The mixtape game has always been a promotional tool for rappers, but a Brooklyn New York artist is planning to release 12 mixapes over the course of the next 12 months.
Rapper Sha Stimuli has undertaken the thorny task of producing the mixtape series as a way for him to speak to the Hip-Hop community, without coursing through typical corporate entities like radio and video outlets.
"Money isn't the goal, I can't say its buzz either because there's no guarantee I will get people talking," the Brooklyn rapper told AllHipHop.com.
"I'm still making music so I think it makes sense to release it. I really love music and who knows if the politics of this game will allow me to ever get what I deserve from it? So with these I'm in the driver's seat."
Recently, many rappers have adopted similar grassroots philosophies to control their destinies, as the music industry has radically changed with the rise of the digital era.
Examples include rappers like Lil Wayne, who has released an unusually high amount of mixtape material, including an EP that was available though iTunes.
The Clipse, a rap duo from Virginia, has offset major label woes and kept their stock high with the We Got It 4 Cheap series.
Like The Clipse, Stimuli has had a tumultuous musical career and the twenty-something artist recently obtained a release from Virgin Records, the first label he signed to in 2005.
In order to push his career along, he collaborated with DJ Victorious.
Now much of the music that hes recorded will flood its way onto the mixtape circuit, with the first being a composition inspired by HBOs The Wire, the show that talks about all facets of the impoverished life surrounding the illegal drug trade in Baltimore.
"For some people The Wire is like a Black version of The Sopranos, a form of entertainment that they can't relate to but makes for good drama. For others, it's a dose of reality that they experience everyday," he reasoned. "I wanted to speak to both of those groups with this mixtape. I know what it's like to have your back against the wall and my music is always a voice for people."
The Wire mixtape offers character-inspired original songs interspersed with clips from the popular program. As for the rest of the 12-part mixtape series, Sha Stimuli isnt quite sure what lies ahead.
"Who knows what else will inspire me this year? Just know that it's not part of some Pathmark super-marketing plan," he stated candidly. "I'm just tired of saying I'm the best on record, it's time to leak a bunch of shit and let the world decide."
The choice to release this amount of music in such a short time isnt preventing him from dropping an album and possibly signing with another major.
The rapper is also working on an independent album called Cinderella Man with producer J. Cardim and he is talking with some unnamed record labels to release Thee Emotion Picture, the album that was supposed to come out on Virgin.
"I started it and didn't finish so I'm doing all of this to build up for [the release of Thee Emotion Picture]," he said. "Album sales aren't what they were but there are still true Hip-Hop fans left so I promise to deliver that."Click here to download The Wire Mixtape.