Andrew Romelle Young, know primarily by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer, record executive and actor. He is the current CEO and founder of Aftermath Entertainment and former co-owner of Death Row Records, having produced albums for and also oversees the careers of many rappers signed to these labels, including Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, and Eminem. Dr. Dre mixtapes directly affected his rise to fame, and assisted in popularizing West Cost G-funk, which would have never been possible before.
In hip hop's early days, the music only existed in live form. Consequently, the music was forced to be spread via live tapes of these shows and parties. Collected and traded by fans, and popularized with mixtape downloads and mixtape torrents online, these tapes became the exclusive way to get the latest tracks and freestyles of an artist by the mid-1990's.
Rap mixtapes have played a key role in supplementing the promotions and marketing endeavors of record companies, and are employed by major transactions with the full support of their labels. Hip hop mixtapes are most often given out live shows, sold on the street, or because independent dealers and mail order. It is no surprise that Dr. Dre mixtapes are numerous on the market today, and include exclusives, rarities, freestyles, and remixes all on one CD.
A few of the most popular Dr. Dre mixtapes are The Pretox, Mick Boogie, Aftermath Exclusive and DJ Exclusive, The Chronicles of Dr. Dre and The West is Back. Although these rap tapes often have much lower production value than a studio album, they are still just as popular. These compilations provided that creativity can be achieved outside of the studio.
Mixtapes exists, and will continue to exist, where the access to popular music is added with the convenient methods of recording homemade creations. They enable an artist like Dr. Dre. to show the world their vast and widespread talents. Fans will always have plenty of new and never before heard hip hop beats to keep them entertained, as long as Dr. Dre mixtapes continue to be released.