Guest Star: "The Mixtape Game Today Has Totally Changed"

Friday, Jul 1, 2011 2:00PM

Written by SOHH for Sha Stimuli

[After making headlines for dropping a new monthly mixtape in 2008, rapper Sha Stimuli speaks on the current state of underground projects and if he will ever do another 12-month run.]

The mixtape game today has totally changed because I notice more people anticipate the mixtape than [after] the actual mixtape['s final product]. People are like, "When's it dropping? When's it dropping?" And then when it drops, it gets about two days of light. There's two days of Twitter and re-tweets for people to blast it. And then all of a sudden, people are waiting for the next one.

With my Break-Up Part 2 [mixtape], I'm going really slow. I put out one video. I'm going to keep milking it and hopefully I can give it more longevity because I feel like it's timeless music. Nowadays you have people downloading mixtapes on your phone and it's more accessible. You can reach more people through the Internet but the shelf life is not as long.

Plus, the mixtape game is more of a set-up because I'll drop one and then someone will drop one after me and then we think, "OK, what's the next retail project?" We're trying to gain fans by giving them something free and putting out quality music. We want to let you know that we're appreciative of people listening and we know that there's a million rappers to choose from. I want them to know I put my time and money into this and hopefully you will become a fan and support something retail so when I'm ready to move on to the next stage in my career, if I need some money, donation or love, I can count on you.

That's what the mixtape has become. It's almost just like a part of a marketing tool. But it's got to be hot for people to pay attention.

I told myself last year that I was a fool. For anybody who asked me about dropping a mixtape once a month, I would say, "That was stupid, I don't know why I did it." But when I did it in 2008, Twitter wasn't what it was. I was putting it out on the website and hoping that it reached the world through Myspace. But now, I kind of know what to do. I would know to get a calendar, get an artist to do artwork each month and SOHH EXCLUSIVE, I'm about to do it again.

I think I want to do EP's though. That's my plan. One day, I was like, "You know what, I want to do 12 in 2012. Maybe seven or eight songs so it's not so scary to people." I know if I do 14, 15 tracks on a CD, people may not really listen to it if they don't love the artist. But if it's seven or eight, you might be like, "You know what, let me skim it and see." I want to come up with different topics.

I'm really thinking about doing it next year. I want to do it again.

Sha Stimuli is a New York rapper widely known for his mixtape releases, beginning with Let Me Show You The Way in 2002, which earned him a spot in The Source Magazine's Unsigned Hype section. Sha Stimuli is the younger brother of producer and rapper Lord Digga, through whom he was introduced to known Brooklyn rappers such as Notorious B.I.G and Masta Ace. In 2008, Sha made headlines for releasing 12 mixtapes in 12 months alongside DJ Victorious.

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