It’s always exciting when your favorite artist drops their new album. You eagerly anticipate their newest work and listen to the entire album the day it comes out. Unless it’s Beyonce, and it’s a secret album that seems to come out of nowhere and takes everyone by surprise. But then, shortly after a new album drop, the same artist releases a mixtape. What exactly is the difference between an album and a mixtape? Streaming platforms like Spotify don’t necessarily make the distinction between the two, as mixtapes are usually categorized as albums. But there is a difference.
The distinction is important to know, especially when you yourself are an artist. When promoting your own music, you need to know when to drop your album and when to drop your mixtape. Although mixtapes and albums seem practically indistinguishable from each other, there are a few key differences. Here’s what you should know.
The idea of a mixtape continues to change over time, but essentially, a mixtape is a compilation of songs or remixes that artists release to their fans in between albums. Mixtapes are created to ease fans’ anxiety when the artist has taken time to produce a proper album. Typically, mixtapes’ main purpose is to create social buzz and are released to the public for free. Hip-hop giants like Drake, Chance the Rapper, and Wiz Khalifa have released mixtapes to promote themselves and their brand, as they are the main creators of their mixtapes. Mixtapes are a great way to express your creativity without being tied to an album.
We all know what albums are. They are substantial, expensive works of art that music artists and their crew have spent serious amounts of time and money producing. You can’t necessarily just throw out an album — it is your everything. The sense of free creativity that mixtapes have is not very much a part of the album production process. Albums do not have one sole creator; it takes a team of dedicated people to design a well-constructed album, as they are painstaking works of art.
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At En La Calle, we lay down tracks that tell the stories of what life is like here in Charm City. All of our artists bring something different to the table. We don’t follow any “formulas” to create our art. So, if you want to listen to some talented artists who keep it real, follow En La Calle. Check out our music here or search on iTunes for En La Calle Records and you’ll see why we’re different. To see more of what we’re up to and listen to more of our tracks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.