There are a few people who claim to have pioneered mixtapes including Jim Jones and 50 Cent. Mixtapes have undoubtedly evolved since their inception, though who re-invented their format is up for debate. Since the late 90s, it became a common practice for artists to take other people’s beats and freestyle over them, then deliver them as a free body of work. However, there are also the mixtapes that play out like albums, which Jim Jones claimed Dipset started during a recent appearance on the Flip Da Script podcast.
Jim said Dipset “started the mixtape movement” as they formatted each project as an album. Though G-Unit often gets their dues in this regard, Jones explained that 50 Cent and G-Unit were largely using other people’s beats to make their own projects. “We was using our mixtapes as albums to promote our real albums,” he explained, adding that it often gauged the interests of which singles would work for radio. “We put the Dipset mixtape out first before G-Unit put their mixtape out. Now go Google it.”
50 Cent Disagrees With Jim Jones
50 Cent finally chimed in on the conversation, though he appeared to find Jones’ take humorous. After The Hip-Hop Wolf shared the clip on their Instagram page, 50 Cent slid in the comments to offer his opinion. “He lying LOL,” he wrote along with several clapping emojis and a laughing emoji. Clearly, 50 Cent finds humor in Jones’ take, even if it discredits the contributions of G-Unit throughout their reign and the overall effect it had on hip-hop culture as a whole in the past two decades.
Though Jim might feel as though Dipset’s mixtape revolutionized the approach to marketing music, you can’t deny the power of 50 Cent’s mixtapes during the lead-up to his debut project, Get Rich Of Die Tryin’. “A lot of people don’t even know how different marketing and non-traditional marketing impacts the actual culture,” 50 explained in an old interview. “Before 50 Cent Is The Future was released, what they call a mixtape now didn’t exist. A mixtape prior to that was me sending 16 bars to you for your tape.” Do you think 50 Cent has a point? Sound off in the comments.