What Is Hip-Hop’s Greatest Mixtape?
Tuesday August 18th 2009,
Filed under: Crates,Face Off,Features,Mix Tapes,Not Your Average,Tape Vaults,Vote Or Die
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And you thought figuring out rap’s greatest MC was tough? ‘Street Album’ style tapes like Mood Muzik 2 and The Champ Is Here will be dealt with next time…this is focusing on DJ tapes only.

The Contenders:

Kid Capri – 52 Beats

Every classic hip-hop break cut-up live? In one take? No wonder why Capri’s regarded as the king of the mixed tape.

Doo Wop – ’95 Live

Pioneered the concept of all-star MC intro features on tapes.

Tony Touch – 50 MC’s (Tape 50)

Expanded on Wop’s concept for the length of the whole tape.

Ron G – Blends 1

The blueprint for modern R&B.

Tony Touch – 5 Deadly Venoms of Brooklyn

So many styles, so much win. P.F. Cuttin, Tony Touch, Mister Cee, DJ Premier & Evil Dee form like Voltron to prove that Brooklyn keeps on taking it.

Mister Cee – Best of Biggie

Essential collection for the pre-internets era.

DJ Q-Bert – Pre-Skool Break Mix

The new school version of Capri’s 52 Beats.

DJ Vlad, Dirty Harry & DJ Green Lantern – Notorious B.I.G. & 2Pac: Rap Phenomenon [Special Edition]

Great example of creativity for the Pro-Tools era.

What Is Hip-Hop's Greatest Mixtape?

View Results

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73 Comments so far
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Kool Keith’s Space Tape needs to be on this list, lol

Comment by ADVENT 08.18.09 @

No snippets of what made these tape make the cut??

Comment by Beatlover 08.18.09 @

this is such an elitist site. it definitely should be a dj clue tape on this list

Comment by RIDALEN 08.18.09 @

^ Clue did his thing but I couldn’t decide on one stand-out tape from him.

Comment by Robbie 08.18.09 @


Comment by Legend 08.18.09 @

JOINT I DID BACK IN 97 WAS HARD “THE BLOW UP” viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=67231213&albumID=571541&imageID=44708815


Comment by nessnice 08.18.09 @

drakes new mixtapes gotta be up there

Comment by gschool 08.18.09 @

I’m going to sound horribly trainspotterish but the q-bert mixtape name is “pre school break mix” .. the demolition pumpkin mix is the bonus on that tape.

*adjusts notepad and glasses at same time*

gonna have to dig around and find the cassette of this!

Comment by wax 08.18.09 @

that “5 deadly venoms” tape was absolute fire. and the power cypha was dope as hell, too. too many good choices

Comment by WallySean 08.18.09 @

Why is every one sleeping on those Ron G. tapes?

Comment by williedynamite 08.18.09 @

can someone post download links to these?

Comment by DJReMike 08.18.09 @

Ron G’s early tapes were crazy. Mixes 1 thru 13, It’s On 1 + 2 etc. “Beat Kingdom” was Ron’s version of Capri’s 52 Beats, don’t sleep on that joint, so sick.

Comment by TOBES 08.18.09 @

DJ S&S – Niggaz Ain’t Nice Pt.2 1995- Biggie “Who Shot Ya” ODB – “Brooklyn Zoo” Pudgee ft. Biggie, Lord Tarik & Sadat X.. All these plus many more songs were on this CD.. And every song was new!!

Comment by The Stuy 08.18.09 @

52 Beats outta these.

Other than the Mood Musik (both of which are shit), Trap Or Die by Jeezy, Public Enemy # 1 by Beanie etc style street albums there’s also the best of..artist/unreleased joints mixtapes like J. Love’s ones for Slick Rick, Rakim, Ghostface, Mobb Deep etc and the DJ Drama southern counterparts for Bun B, 8Ball & MJG.

I’ve never heard that Q. Bert tape but is it in any way listenable?

