Mixtape Memories: A Dozen Classic Artist Mixtapes For Your Labor Day Weekend Listening Pleasure


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Sometimes I find some stuff on the Internet that’s so lit I can’t bring myself to share it with everyone. I might tell a few close homies about it, but otherwise, nah—it’s too good to tweet about. Well my dog DJ E-Feezy, who is the man behind one of the greatest mixtape Blogspots in history—RecogTheReal—started a Soundcloud page earlier this year, and holy shit he’s been loading it more and more every week with nothing but mixtape classics. Craziness! And they’re all available for free download, too. Plus I like how he’s formatted them to be one long stream, so you can just press play and let them ride without having mad individual tracks clog up your iTunes. So if you want individual gems, go peep our Twelve Jewelz series. But this here right here is for the true mixtape heads who want that full, uncut raw.

With so much material on E-Feezy’s page to enjoy—from compilation mixtapes to vintage NYC underground radio show recordings to instrumental butters—I thought it might be fun for our latest Mixtape Memories feature to sift through his stash and highlight a dozen classic artist mixtapes that you can enjoy this Labor Day Weekend. Some of these were compiled by DJs without the artist’s involvement, some were collaborative efforts, and some are “Best of” style. But one thing they all have in common is simple—fire. Read/stream/download below, and big shout to the homie DJ E-Feezy from RecogTheReal for his dedication to the culture!

1. DJ Mister Cee – The Best of Notorious B.I.G.

Mister Cee was a trendsetter when it came to doing “Best of” artist mixtapes, and he set off his series with the Best of Notorious B.I.G.. With only one album under his belt, it might have seemed a bit weird for Cee to be releasing a “Best of” Biggie tape, but thanks to his close connection with B.I.G., he loaded it up with mad features and unreleased joints, including an exclusive intro that featured the now famous “Biggie Smalls is the wickedest” verse over Casual’s “I Didn’t Mean To” instrumental. Nothing but early Biggie flavor here, from start to finish.

2. DJ Mister Cee – The Best of Method Man

After The Best of Biggie hit the streets, Cee followed up with more “Best of” tapes, including one featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s breakout star Method Man. The tape is loaded with solo hits and Wu classics, plus great features and collaborations with everyone from Boyz II Men to Redman to Capleton, and some dope radio freestyle sessions too. And after you take a trip back, go check out that new Method Man album The Meth Lab! Yup, he’s still doing it.

3. J-Love – Nas’ Finest

J-Love deserves plenty proppers for his artist mixtapes. Not only did he highlight rappers that real heads wanted to hear, but he always had mad unreleased and exclusive flavor on his joints. Case in point—Nas’ Finest Pt. 1. Man, this shit was crazy. “Life is Like a Dice Game,” “Understanding,” “True Dialect,” “Deja Vu”—dude had the illest Nas tracks on here. Plus, he mixed them in with all the classics like “Represent,” “Verbal Intercourse,” and “Back To The Grill,” to give us a full and complete, ultra-rewindable tape. Incredible.

4. DJ Self – LOX Family Pt. 2

Shout to Power 105’s DJ Self, who started way back in the day making mixtapes for the streets. His LOX Family tapes flooded the 914 and the rest of the boroughs when they dropped, feeding hungry fans who wanted more Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch music with lots of unreleased heat. I was excited to find that E-Feezy had Pt. 2 of Self’s LOX Family tape series on his page, because I hadn’t heard it in forever. Take a trip up to Yonkers this shit goes.

5. DJ Clue – Best of Fabolous Sport

Fab’s career was birthed under DJ Clue’s wing as an original Desert Storm artist. So it was only right that Clue pay homage to his budding career with a Best of Fabolous Sport tape for the streets to rock to. If you’re a Fab fan, you’ll love this early set of mixtape freestyles and collaborations. Nothing but Brooklyn bars, no bullshit.

6. DJ Roz – Big L: Harlem’s Finest

Okay, maybe I’m biased because DJ Roz is my boy and I helped him gather the music he used for this Big L mixtape. But honestly, if you’re a Big L fan, you gotta bang this shit. Roz did a dope job with it. I remember when I moved back to New York after this tape came out, it was in all the tape spots and Canal Street bootleg spots too. And I was calling Roz back in D.C. like, “Yo, your shit is everywhere!” Another fun memory I have of this tape is seeing DJ Kay Slay outside of Sony Studios before a session, and my boy Kam and I gave him a copy. Anyway, let this shit ride, it’s nothing but classic Big L songs and freestyles, one after another, mixed with perfection. Big up to E-Feezy for posting.

7. DJ Boogie Blind Presents Definitive D.I.T.C.

If you read my features here at NahRight, then you know I’m a major D.I.T.C. fan in general, and that I’ve been on an extreme kick of their music this past year in particular. So to follow up Roz’s Big L tape, let this awesome mix of D.I.T.C. joints rock, courtesy of The X-Ecutioners’ DJ Boogie Blind and featuring classics by Diamond D, Lord Finesse, Fat Joe, O.C., Showbiz and A.G., and of course the late great Big L.

