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A new book showcases the visual history of hip-hop mixtape art

A new book showcases the visual history of hip-hop mixtape art

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Hip-hop mixtapes have taken a few different forms over the years. First, they were actual cassettes, and were usually used by DJs as a kind of beat portfolio. Then, rappers began to spit bars over bootleg versions of other rappers' songs. Now, mixtapes can be all of those things, but in many cases the mixtape just replaces the full-length album as a collection of all new, original material. The only difference is mixtapes are usually free.

If you're an unknown rapper, or even if you're Gucci Mane, cover art is what sets your mixtape apart from the dozens of others uploaded to mixtape libraries like DatPiff each day. Now, Paris-based designer Michael Thorsby and visual artist Tobias Hansson have compiled a visual collection of mixtape art in a new coffee table book. The book, called Damn Son, Where Did You Find This?, features 500 mixtape covers from designers like KidEight, Mike Rev, and Skrilla on mixtapes from rappers like Meek Mill and Lil Wayne.

I can only hope PeeWee Longway's The Blue M&M is in there. You can see some images below and even more over at It's Nice That. The book is available now in a 400-copy, hand-numbered run.