Mixtape Releases: Making the Best of Yours-TheEducatedRapper.com
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1) Always refer to your project as a ‘mixtape.’ One word, no spaces. Mixtape is a noun and means “a compilation of songs recorded in a specific order.”
2) Know your target. A mixtape is a very personal thing;.
3) Have some knowledge of music. If your music taste is “whatever is on the radio” then you probably should not be making a mixtape. Seriously, nobody wants a mixtape full of top 40 hits. If you add Justin Bieber or The Black Eyed Peas to your mixtape you will impress nobody.
4) Select a theme. Mixtapes should always be themed. You want there to be fluidity and cohesion – not just a random collection of songs. Using a theme throughout will unify the entire mixtape and make it feel so much more special then a selection of singles. Themes don’t necessarily have to be complex. “A few of my favorite songs” is a theme that is basic, but will work. Usually themes relate to lyrics or song-titles. A mixtape could be comprised of songs that have the word “girl” in the title. Or songs about summertime. Another option is the genre mixtape, where all tracks are similar genres. The possibilities are endless.
5) Drafts. John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity said, “To me, making a tape is like writing a letter – there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again.” And this is very true. You will not get it right first go. We have the luxury of dragging and reordering music in iTunes, so try a few different combinations before you select the “Burn Disc” button.
6) Start and end with a bang. The first and last tracks are arguably the most important on your mixtape. The first sets everything up, and either draws your listener into your meticulously crafted world, or slams the door in their face. So start with a track you know they will love. up your whole selection of songs and leaves the listener with a final impression.
7) When in doubt, keep it short. There is nothing worse than a mixtape that overstays its welcome. You do not want to cram in tracks just to meet the 80-minute time limit on a CD.
8) The rule of remixing artists beats. This has always been a very tough and controversial rule – whether or not to rmixing artists on a mixtape. .
9) Mix it up. Despite what I said about not wanting a random selection of songs, it is no good making a mixtape of completely similar tracks. There needs to be some variety.
10) Always aim over your head. Giving a mixtape is all about creating an image of how musically educated you are. So try and make yourself seem more knowledgeable than you are.
11) Name your mixtape well. You should always name your mixtape. Even if it is just “So-and-so’s Mixtape Vol. 1” – it adds a personal touch to it.
12) Create custom cover art. Think of this: “I was up until 3 a.m. finishing this for you.” You want to give the impression that this mixtape took hours and hours of concentration and hard work, even if it didn’t.
14) Ask for feedback. It is good to know what the person thought of yourmixtape. It’s important to find out which songs they loved, and which songs they hated.
Written by Jamaal “Duane Banx Int’l” Williams
March 13/2015 Copyright BlackTie Musiq Group LLC
@DUANEBANX on Twitter