’ve never got why everyone hails Illmatic as one of the dopest albums ever, to me it was ok, but had no real consistancy to it. Sure, at least half the tracks were dope, but imagine how much better that would have sounded if either Extra P or Premo produced the whole thing!

Imagine if Breakin Atoms was produced by a collection of other cas, would we still be discussing it today? I doubt it.

Comment by Downstroke 06.04.07 @

i think the beatminerz reference was about the samples Al used, as the minerz flipped a few of ’em back in ’93

Comment by Sheriff Rosco 06.06.07 @

Return of the Mac is my favorite album this year so far.. I got a weak spot for P and Alchemist delivered some great beats

but yea.. some tapes are better than albums nowadays.. Little Brother dropped some tapes that were better than their last album, Joe Budden dropped a classic with Mood Muzik 2.. you got dudes like Saigon & Papoose that use Scott Storch, Just Blaze & Havoc beats just for mixtapes

Comment by tecnyc 06.06.07 @

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