Got Rich Off a Mixtape…Got Rich Off a Mixtape

I was reading a Forbes article that was essentially explaining how 19 year old Mac Miller parlayed his mixtape success into wealth. They explained that this was due to the fact that by sacrificing his album sales, more fans were exposed to his music and as a result, his shows would sell out. While I understand that this is impressive because Mac Miller is 19 and has a good head on his shoulders, not to mention that he is very articulate for his age. However, he didn’t innovate this practice. That title goes to Lil’ Wayne:

When Lil’ Wayne introduced “Da Drought” mixtape in 2003, he made the mixtape mainstream. Before that, rappers were mainly making mixtapes for fun and to get their name out, while saving their good beats and lyrics for their studio album. Lil’ Wayne innovated the practice of taking whatever beat was currently popular and doing a freestyle on it. Because the quality of the beats and lyrics on his mixtapes were so good, it generated hype for his studio albums, “The Carter” series. So not only did his mixtape generate album sales, it generated sold out shows. In fact, you can track back his mainstream success to “Da Drought 3” mixtape. He killed every beat that was popular at the time, which made people anticipate “The Carter 3”, which he also did a good job on. Though Lil’ Wayne wasn’t the first to do it, he innovated the mixtape-to album-to sold out show strategy and it worked well. The more you know…

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