, ,

Mixtape, Inc. DVD [review]

I don't know if you guys remember, but I spoke on this briefly this past May. Seeing as I am as passionate about Hip-Hop and mixtapes as many of you guys, I'm surprised more heads haven't picked up on this DVD. It's got some great material in it, even if it is a bit flawed. At the end of the day, though, Mixtape, Inc. delivers.

It started out kind of confusing - I wasn't sure what to expect, honestly. The production on the documentary, from the titles to the graphics to the music is done very well. I won't say it's a polished turd, but to be fair, some of the segments don't seem to gel. It jumped from speaking on the Berry's Music case, where a white man in Indiana ran a shop that sold crazy mixtapes and got raided as a bootlegger, which is a perfect example of how distorted the image of how outsiders view this mixtape thing. I love it, and appreciated the history of the mixtape that was given, although it did tend to run on a bit too much for me. The extended time spent with Kay Slay was very nice - it let those who might just know his "Smack Your Favorite DJ" claims and not really know how long he has been involved in Hip-Hop that dude really is a don of this. The segue into "mixtape CDs" is a nice touch, but then it kind of gets jumbled.

One thing I didn't like was, aside from some of the bonafide classics, even with the fact that guys like Kanye West and Green Lantern were interviewed, there was no real discussion in terms of the BEEF that gets spread over mixtapes. If Public Enemy was the "Black CNN" for the late 80s, mixtapes ended up being the Blackle of Hip-Hop: it is a resource that helps you connect to different styles/sounds/areas of Hip-Hop that commercial radio doesn't bring you, and is pointed to where you can escape (most of) the bullshit out there. There was no real discussion on how the streets were kept in tune to the conflicts/burgeoning stars. We got a lot of heated words about the Industry eating off the mixtape grind (50 Cent is a big example), but you'd think they'd try to keep it the same throughout - we got to hear about the kinds of joints older cats would blend on tapes, but there was next to no real insight about the CONTENT of mixtapes. The POLITICS about mixtapes was definitely in tact, however.

The only other gripe I had was the narration by director Warren Bell. While he definitely had some decent setups and transitions, his overall tone seemed kind of sleepy. I'm guessing he didn't have time/gwap to get someone "known" to narrate, but it just seemed like he lacked real enthusiasm in the story he was portraying. I think one of the guys on the cover being the narrator would have turned a decent doc on a growing trend and hot-button topic in Hip-Hop into a pretty spectacular DVD. It's also a shame (and kind of ironic) that dude was making this doc before the DJ Drama/Don Cannon raid. Maybe we need a sequel? PLUS, I don't recall there being any DVD extras? And what about the consumer - it seems that we spoke to everyone BUT the consumer, the people who actually cop mixtapes, which kind of misses the whole spectrum of the mixtape scene...

If I were to grade this DVD, it'd get a B-. All of its shortcomings do not overpower the great interviews and the overall fact that dude attempted to write a concrete history on the mixtape. Does it deliver 100%? Nope. But like any great DVD, you'll keep coming back for the heat those niggas spit!

For more info on Mixtape, Inc., check out these sites:
MIXTAPE, Inc. (official website) : official trailer
Cop this DVD at the following sites: Amazon, Exclusive Hip Hop, CD Universe,
Rizoh's writeup on Mixtape, Inc. for About Rap

No comments: