Mixtapes are mostly mistaken for albums even by pundits in the music industry.The internet leakage has made CD sales somewhat a hurdle for musicians.But here is how i distinguish between Mixtapes and Albums.
Mixtapes is mostly free and typically sound more ?fun? and or ?spontaneous?.
It mostly has a lot of songs featured or contributed by other artistes,mostly not on contract like albums.They are mostly done due to favors or goodwill.
It requires less structure as distinct from a central theme or a pattern.
Singles are mostly not released in the case of mixtapes.In short,songs are not released before and or after the release date specifically for radio play.
An example of a mixtape is Drake?s SO FAR SO GONE ,which is mostly thought to be an album(LP).However,this is what Drake told MTV about the mixtape when it was perceived to be an album.
I think that when creating a mixtape, you have to approach it with a selfless mind-set. A mixtape can?t be the songs that don?t make your album, or songs that aren?t good enough to make your album make your mixtape ? unless you?re that good. There aren?t that many people that are that good. I?m not that good. That mixtape [So Far Gone] is me working my hardest. It wasn?t ?Oh, here are the songs I?m gonna give away to you ?cause I have better songs coming.? A mixtape has become an album. Before, I remember people used to be in the studio cutting songs, and they would be like, ?Oh, that song is OK. I?ll just put it on my mixtape.? Now a mixtape is an actual tool. It?s a format you need. You don?t necessarily need it, but it can be useful.
Source : OMGGHANA