There was a time when the best place to hear new music was Hot 97, when the sound of bombs going off would signal a song debuting across the city. But if anyone wanted those songs for themselves, they'd have to buy a whole damn album or sit around and wait until it came on the radio again. Yes, these were dark days indeed.
Until knights in shiny faux-velour Coogi sweats rode in to save the day. They were called mixtape DJs, and they offered collections of hard-to-find songs and mixes. They were awesome humanitarians snubbed from Nobel consideration due to dirty politics. But the Internet, like it tends to do to great things, basically killed that whole operation. Now, the iPod has made the mixtape an endlessly personal idea, blogs have songs the minute they're released, and Funkmaster Flex and DJ Clue are fighting like starving hyenas over scraps for the chance to "debut" a song on live radio.
Some DJs, though, still have enough restraint to hold on to a few gems long enough and turn them into a full-on compilation of quality unreleased music. Mick Boogie is one of the best of the remaining traditional mixtape DJs, and his latest, Represent The Stripes, is a hip-hop ode to the U.S. Olympic team. I'm not quite sure exactly how the collection as a whole ties into the Olympics, but if Mick Boogie says it does, then it does. Here are the songs that would best go along with cheering on the country's pole-vaulters and handballers.More »