Are Mixtapes A Thing Of The Past?

If you are a music lover who has grown up in the 80s or 90s, then at some point in your young life, you’ve most likely made a mixtape. Are mixtapes a thing of the past? Well, the cassette tape – the medium used in making mixtapes – is making a resurgence. People who have been turned off by the hipster vibe of vinyl collecting and the coldness of digital media have turned once again to the simplicity of uncomplicatedness of cassettes tapes. Second-hand walkmans are being sold once still online, and the sale of cassette tapes is also making a resurgence.

But it’s probably a stretch to think that people will exchange their Spotify accounts to cassette recorders and OG boomboxes. And yes, maybe it’s time to accept, especially for those nostalgia junkies, that cassettes belong to the past already. But the essence of making mixtapes still live on. It has only taken on a new form. Now, you can create a digital playlist on Spotify and share it with friends or to that special someone. After all, the craft of making a mixtape mostly entails choosing the right songs and collecting them in one place. Thanks to modern technology, that task has become easy and convenient to do.

The mixtape had already experienced an evolution when CDs became the standard music medium back in the 90s. Instead of making mixtapes, people have started to create mix CDs. Who remembers buying blank CDs by the bulk only to burn your favorite songs in them through your computer? Mix CDs never became as famous or as iconic as mixtapes, but for the people who made them, they were individual items, a link to the past even. So for the real music junkies, the art of creating mixtapes has never really died. It just took on a new form.

Back in the 80s and 90s, people love making mixtapes. For them, it’s a way to express themselves and to communicate. If you can’t quite come up with the right words to say, you can just collect 10 to 20 songs that represent your feelings and thoughts and then record them in one cassette tape. Everything about the mixtape is a venue for self-expression. Hardcore mixtape makers even take time to create their own covers and spine art. And this is the part that is hard to replicate with Spotify. A playlist is just a playlist. It doesn’t really capture what a mixtape is.

Are mixtapes a thing of the past? Maybe it is. But people will always find ways of expressing their thoughts and feelings. And yes, if ever you can’t shake off the feeling of nostalgia, you can always go to Amazon or eBay to buy blank tapes and pens and markers to create a mixtape. You were given, of course, that you still have a running cassette recorder at home. But if you are ready to move on then join the rest of the populace in curating playlists for different occasions in Spotify.

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