Coming fresh off the completion of his Cocainism Volume 2 mixtape, Raekwon recently shared his secrets to success in an over-populated mixtape circuit.
“The Chef” compared mixtape hustling to grinding in the streets.
“For me it’s like being on the street — you hustling,” he said about being active in the mixtape circuit. “You come out and you know it’s a thousand people on the block doing their thing. You gotta get in where you fit in. I might come out with a couple of extra jams just to get my name out — like, yo, give a couple of friends something for free, just to let ‘em know. ‘It’s over here. Taste that. Taste that! Taste that and let me know how you feel. Get back at me.’ I think that’s the same rules that apply to the mixtape situation. (MTV)
Fellow New York rapper Fabolous recently credited efforts by Drake and Lil Wayne for re-inspiring his mixtape grind.
“The Drake mixtape of course was a huge success,” Fab explained in an interview. “Lil Wayne’s tape generated a lot of interest. I saw Wayne and just listening to his tape gave me kinda the feeling that people still accepted the mixtapes and wanted to hear it. I guess it’s particular artists that they attach to but I had felt even with the most high-class artists, people were getting so used to getting free music that the mixtape game wasn’t that influential anymore. So when I seen what [Wayne’s] No Ceilings did, it let me see that there’s still definitely potential there, there’s still that market there. I think for me it’s definitely there because my albums tend to be a little more mainstream than my mixtapes.” (Real Talk NY)
Fab previously shared his issues with the over-population of mixtapes.
“That game is really saturated,” Fab said in an interview about the mixtapes. “I feel like you really have to do something special now, but there’s not really anything special you can do on a mixtape besides trying different things musically or with the way you distribute it…There’s nothing special to me about a mixtape now…There’s pretty much one coming out every five minutes. Right now, I think the dopest thing is to have a mixtape online–don’t even have a hard disc, because even that’s slowed down. When was the last time someone went somewhere and bought a hard copy of a mix CD? So maybe the next step is to release something digitally and tie it in with that.” (Hip Hop DX)
Earlier this year, Drake talked about his mixtape-making success.
“I think that when creating a mixtape, you have to approach it with a selfless mind-set,” Drake said in an interview. “A mixtape can’t be the songs that don’t make your album, or songs that aren’t good enough to make your album make your mixtape — unless you’re that good. There aren’t that many people that are that good. I’m not that good. That mixtape [So Far Gone] is me working my hardest. It wasn’t ‘Oh, here are the songs I’m gonna give away to you ’cause I have better songs coming.’ A mixtape has become an album.” (MTV)
Check out Fabolous speaking on mixtape grinding down below: