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Internet Roundup: Mixtape Meltdown

July 19, 2010

Image from cassettes @ Flickr

Maybe it’s just my ignorance on the topic, but it seems like there are a lot of neat free mixtapes from high profile artists hitting the internet. The past few weeks I’ve been listening to mixes from Big Boi, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Cee Lo. Each mix is a free download, so there’s really nothing to complain about for any of them, but each works best in its own setting.

After the jump of course….

First up is Cee Lo Green, soul machine! You likely know him from Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley, but he has a new album out soon and a free “mixtape” called Stray Bullets that works more like an full on album than a freewheeling, ramshackle production blend one typically hears in mixtapes. Cee Lo and producer The Grey Area stick to the off-kilter soul, embedding a good chunk of the music in this midcentury lounge exotica one might expect to hear at Glenn Quagmire’s house or in the final third of The Archandroid. Luckily Cee Lo has the pipes to make the whole package legit and uniquely Cee Lo. The standout tracks include the bombastic robot rock of “Goldschlager,” the red-hot funk of “Sophistic@ted B!$ch,” and the incredibly silly “Cho Cha The Cat” which brings together Cee-Lo with the B-52s in an ATL-meets-ATHens number that recalls the B’s “Quiche Lorraine.” It’s a great listen, but much like The Love Below other than “Hey Ya,” it’s not much of a party record. I love Cee Lo and his awesome singing. You can download Stray Bullets from Silence Is A Rhythm Too.

Speaking of Outkast and the Dungeon Family, Big Boi also has a mixtape out with the Coalitions DJs X-Rated and Esco to promote his latest record Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son Of Chico Dusty. The mix, titled Mix Tape for Dummies: Guide to Global Greatness. The mix blends together cuts from Outkast’s five albums, Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon group, and some of Mr. Patton’s solo material. If you have a friend who would like an intro to Outkast, there are worse ways to go, plus this is free. Sometimes mixtapes get some cool freestyles or mixes that set them apart from the more official albums. Here you get a remix of “B.O.B.” and a subtle mashup of “Kryptonite” with Usher’s “OMG.” It’s a nice surprise partway into the album. You can download the mix from Big Boi’s website here. Props to The Awl for turning me on to it.

Finally, let’s depart Atlanta for Philadephia and Cleveland. DJ Jazzy Jeff and Mick Boogie have an extravagant mix up for download just in time for summer. It’s called Summertime: The Mixtape. Jazz and Boogie cram 48 songs into an hour long mix. The centerpiece here is obvious: a tricked out remix of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime.” That’s the thing with Jeff Townes, he stays true to his party hip-hop roots, but he’s probably one of the best producers, pop or underground, in Philly. And Boogie is no slouch either. His mixography demonstrates an eclectic taste that makes him one of the rising hip-hop stars of Ohio. I have to back that Midwest talent! The music keeps to the themes of summer and is incredibly cohesive on that tip, though some of the transitions can be jarring if you are bumping the mix in the car. This is one to put on for your backyard barbecue! Pigeons and Planes has the mix hookup for you.

All of these mixes are great in their own way and come from top talent, plus they are free. What are you still doing here?!

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