Comment by MF 08.18.09 @

I voted to Ron G., he is my mixtape hero. A lot of ignorance, here… LOL.

So Doggtime, S&S, Lazy K, DJ Juice or PF Cuttin’ aren’t here, why?.

Comment by mberon 08.18.09 @

Dj Siginfy – Signifying Breaks one of the best thought out break tapes ever.

Most “mix tapes” in the last 6-7 years have been very uninspired, mp3s put in pro tools with uncompressed yelling over tracks.

Exclusive tracks does not mean skills.

what happened to actually being a DJ?

Anyone else remember making mixes on a Four-Track? Or being able to make a hot blend tape pressing record once on Side A and one more time on Side B?

I’m sorry J-Love mixes are almost impossible to listen to, there are creative ways to tag a song and annoying ways to tag. He takes the crown for annoying.

How are Drake mixes creative from the actual DJ stand point?

I don’t understand HipHop anymore


Comment by DJSMEEJ 08.18.09 @

50 MC’S
S&S & CRAIG G-Niggaz Don’t Give a fuck
Doo Wop-95 Live

Comment by 357 NYC 08.18.09 @

95 Live, end of discussion.

Comment by eskay 08.18.09 @

95 live and it’s not even close

Comment by ty from linden blvd 08.18.09 @

That Tony Touch-50 emcee trilogy was serious!!! This was a hard list to decide from,but I remember everbody losing their minds when those-EMCEE CYPHER JOINTS dropped by Tony.I thought that-Rap Phenomenon:B.I.G.was great,Mister Cee’s Tribute to B.I.G.-TIMELESS.But Tony managed to gather dam near every HOT emcee at that time,and many vets that had no album out at that time and they murdered the BEST INSTRUMENTALS-HANDS DOWN-IT’S TONY TOUCH.Respect to DOO WOP for-95 LIVE as well.

Comment by R.Jones 08.18.09 @

I voted for Best of Biggie… it was the first of its kind, and it actually really meant a lot at the time because nowadays ANYBODY can do a ‘best-of’. You were really on some elite shit back then if you were on enough joints to get a best-of mixtape.

Hate to say this… but ’95 Live is a lil’ bit overrated.

*collective gasp*

It’s a dope tape, no doubt, but most of that tape’s accolade comes from the intro with all the freestyles on it- nothing more, nothing less. After that, it’s the same songs that were on every other tape during early ’95.

Doo Wop’s best tape, IMO, was the Fall Flava ’94 joint. THAT was some serious shit.

Comment by DANJ! 08.18.09 @

This is like trying to name the greatest mc of all time.. 52 beats was so so, more hype than anything. Kid Capri messed up few times and said “oops” on the mixtape.. 5 deadly venoms was dope and Doo Wop and the Bounce Squad were dope as well. In my opinion, DJ Jayski from Jersey had the best mixtapes. Precise cuts, ill intros, select cuts.. Proper..

Comment by Edub 08.18.09 @

5 deadly venoms was dope

Comment by KQ 08.18.09 @

Voted for Tony Toca

Comment by keatso 08.18.09 @

DJ Clue – Spring Stick Up 96
DJ Clue – Show Me The Money 96
bad boy family mixtapes
Early DJ Juice who pioneered the incredible intros

Comment by ZEV 1 08.18.09 @

DJ Cash Money – “Old School Need to Learno” Plot 1
Ron G – Tape #1 (what I voted for out of these choices; he pioneered a whole genre!)
DJ Spinbad 80s tapes — both volumes 1 and 2
DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist – Product Placement & Brainfreeze
Paul Nice – Breaks For Days

BTW, what’s up with all these fruity dudes coming around here lately?

Comment by haroon 08.18.09 @

Word is bond on that Spinbad shoutout, those 80’s tapes were SERIOUS. I had to vote for Toca’s Tape 50, never heard a collection of emcees like that anywhere since.

Comment by J Smalls 08.18.09 @

I own two of those tapes (Q-Bert, Tony Touch) and they are both busted.

If one of your kind readers were to convert them into a format where they would be available to download, I would release my hostages and shit.

Comment by Bang 08.18.09 @

Kid Capri Old School Part 2 was more monumental to everyone around me than all of these.

I understand why 52 Beats would be there cause it shows more DJ skill than most. Especially because it’s live and I believe some of these tapes are multi-tracked. Nevertheless, I learned along time ago that very few people appreciate breaks being cut up anymore, which is unfortunate.

As far as your list, I voted for 50 MC’s; that was special.

Comment by Ausar 08.18.09 @

cool post, lovin’ them tapes! Any DJ ROB ONE (RIP)tape could hold its own all day on that list, so could Eddie Def’s Hemp Lords series. Also DJ Quest’s Mutation Mann and Pause Deck (ask Sinister if Quest is live; he knows), also DJ 2 Fresh’s Human 4-Track is one of the most overlooked of all time… Q-Bert is great, that Pre-School Mix is a classic, but definitely not the only master from out here (come to think about it 90’s Bay Area mixtapes from scratch DJs are probably more like a fucked up a genre all their own, not really mad or nothin just droppin some of my fave obscurities, good shit)

Comment by Smooth Triumph 08.18.09 @

50 Mcs was so dope I copped it on cassette and triple vinyl back then.
Smiff n Wessun at that time, over that LinQue beat!?

Comment by verge 08.18.09 @

cant go wrong with tony toca’s mixtapes..one of my favs was #43,a lotta funky fresh joints on that one

Comment by dj blendz 08.18.09 @

clue, birthday blizzard 96…shit had nothing but classics from front to back on it…whoo ha, motherless child, lil kim drugs, get money remix, big momma thing, on the real when mega 1st came home, lex coupes bemaz & benz etc etc etc…clue set the benchmark on HOT mixtapes…ron G mix 10 was MY SHIT though! The creator/bobby brown blend fkn classic… I gotta go with doo wop 95 live easy! shit was ahead of its time, just for the naughty by nature joint and the Mobb deep/NOYD joint over mic checka/how many MCs…there were a few Dream team dirty harry and Juice tapes you can squeeze up in there too…

Comment by QUNYC 08.19.09 @

i copped 5 deadly venoms at freaknic that year and still have it to this day.. Dirty Harry had some ill blends too..

Comment by tabauri 08.19.09 @

first time i’ve seen this question anywhere!!!! Gotta go with Mr. Cee’s Best of Biggie… you gotta remember, BIGGIE is on the intro kicking one of his most revered verses:
“Biggie Smalls is the illest, n!@@as think i’m p^$$y, i dare you to stick ya d!@k in this!!!!

Comment by jonnycat 08.19.09 @

Some good choices there. I was also a big fan of Double R & G-Bo The Pro tapes.

Comment by Mr Lawson 08.19.09 @

‘5 Deadly Venoms of Brooklyn’.

I have played that tape back to front way more than any other mix-tape.

It don’t get much fresher than that, covering all bases.

Comment by Mark 563 08.19.09 @

smh @ 2pacs & biggies in the lead

Comment by a-one 08.19.09 @

All of these tapes are dope but the 50 MC’s by Tony is the only one I still play on the regular and could never get tired of it.

Comment by ceedub 08.19.09 @

Voted for 5 deadly venoms. the PF Cuttin part is fire, and I learned a lot from it, DJ wise.
I really like the mixtapes by JR Ewing, a French DJ. He did ‘Queens Kings’ with fire tracks from Nas, Mobb Deep etc.

Comment by Hassle 08.19.09 @

Doo Wop!

Comment by Vincent 08.19.09 @

Ron G or Doo Wop for me

classic shit

Comment by AFFEX 08.19.09 @

That best of Biggie tape had great songs (some hard to find before the Interweb) and great blends and I listened to it heavily, but…Mister Cee almost ruined it with all the “Mister Cee and ya don’t stop” tags. Same with his best of Mobb Deep tape.

