Over at XXL’s Scratch Blog they have an interesting little piece called “10 Reasons Why Producers Should Avoid Contributing To Mixtapes“. I’d say this goes for artists putting out mixtapes as well.
1) Unless it’s an artist with a ridiculous buzz, nobody really benefits from mixtapes more than the actual DJs themselves. If you really want to see your dollars double, put the mixtapes out yourself and promote whatever services you are offering through them- studio time, engineering, beats, cd duplication, hosting, printing.
2) There is no publishing on mixtapes. Publishing is how a songwriter or producer sustains his/her career.
3) Mixtapes have the shelf life of two weeks. Is your music only good enough to be listened to for two weeks?
4) If you produce a song for a major label artist and they want to release it on a mixtape, chances are they won’t want to release in on their official album because the “streets” already have it. That’s another piece of work you won’t get paid for.
5) The bigger your producer mixtape buzz gets, the more broke starving artists will start reaching out to you asking for free beats. The more meet and greet time you have to devote to these losers, the less time you have to actually work on music and shop tracks to people who actually have money.
6) It’s hard to get any type of paperwork done on a joint you produce for a mixtape. So in the rare case where the song blows up on radio, it’s hard to backtrack and make sure you get what you’re owed.
7) A lot of artists and DJs don’t keep track of who produced what. The song may be sitting on a hard drive for a year before it makes it on a mixtape. By that time, they can’t remember. They just slap anyone’s name on your work and put it out there, a sign of total disrespect.
8) Like all music, mixtapes have gone digital. Who looks at credits anymore? A producer can’t be promoted via the mixtape if nobody actually looks at the tracklisting.
9) So many rappers say the producer’s name at the beginning of songs that people don’t even pay attention anymore, making that form of promotion null and void.
10) Let’s face it, what person with a checkbook actually gives a fuck about mixtapes anymore?
The mixtape game is done. The time for those came and went. It was good while it lasted but now-a-days…who really gives a shit about MC Getbusy’s new mixtape “I Got That Crack Fam Vol. 10” dropping next week? If you’re a new artist trying to get your material heard, mixtapes in 2008 is definitely NOT the way to go! Sell them and you’re even worse off. People are downloading everyone from U2 and Jay-Z to Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden, think out of the kindness of their hearts they’ll pay for your material? Pfft. I’ll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge if you believe that.