The Recent History Of Mixtape Trolling

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Before I get 400 comments about the DatPiff.com facebook page and all of the crappy music 9 out of 10 times associated with it, I am not referring to those kinds of mixtapes. I am referring to the pieces of work that have come out and blown the mind of the public and sparked careers. As a young rap fan, and as a moderator and blogger here on the site, it is basically my job to troll for music on the regular.

Inevitably three of those dudes came up through internet mixtapes. Being a music troll has its advantages, like finding amazing free albums all over the internet. When I found Childish Gambino’s Culdesac I was just about as mind-blown as Terry Crews was in that Old Spice commercial. Before this moment of my life I had not dabbled with downloading these “mixtapes”. It seems kind of shady to me, I felt like mixtape is associated with some random dude on the street handing you something that he says is good, but will probably suck. Of course I had listened to So Far Gone and (somewhat regrettably) Kush and OJ but I figured these were not to be taken seriously. I was wrong obviously. It opened my mind to think different about music. I had the notion in my head that if it was good than I should have heard of it or paid for it. But good quality albums can be and are free all over the place.

The bottom line is that throughout these free albums, the rappers or crooners (see The Weeknd and Frank Ocean) are making a buzz doing new things. You have more than likely heard of both of those singers, and have searched them on frostwire if you are a noob, thinking that they have albums and have gotten strange results. But the quality of music and the times that we live in now in music where no artist just gets a deal and an album without having a successful internet album or mixtape first. Take Drizzy for example.

He made this masterpiece of a tape and started a movement. He stuck to an idea for the tape, of a trill, Houston kind of sound with influence from all over, but did not end up with a concept album. He had songs like Ignorant Shit which has an East Coast sound to songs like November 18th which is trillllllllllll and slow. This is high quality music that if you’re smart you paid nothing for.

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is a cliche that is all over music these days. Sure, some albums come out that are just have creativity all over the place like Lupe Fiasco’s masterpiece The Cool or Kendrick Lamar’s RG fam favorite Section.80. But that isn’t to say that downloading a mixtape by the aforementioned Frank Ocean, or XV for example who has been putting out free music since 2000, is any sort of drop-off by any means. Kendrick Lamar wasn’t always as much of a god as he is now, you have to start somewhere, nahmean? Listening to an artist as he grows creatively is amazing to experience. For example, Chiddy Bang in 2009 is vastly different from Chiddy Bang 2012 as everyone knows. Just as Kendrick Lamar on his most recent mixtape before Section.80, OD changed a lot in his production in particular. These mixtapes or free albums whatever you want to call them just have the element of experimentation that most paid albums just downright don’t have.

For my main example of someone on the come-up using this experimentation take a guy like Rockie Fresh. Some of you are like “Who the F is Rockie Fresh?”. Well I can tell you that this guy has been around since 2010 and has been creative in his music. He’s not like Tyler, the Creator creative, or Lupe creative, but within his own genre of rap he is experimenting a lot with different types of rhyme schemes and beats. Take this song for example.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19FYAyEgCW4 Did he really just sample Civil Twilight? This guy who has little buzz compared to some of the guys mentioned earlier in the post is sampling Civil Twilight? Most rap listeners would turn it off thinking they got to the wrong song. But when the beat drops lines like this flow out:

If I said it, I meant it; this ain’t just money talking
You would think that I ran a trap house, Macaulay Culkin
But I’m never home alone

It speaks for itself, that this line is pretty awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkL5VQogguQ This is the first song from his second mixtape above. It is completely free. Its hard to argue that this is impressive no matter what you paid for it. He creates this sort of concept song through his video, where the first verse is about his dreams and what he would like fame to be like. The second is what his life is like now, working in the studio working hard etc. and the third is what his life is like when hes not rapping. Which is the negatives of what happens when you get buzz, which is odd-nights with ecstasy popping bitches.

To exemplify how crooners or R&B artists are coming up as I mentioned before, listen to Frank Ocean or The Weeknd. Both of these dudes made it okay for Rap heads all around to listen to R&B. They did so by putting out some of the best music released all year. With Frank releasing Nostalgia/ultra and The Weeknd releasing THREE mixtapes in one year.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q762t2qun8 But after only one tape, Frank has a record deal with Def Jam.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VhciYFKdk8 And The Weeknd is in a crew with Drake. But realistically, what label would like to take on this guys talent? If a label were to ruin what this guy has created through his come-up I would slap the shit out of somebody.

The whole point of this post is to show to some listeners that mixtapes or free albums or whatever you want to call them are no slouch when it comes to quality of music. Maybe the next time some shady fuck trolls the Rap Genius facebook page with his music take a listen. These are people looking for people to just give them a chance. Music is the most trending cultural topic in the world on some real shit. If you like on song, tweet it, facebook it, do whatever as long as you download it because….fuck it, it’s free!