It’s very common to see music artists releasing three mix tapes to every single studio album they put out. Are these artists making three times as much money for their mix tapes or are they just putting out the music for the consumer’s listening pleasures?
Once upon a time, the mix tape was the only avenue rappers had to get their music out to the masses aside from doing small gigs. Rappers would record a few songs on a cassette tape and local DJs would distribute them in clubs and sell them in the neighborhood.
Now, the mix tape scratches the surface of the music industry by giving consumers advanced and newly released tracks. Not only are DJs creating mix tape compilations for rappers, but you will also find R&B artists creating mix tapes to display their capabilities as well.
Mix tapes do not necessarily fatten artist’s pockets with dead presidents, but they do have an indirect impact. Since the consumer can download any mix tape or pick one up from our local bootlegger (ooops! I mean your local unofficial merchandise distributor) the artist doesn’t really see that money. However, if the rapper or artist has a quality mix tape, the buzz surrounding it will make people take notice and start requesting their talents, whether on the radio or in concert.
Outside of tools such as YouTube and MySpace, the mix tapes is another opportunity to display that you have the power to create a name and a brand for yourself with out the funding and support of a major record label, which forces labels to take notice.
Even though some artists who are signed to recording labels, they will still continue to put out mix tapes to give their fans an opportunity to listen to their new music even when they are still working on their next big album drop.
All in all, the mix tape doesn’t make your pockets burst at the seams, but it does generate a buzz that will create a following, which could potentially lead to the record contract of your dreams.
In addition to making an audience take notice to your music, the mix tape also gives new artists credibility and helps build their fan base early on.