My Mixtapes

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Filet-o-Mix 09: Dedicated To The Struggle

01 2Pac - Me Against The World
03 Big L - Street Struck
04 Styles P - Listen
05 2Pac - Keep Ya Head Up
06 The Notorious B.I.G. - Miss U
07 2Pac - Changes
08 The Notorious B.I.G. - Everyday Struggle
09 Nappy Roots - Po' Folks
10 2Pac - Keep Ya Head Up (Ft. Ann Nesby)
11 Styles P - My Brother
12 Ja Rule  - So Much Pain (Ft. 2Pac)
14 2Pac - Dear Mama
15 The Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy
17 Dr. Dre - The Message

I've been making hip hop mixtapes since pressing the record button on my tape deck to catch some 2Pac on the radio. Ah, those were the days. I remember it like it was yesterday. Fast forward about 5 years. Now computers have CD burners and I'm downloading mp3's and turning out mixes for myself and friends (Remember Napster in its heyday and how good it was?). What am I getting at? Well now it's 2010 and downloading singles seems to be the most popular way that we consume music these days (No more satisfaction of sifting through the shitty tracks on an album just to find the few true gems). But seriously, don't you miss the mix CD's you used to share with friends? In my eyes, the mix CD is still king even though the compact disc is essentially a dead format. Why you may ask then do I care so much about making Filet-o-Mix CD's if I know that the format is dead? Several reasons:

1) It's about the nostalgia factor that a mixtape evokes (Who doesn't love a good throwback?)
2) It's about creating a memorable, replayable, and permanent body of work
3) It's about taking the listener on an hour long journey instead of a 4 minute one. It's about me being able to convey my thoughts and feelings to you through the songs I pick and the order I put them in.

I feel that the next generation of iPod shufflers will lose touch with this last concept because the album is becoming less and less important as the technology shifts to an all digital format. Thus, since we no longer consume albums like we used to because much of albums these days is just filler, I have decided to put together no-filler mixtapes to acomplish what the "album" can no longer do. I'm taking a personal stand to keep the mixtape format alive by bringing back the feel of the old fashioned CD burner mixtape...

 This picture defines an era to me

In honor of this concept, it's time to take you back to the good old days. Back to the time when I was just hitting my mixtape stride. It was 2004 in my senior year of high school when I decided to make my very first themed mix entitled "Dedicated To The Struggle", which I have put here on my hip hop blog for download six years later. This single mixtape essentially birthed the entire concept for my current series of "themed" Filet-o-Mixes (I have about 30 more in the works right now). This Filet-o-Mix might be #9 in the series, but it will always be the first one I ever created and the songs on it definitely stand the test of time (all classics). Now what's the mix about?

As you could probably guess, this mix is about the artists' hardships/struggles in life and the will it takes to overcome them with central themes such as death, drugs, violence, poverty, and other social issues. You don't have to personally relate to the content of these songs to appreciate their universal themes and the feelings they evoke. Songs like these are filled with emotion and wisdom and beg for you to question the deeper meaning of life. Ultimately, that's why I love hip hop so much and appreciate the artform as much as I do. Please listen to these songs with your whole mind, body, and soul. I guarantee you will see a different side of hip hop then the one you're used to. Keep good hip hop alive my headphone-homies and spread this gift of music on your social networks. You never know whose day it will make or life it will change...

Peace & Love,
Filet Of Sole

2Pac - "Keep Ya Head Up" --> This song is beyond classic


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