We’re bringing back the mix tape

My sharing of my cosmic mixes has been well documented on this blog. The last few weeks, I extended the circle a little further, I sent out my second batch of mixes to some Jezzies. It was a really big moment. I’m so excited to share this music with my homegirls.

You better know a jezzie.

You better know a jezzie.

After the jump, some great mix stories and some KILLER joints from White Girls Rap 1. Because we’re bringing the mix tape back , yo!

You reap what you sow

The first time I offered music on Jezebel, I got a wonderful response from GreenEyedFem:

Um, hi. *small wave* I’d like a copy of the CD you were just so happy about. Or just the playlist, if you don’t want to send a CD to someone you’ve never met before. That’d be lovely, too.

So I sent a mix to her and a new jezzie bff, Valkyrie607. Fast forward to last Monday, I open the mailbox and there’s a reciprocal mix tape from GreenEyedFem. And oh my goodness! I haven’t enjoyed a mix tape so much, well, so much since the last mix tape I received, back in 1995. (Which was actually still a tape!)



The art of the mix tape

A playlist is not a mixtape. But a mixtape can be an excellent playlist. It’s not a matter of putting a bunch of music files in a folder and then listening. There is a science to putting the mix tape together. John Cusack said it well in High Fidelity:

To me, making a tape is like writing a letter. There’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with “Got to Get You Off My Mind,” but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs and…oh, there are loads of rules.

I have tons of rules for my mixes. I do edit and refine a mix tape over a few days. Some songs get annoying quick and have to go, other songs my need to be added. I like to build to a slow roar by song four. I put slower songs on for a cool down and/or to cleanse the palate. I always make sure to put a few classics in, those young’uns need to know the source material. Plus the classics totally stand the test of time. I always close with a prayer. I think of it as a musical benediction, a blessing as we close. Here’s the song that closes Bonita’s Back.


There is some KILLER high quality music on Green Eyed Fem’s mixes. White Girls Rap 1 features Northern State, Princess Superstar, God-Dess and She, and Diam but I’m not gonna lie, it’s the Lady Sovereign songs on repeat. I can’t get enough of her punk ass.

There are three Lady Sovereign songs on the mix. I threw one of them up on the I”m listening to page immediately and then found a killer remix with Missy Elliot that had to go up as well. Today, I was out washing windows today, jamming Sov on the i-pod. Can you tell I was  totally feeling her?

How do I love this video? Let me count the ways. Love that chica wears a big old jacket  and baggy clothes the whole time. She has no need to use her body to get her point across, she’s too badass for that. I love that she has killer flow and a confident style. You have to have lyrics, but the magic is the delivery.  And damn, Sov’s flow is as good as the guys.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And this video kills me. You know I love a girl that doesn’t take herself too seriously (see Missy Elliot and Eve) and this video is silly. The part with her opening sequence with the armpit hair is great. The part with the rich girl and the dead hamster is the best thing I’ve seen all week. I love the face she makes at 1:00, it’s your kid sisters’ bish plz face.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’m English, try and deport me.

Why the mixtape? Why now?

There’s something special about the mix tape. It’s reminiscent of your high school days, when you had hours and hours to devote to loving music. Mix tapes take time and energy, they are a labor of love. Mix tape people are true music lovers and those are the BEST people to get music from.

First off, you’re using someone else’s poetry to express yourself. This is a delicate thing.

Why now? Because good music is art for your ears. We have spent years putting our amazing music collections onto our computers and then  listening to them in isolation. Music is meant to be a shared experience. And as I’ve said before, it’s time for us to start reaching out and warming the space between us.  Sharing music is inexpensive and produces little waste. And after years of making tapes on dual tape decks, making them on computers is easy peasy, so get crackin’.

Would love a copy! xo

Related Posts by Bonita Applebum

Bonita Applebum – International Cosmic DJ

Bonita Applebum – Cosmic DJ

Yo Bonita – What’s up with your name?

To the hip-hop maniac, the uptown brainiac


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cath
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 00:06:18

    My sister and I spend a ridiculous amount of time compiling list-tapes (well, er, cd’s) considering that they are for our own consumption and not really to share. I have five in my car at all times.

    cd 1. Stuff that makes me ineffably happy.
    cd 2. Songs to get me psyched
    cd 3. Songs to wind down to after work/night out/whatever
    cd 4. Songs to listen to when I want to feel blue
    cd 5. Stuff I want to give a good listen to but otherwise don’t, for some reason

    I haven’t really done the mix tape as a gift for quite a few years because really, most of my friends (other than my bestie, my baby sister) aren’t really into music at all, let alone the sort of stuff I listen to. But it used to be such a joy to sit around agonising over what to put on, what to leave off, rediscovering songs you’d totally forgotten. I remember getting my then boyfriend into Jeff Buckley and him turning my brain inside out with Lamb. Wow, I think I need to go make a mix tape now.


  2. Blodwynn
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 20:51:15

    This seems to be the only way yo let you know, but I have been hit with the BAN HAMMER. Looks like my break has been indefinitely extended. If I reappear, I’ll let you and some others know, but until then, if others ask, now you know.

    (And no, it was not for the comment you promoted. It was a later one, which Hortense promoted, responded to, demoted, and then Banned me for. 🙂 ) n



    • quesavoysavoy
      Feb 10, 2010 @ 18:34:28

      hey bonita! still plugging away on teh mixes. honest. wynn, i was twenty-three different kinds of indignant. come back soon!


  3. Margo
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 15:54:10

    Life, at best, is a really good mixtape. Rhythm, poetry, and surprises.


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