Mixtape Shmixtape

Wherein we review Yay Area mixes of the day

It's been an active year in the Bay Area for mixtapes, those fantastic promotional CDs presented by hip-hop DJs, artists, and labels as uncensored, experimental calling cards for their careers. Below are some especially choice selections.

Featured pick:

Mike Relm

Radio Fryer


Relm wins over even casual DJ culture appreciators with his audio-visual performances, where the images are mixed as cleverly as the beats; his DVD Suit Yourself is a great example of this skill. Radio Fryer has no visual component, but it's not necessary. From the clever hip-hop tribute to composer/former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman to the concluding suite of Joy Division-inspired mash-ups, Relm proves himself a voracious, open-minded music fan. The coolest feature of Radio Fryer, though, is that it contains a bonus CD with the same material. How thoughtful to anticipate that fans might want to burn a second copy for a friend.

Also recommended:

DJ Juice

The Bay Area Mixtape Vol. 4, Hosted by Money B


Digital Underground's inimitable Money B hosts this smooth blend of recent Yay Area favorites from the nationally recognized DJ Juice. Juice's guest contributes a couple exclusives here — including an ultra-raunchy update of a DU classic in "Freaks of the Industry II." It's a song both deliciously quote-worthy and inappropriate to cite in a family newspaper. Juice's next volumes will be hosted by Jacka and Too $hort, respectively.

Danny Dee

The Bay: We Fresh, Hosted By Dem Hoodstarz


An active mixtape and club DJ behind the Street Heat and Bay Area Wastelandseries, this may be an older offering for hard-core local hip-hop followers, but it stands as a great entry point for those curious about the hyphy sound.

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