The history of rap cannot be told, without a strong focus on mixtapes. Originally compilations of existing songs, recorded and mixed by DJs on audiocassettes, they became over time real albums, distributed on the Internet, sometimes for free. A core component of the hip-hop culture since its very beginnings, they have been, sometimes, more impactful and higher quality than official albums. After relating the surprising journey of the rap mixtape, through its multiple changes, this book reviews a selection of 100 gems, released by well-established rappers like 50 Cent, Cam'Ron, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, or more recent ones like Future, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, Young Thug or Migos.
Reviews of books, dedicated to rap and hip-hop, or more generally to music.
Assessing a musical genre on moral criteria is sad; it is simplistic and narrow-minded. Most often, it means setting useless boundaries, spoiling one's pleasure, and, basically, missing the point. However, it is legitimate. Among so many other things, hip-hop is rich with lyrics, images and meanings. For better or, more frequently, for worse, in the US or elsewhere, it often intrudes into public debates, tearing apart those who consider it is a disaster, morally speaking, and the others.