A mixtape (alternatively mix-tape or mix tape) is a compilation of music, typically from multiple sources, recorded onto a medium. With origins in the 1980s, the term normally describes a homemade compilation of music onto a cassette tape, CD, or digital playlist. The songs are either ordered sequentially or made into a continuous program by beatmatching the songs and creating seamless transitions at their beginnings and endings with fades or abrupt edits.[1] Essayist Geoffrey O’Brien described this definition of the mixtape as “perhaps the most widely practiced American art form”.[2][3]

In hip hop and R&B culture, a mixtape often describes a self-produced or independently released album issued free of charge to gain publicity or avoid possible copyright infringement. However, the term has been applied to a number of releases published for profit in the 2010s, and the line between a release billed as a mixtape and one referred to as a studio album or extended play has become increasingly blurred.

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