8. J-Love – Ghostface Killah: Hidden Darts

If you loved Nas’ Finest, then J-Love’s first Hidden Darts tape was right up your alley too. Nothing but fire from Ghostface Killah, featuring a ridiculous amount of rarities. Listen for “The Connection” with Kool G Rap, the original version of “Flowers,” and unreleased gems like “Wise.” Actually, just start at the top with “Cobra Clutch” and let the whole shit rock. It’s too fucking good.

9. DJ Whoo Kid – 50 Cent & G-Unit: 50 Cent Is The Future

Mister Cee may have set the trend of “Best of” mixtapes, but G-Unit and DJ Whoo Kid started the trend of artists releasing their own mixtapes. 50 Cent Is The Future was groundbreaking in that it allowed 50 and his crew to put out their own tapes filled with nothing but in-house crack. They remade well-known radio songs with their own twist, spit venomous freestyles, and dropped dope-ass, original street bangers that couldn’t be heard anywhere else. This is the first of many, and it helped propel 50 and G-Unit into worldwide rap superstars. Like they say, you gotta get the streets first. And that they did.

10. Kanye West – Get Well Soon

Following Kanye’s near fatal car crash that left him with a wired jaw, he released his Get Well Soon mixtape, which highlighted the various production he had been doing inside and outside of the Roc-A-Fella camp, as well as new solo material. There are early versions of “Through The Wire” and “Jesus Walks” on here, plus unreleased shit that didn’t make it to The College Dropout like “My Way.” But aside from that, it’s just a great mix of Kanye’s classic early production, with songs by Jay Z, Nas, Scarface, 50 Cent, Cam’ron, Mos Def (excuse me, uh, Yasiin Bey), and more. Dude’s come a long way, huh?

11. DJ Green Lantern & Big Mike – Jadakiss: The Champ Is Here

When it comes to solo artist mixtapes, it really gets no better than the first volume of Jadakiss’ The Champ is Here series. Kiss teamed up with mixtape monsters of the moment—Green Lantern and Big Mike—and hit the streets with a shitload of freestyles and exclusives to rock. Truth be told, it was better than his debut! And lots of people might call it the best Jadakiss body of work ever! No matter how many times you’ve heard this tape, it never gets old. And if you’ve never heard it—go press play. Now.

12. DJ Vlad & Dirty Harry: Rap Phenomenon

Anyone remember this tape? Shit was crazy. Infinite props to DJ Vlad and Dirty Harry for constructing a one-of-a-kind listening experience for Biggie Smalls fans. Just let this shit rock—there’s mad blends and dope exclusives all over it. You won’t be disappointed, and it’s a great follow-up listen to Mister Cee’s tape if you’re still yearning for more B.I.G.

For more mixtape classics, visit DJ E-Feezy’s Soundcloud page HERE. Trust me, it’s a fucking mixtape goldmine!!!!!! Thank me later.

And for those who feel slighted by no Diplomats mixtapes on the list, never fear. They’re HERE. Got Mobb Deep for you, too. I’m sure E-Feezy has these and much more on the way as well, but these little bonus links—on top of his infinite Soundcloud stash and the dozen selected joints above—should hold you over just fine. Enjoy the holiday weekend!


Mixtape Memories with DJ Craig G (Summer ’95 Edition)
Mixtape Memories: 10 Classic DJ Clue Mixtapes Released in 1995
Mixtape Memories with DJ Doo Wop
Mixtape Memories with DJ Ron G
Mixtape Memories: 20 Classic LOX Mixtape Cuts
Mixtape Memories: 5 Classic JR Writer Freestyles
Mixtape Memories: 15 Classic Cam’ron Mixtape Cuts
Mixtape Memories with DJ SNS
Mixtape Memories: 20 Classic Nas Mixtape Cuts
Mixtape Memories with DJ Whoo Kid (Part 1)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Whoo Kid (Part 2)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Drama (Part 1)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Drama (Part 2)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Green Lantern (Part 1)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Green Lantern (Part 2)
Mixtape Memories with Tony Touch
Mixtape Memories: 10 Classic Biggie Smalls Mixtape Cuts
Mixtape Memories: 5 Classic Kanye West Freestyles
Mixtape Memories: 5 Classic Redman Freestyles


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2 Responses to “Mixtape Memories: A Dozen Classic Artist Mixtapes For Your Labor Day Weekend Listening Pleasure”

  1. DJ Dyvurse Says:

    could ya’ll do a Mixtape Memories with DJ Dirty Harry? Those Mixtape Memories articles were very inspiring to me and I’d love to see an article with him

  2. Brandan E Says:

    i just wanna say thank u very much to Stan & nahright for the bringing the spotlight to my blog & soundcloud page! it means alot for the love u shown me on this feature!!
    everybody is welcome to come by and get what u want, i do this for the mixtape culture i came up in!!
    the crazy thing is im no where near done!! i have plenty, plenty more to post!! the saga continues, it never stops!!

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