If you have read Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel, High Fidelity, chances are you already have an idea of what mixtapes are. Mixtapes are more popularly known as a CD or a cassette which contains songs from various artists compiled to fit a specific theme, genre, mood, or occasion. The most popular mixtapes are the OSTs or the Original Sound Tracks of films, and the party mixtapes which contain remixed popular songs that could now be classified as dance music. Unfortunately, though, many people make the mistake of interchanging mixtapes with compilation disks. While the two may be similar in some factors, there are various distinct characteristics that the mixtapes have over compilation disks.
First, it is important to establish the fact that mixtapes are created and classified under themes like mood, music genre, artist, and occasion. Mood mixtapes are mixtapes that contain songs that reflect a certain mood or feeling. Genre mixtapes, the most popular, like R&B mixtapes contain songs and music under one specific genre. Occasional mixtapes are mixtapes complied especially for a specific occasion like Wedding mixtapes and party mixtapes.
Mixtapes were first created as a backup plan for DJs and MCs to show off their musical mixing capabilities in times when there are not turn tables and electronic autotune devices around. Thus, the electronic party mixtapes were the first mixtapes to ever be created. It was, however, closely followed by the emergence of the popularity of hip hop mixed with electro music known as the ghetto electro music. For quite some time, mixtapes were mostly made for parties and for dance mixes solely, but after the 90’s, more and more mixtape types have emerged. After discovering how mixtapes are good ways to promote without spending too much on media coverage, many artists and labels decided to utilize it as one of the main mediums in introducing their artists new songs and building up audience hype. R&B mixtapes, Pop mixtapes, and Rock Mixtapes also started to gain popularity as newer artists started to jump into the bandwagon.
Compilation disks, on the other hand, are songs compiled in a CD or a cassette which do not have a general theme. Some of these compilation disks are Top 100 CDs and Best-Selling Hits. Unlike compilation disks, mixtapes are actually considered to be a new form of art among the youth. Hip-hop mixtapes and R&B mixtapes nowadays are so popular that even high school teenagers are able to create and release them online just for fun.
Creating mixtapes and listening to them have been a very important part of the life of teens for generations now. Not only do artists get to benefit from releasing their own hip-hop and R&B mixtapes to generate hype, but ordinary people are able to use them as a medium in expressing themselves and their feelings. But with the emergence of the popularity of electronic gadgets, there is always constant fear that mixtapes would be forgotten. Thanks to online labels and artists, though, there are now many online sites which release mixtape albums for free just for the sole goal of helping out new artists.