High Bias Tapes – Sittin’ On Chrome

We at Rapmullet tend to focus a lot on the negative aspects of mixtapes. The pauses, the host that didn’t really host, the exclusive that is def not exclusive, the blend that sounds like two trains colliding in the night. Every ying has its yang; hence the balance of the mixtape universe remains intact. This time out I want to shed light on the good and point out a change in the mixtape matrix that is for the better.

The “Complete Artist Mixtape” is at the forefront of not only creativity but promotion. The complete artist mixtape is a mixtape that is hosted and features only that one artist and or those artists’ affiliates. The DJ mixes that artists’ exclusives, blends, drops and freestyles together to form a “complete mixtape”. No pauses, no metal on metal sounding MP3s, just straight skill and creativity that forms a cohesive promotional vehicle.

I’m going to highlight four DJs that drop complete artist mixtapes and take a look at the formulas used and the impact certain mixtapes had on music.

First up is DJ Green Lantern. If you don’t know the name well then you need to crawl out from under your Moms titie because you’ve been breast feeding too long. Take a look at a few releases with me. “The Champ Is Here” was probably everyone’s favorite mixtape a year and a half ago. Featured Jadakiss and had all the elements of a “complete” mixtape; blends, exclusives, freestyles and it was all mixed together. Big Mike was a part of this project too and did what he does best on the exclusive side. Also look at the Greens & Beans produced “Public Enemy #1” with Beanie Siegel. This is one of my personal favorites. All the elements of a “complete” mixtape are here again. Same goes for the Beastie Boys mixtape he did, classic mixtape through and through. We also know that his part for Rap Phenomenon 2 is along the same lines as the mixtapes above. Do you understand where this is going yet? Let’s continue.

Clinton Sparks is a promotional juggernaut in his own right. Mixtapes, radio, production, and parties, you name it and he probably promoted it. Mixtape wise the “complete mixtape” that stands out to me is “We Got It for Cheap 2”. This is a perfect example of a “complete” artist mixtape. If you don’t have this CD you need to get it and you will instantly become a Clipse fan. To me this is what a mixtape of this magnitude does; makes you an instant fan or renews interest in that artist. Right now for me personally I can’t decide if I like this CD better or the Hell Rell CD this year so far. Cop that Hell Rell joint too people.

Now bordering on the promotionally insane we have DJ Drama. Damn near every mixtape release is a “complete” artist mixtape. More so on the exclusive/freestyle side but non the less creative in the fact the he’s done these “complete” mixapes with the likes of: Stat Quo, Young Jezzy, Slim Thug, T.I., Bun B, Lil Wayne, Weebie, David Banner, Juvenile, Smitty and Rich Boy, to name a few. Is that enough people? What do all these mixtapes have in common? Promotion, promotion and even more promotion. You have to marvel at the track record and the effectiveness of his releases.

Last and certainly not least we come to the mid-west’s own Mick Boogie. This year alone he has taken the “compete mixtape” and owned it. Not only does he have the skill of a Green Lantern or Clinton Sparks, he has as of late had the consistency/frequency of a DJ Drama. Is it the best of both worlds? Who knows, but the CDs are fucking crazy. Let’s break it down going back to “Uncommon”. This is another CD for your collection hands down by the way. You have your classics, your live clips, your interludes, your Mick Boogie Remixes, your freestyles and some unreleased shit. What more DO you want? This whole mixtape highlights Common and at the same time provides lovely promotion for that album Common dropped at the time. Look at “Hustle and Snow” now. T.I. and Jeezy. It is the same formula different artists. Is this a plug and play formula? Hell no, you have to be creative enough to lay out the blue print for every release; blend for blend, exclusive for exclusive and so on. This is the reason I’m amped up to hear “The Owners Manual”. What is he going to do with Jim Jones and Dipset? This is that anticipation you should get when you see a new mixtape is out. If Mick Boogie keeps this up he will own 2005, mark my words. .

I think you get what a “compete artist mixtape” is. There are other DJs that do this and do it well so don’t think they aren’t recognized. I also think the artist’ themselves see these type of mixtapes as the best promotion or at least they see what can become of them. You don’t have to leak 10 songs to every DJ to get a buzz. Just a few with a couple freestyles and drops, then you let the DJ get creative with blends/remixes. Mixtape fans you are in the midst of a mixtape game changing of the guard. Just like when Clue made exclusives popular and the game changed forever, the “compete mixtape” will be in the forefront again as actual DJ skill and creativity usher in the mixtape re-evolution. Enjoy.