In hip hop’s earliest days, the music only existed in live form, and the music was spread via tapes of parties and shows. Hip hop mixtapes first appeared in the mid-1970s in New york city, featuring artists such as Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaata. As more tapes became available, they began to be collected and traded by fans. In the mid-1980s, DJs, such as Brucie B, began recording their live music and selling their own mixtapes, which was soon followed by other DJs such as Kid Capri and Doo Wop. Ron G moved the mixtape forward in the early 1990s by blending R&B a cappellas with hip hop beats (known as “blends”). Blend tapes became increasingly popular by the mid-1990s, and fans increasingly looked for exclusive tracks and freestyles on the tapes. Also since the 1990s, it describes releases used to promote one or more new artists, or as a pre-release by more established artists to promote upcoming “official” albums.
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