Ipod users and music aficionados can now get their share ofhip-hop mixtapes from iTunes Music Store. The public domainnow offers a legal alternative to mix tape swapping, and gives fansaccess to music that may otherwise be difficult to find andcollect.
“I’m excited about the mixtapesonline, because it’s expensive and hard to try to collectthem by word of mouth,” said Simon Fobi, 18, a self-describedmusic lover. “This makes music collecting a whole loteasier.”
The first mixtape, “Street OfficialMixtape, Vol. 1,” was released on November 2, and was free ofcharge to all users. If this venture is successful, it couldmake iTunes Music Store the largest distributor of promotionalmixtapes in the world. ITunes is already a major distributorof music, selling well over 100 million songs with plans to expandto Germany, France, and England.
Artists featured on the first volume includeKRS-One, Rascoe, Will.i.Am, Masta Ace, Planet Asia, and Encore.
An additional mixtape will be added featuringdifferent hip-hop artists every month, and the “Street OfficialMixtape” will be hosted by DJ “winta.”
This might be a great opportunity for theever-growing money machine that hip-hop has become, but some fansare not too happy about the wide accessibility of mixtapes.
“Hip hop is mainstream enough. Doing mixtapes is still kinda underground, and a lot of cats dependon it. It’s like a culture we want to hold onto,” said Michael Wilder, 19. “It’s justmaking rap music seem even more generic than we already think itis.”
The first volume of hip-hop mixtapes will beavailable for one month, and will be replaced on December 2 byvolume 2.