Comment by Scribe 08.19.09 @

Joe Budden Mood Muzik 2

Comment by Keenan 08.19.09 @

What happened to DJ Ivory’s hear no evil series?

Comment by Marc Davis 08.19.09 @

I’m curious as to why didn’t you include the other tapes on listed on that Ego Trip list?


Comment by Vincent 08.19.09 @

kid capri 1990 i cant member the name but it started with taste of chocolate intro. anything by roc raider.

Comment by mercilesz 08.19.09 @

Ayeyo! I read Bam and Herc used to make tapes of their park jams – those count? The tape I’ll never forget was my man Raj’s (ssup recka?!) cassette of the Hiero/Hobo battle – now that flipped some wigs!

None of those tapes ever made it to New Zealand as far as I know, I’d best abstain from voting..

Comment by Broke9207 08.19.09 @

DJ Clue is pretty much GARBAGE!!! Fuck these faggit ass DJ’s who YELL on their tapes and straight RUIN songs. Who needs that bullshit??? And I can’t believe that DJ Vlad shit is winning… must be a bunch of younger cats voting cuz obviously we all know shit like Doo Wop, Tony Touch, Qbert, Kid Capri, etc. are the best of the bunch.

Comment by Shaun D. aka Wicked 08.19.09 @

Ron G (Blendz 1) and Kid Capri (52 Beats)!!!

DJ Clue
Bad Boy Vol. 1 & 2 were also straight FIRE!!!!!

Comment by SoulBeats 08.19.09 @

Had to give it to Toca’s 50 MC’s….that barely edged out 95 Live though….

Comment by BIG D O 08.19.09 @

Dirty Harry’s Nas mix ‘Living Legend’ was very tight and in a similar vein to the Rap Phenomenon mixes.
Green Lantern used to drop some wicked CDs in the early 00s.
Voted Doo Wop though.

Comment by step one 08.19.09 @

DJ Clue- Springtime Stickup

Comment by DLP 08.19.09 @

All those tapes are gold but gotta go with Kid Capri ‘Old School 2’.

Comment by PR2 08.19.09 @

I went with Deadly Venoms got it on tape also. There is a lot in here that you are talking about and some are great also. Spinbad,Cash Money,JS1,Q Bert,Rob Swift and DJ Rev can all be up in here also. Tony Touch 50 is nice also. The Vlad one not so nice. Real DJ’s dont talk on there stuff also the music does the talking for them.

Comment by Jerry P 08.20.09 @

off the tope, definitely two of my all time favorites mixtapes, based on the “DJ” themselves and not “exclusives” or freestyles, are:

DJ Shame & DJ EQ-Wrecord FIendz
JS-1 & Spaindbad-Kold Kutz
also those other Mixmaster Mike ones are pretty bonkers

Comment by kevin beachqm 08.20.09 @

“None of those tapes ever made it to New Zealand as far as I know, I’d best abstain from voting..”

hell nah,we had all of these and then some in welli,and i know sirvere had all of them in aucks

shout outs to Dj J..U..ice….most incredbile scratch intros
also Kool Dj EQ and the vinyl reanimators

i think the dude missing from this list is J-Period.he took all the classic styles of the people on the list and updated it for the now…..my fave being ‘Best of the Roots’

Comment by mikki dee 08.21.09 @

No JR Ewing mixtapes?

Not even queens kingz?

Stop it son!

Comment by dan blanco 08.21.09 @

Gotta C/S with Ausar on that Kid Capri Old School Part 2 …… That joint was a monster.
Ron G # 8 & 11
DJ Juice # 19 & 24
Chill Will from the eastside # 4 & 5
DJ Fashion Birthday tape (He had all the hottest mixtape djs drop a mix on his tape, that was a good look)

Well, I voted for Live ’95

Comment by BlueHayze 08.21.09 @

For me personally, the most influential mixtapes are Cut Chemist’s “Rare Equations” and J-Rocc’s “Syndromes” mixes. Both are done really well, and exposed me to a world of old breaks.

Drake? Stop playing. Mood Muzik? x2.
Street Albums are way different than mixtapes, and shouldn’t be confused.

Comment by Mothra Jones 08.22.09 @

haroon and vincent thought of some classics.
i can think of doo wop- best of freestyle sessions volume 1 off the top of my head.

best mixtape part 2?

Comment by done 08.22.09 @

I agree with DanJ about 95 live being overrated, and for the same exact reason he gives.

Also, co-sign on who ever nominated Double R and G-Bo. You can get the whole series box set off G-Bo’s Myspace page, btw. Agent 106 The Black Jedi killed every one of his intros.

Tony Touch, Power Cypha gets my vote from the choices here. Nine killed that shit.

My personal favorite though would have to be Unknown and Mekalek “Ain’t No Love.”

Comment by digglahhh 08.23.09 @

You got to throw some Double R & G Bo the Pro on that list.

Comment by Stylez 08.25.09 @

I’m gonna skip the vote as well, not having heard the doo wop but having heard a lot about it.

The q-bert tape was the first tape I actually bought, when it first came out. My top choice would be Eddie Def’s first Hemp Lords tape, also the first Roc Raida joint and any of those early Rob Swift tapes (although they sounded particularly terrible), I’d include one of the old Mix Master Mike tapes but they’re all so similar I have to mark them down.

That Signify tape is a great pick too, along with Mr. Dibbs’ Turntable Scientifics in a similar vein. That Cash Money comeback tape too along with Z-Trip’s B-Boy Breaks vol. 3.

Also Roc Raida’s new version of 52 Beats is great.

Comment by B.C. Thunderthud 08.25.09 @

95 Live …. Because you got mixtape pre 95 live and post 95.. just on the impact on the culture that tape change the game completely … list was tight minust the last two …if you going to include q-bert need to put up any of the dj neil armstrong tape with the breaks… as far as the dj vlad dirty harry and green latern i admit dope but not the dopest mix,i gotta give it up to S&S OldSchool Pt 1 (1994) I actually debated with S&S one night how dope it was he said his equipment was fucked up and it sounded shitty and he like PT 2 better but overall song arraingement and placement I picked PT 1…and oh yeah Ron G king of blends

Comment by CashRlue 08.26.09 @

Doo Wop had an ill old school tape two..old joints with new freestlyes from the bounce squad. how bout some Snagglepuss joints!!

Comment by 357 NYC 08.26.09 @

tony touch 50 mcs. CLASSICO

Comment by upset the setup 08.29.09 @

I’d have to go with Doo Wop 95 Live just for KRS One’s “Ah Yeah”.

HOWEVER, there’s one tape that hasn’t been mentioned yet that is the granddaddy of all mixtapes.

Christmas Rappers Convention 1981. That’s the tape where Kool Moe Dee dissed Busy B. Yeah, I know its not a “mixtape” per se, but back in the day that tape circulated throughout the 5 boroughs.

There’s alot of old school shows that got circulated back before rappers had albums.

Cold Crush vs Fantastic (1982/3)
Cold Crush – Harlem World 1982
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 4 – Live at the Audobon (1978)

Otherwise, I’d say the Green Lantern Notorious BIG Rap Phenomenon CD comes in second behind Doo Wop’s 95 Live.

Comment by 5 Grand 08.29.09 @


Comment by donaleski 11.08.09 @

Can’t decide. I love all the clue joints from around ’95 to 97′, ’98. The Doo Wop sh!t 95 Live was beast. So were the 50 mc’s joints. I f?ck with anything that showcased early to late 90’s hip hop. The best era of rap music if you ask me.

Comment by Bills 05.17.10 @

naw yall tripping DJ Clue Show me the Money 1 and 2 or Clumanatti i guess who you liked Im a Firm LOX Dude

Comment by James asutin 09.05.10 @

hey hit up if you got that old school Ron G back in 89 or 90 been looking for it for ever.

Comment by bryant 01.31.11 @

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