The best things in life are free.
Or so the saying goes. It's also the core concept behind the mixtape, best known as a cornerstone of the hip hop genre. It launches titans – think Kendrick, think Drake, think Wayne – and in the internet age, the tradition has blossomed into a breeding ground for talent across many genre lines. We listen to these all the time, all year long, and here are our 14 favorites of the last twelve months:
01 Suki Girlz: Suki Girlz [DL]
02 Jon Connor: The Late Registration of a College Dropout Who Had a Dark Twisted Fantasy of 808s and Heartbreak
03 Dean Blunt: Skin Fade [DL]
04 Vince Staples: Shyne Coldchain II
05 Lotic: Damsel In Distress [DL]
06 Mick Jenkins: The Water[s]
07 Jeremih: N.O.M.A.
08 Mac Miller: Faces
09 De La Soul: Smell the Da.I.S.Y. [DL]
10 Migos: No Label II
11 Rome Fortune: Small VVorld
12 King Louie: Tony
13 Childish Gambno: STN MTN
14 Lil B: Hoop Life