Hip-Hop Legends Go on the Record for New ‘Mixtape’ Documentary

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The 50th birthday celebration of hip-hop music and culture continues with the new Paramount+ documentary Mixtape, premiering Tuesday, Aug. 1.

According to the Paramount+ announcement:

“MIXTAPE is the story of hip hop refusing to take no for an answer. Before radio play, the internet, and social media, there were mixtapes. DJs were tastemakers, trendsetters and creators of the sound that became the biggest musical genre on the planet. The importance of mixtapes goes well beyond the tapes themselves. Mixtapes were a form of currency and a signifier that someone was “in the know” and had their ear to the streets. The culture was too strong to be stopped, and the artists were too talented to be ignored – so they turned the sub-culture into the mainstream, and made hip hop what it is today.”

“Hip-Hop is 50 years old and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate its journey and contextualize its evolution than through the story of the mixtape,” says Mixtape director Omar Acosta.

In a paradoxical twist, the mixtape trade was essential to the growth of hip-hop and gave record labels new artists with built-in audiences, yet the mixtape game was vilified by the recording industry for copyright infringement and piracy.

“The labels wouldn’t know what was coming next if it wasn’t for mixtapes,” DJ Drama told NPR. It’s the veins of the culture. Everything in hip-hop from ’95 to 2007 came from mixtapes.”

The documentary features appearances and interviews with 2 Chainz, A$AP Rocky, Dante Ross, DJ Bobbito, DJ Clue, DJ Drama, DJ Enuff, DJ Green Lantern, DJ Jazzy Joyce, DJ Kay Slay, DJ Khaled, DJ S&S, DJ Scratch, DJ Stretch Armstrong, DJ Whoo Kid, Doo Wop, Fabolous, Fat Joe, Funkmaster Flex, The Game, Grandmaster Caz, Jadakiss, James Cruz, Jeezy, Kid Capri, Kool DJ Red Alert, KRS-One, Lil Wayne, Mark Ronson, Mike Tyson, N.O.R.E., Ron G, Shaq, Tommy Hilfiger, Tony Touch, Trouble, Tuma Basa and more.

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July 2023

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