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The Art of Perfecting the Mixtape - The Wong Way

The Art of Perfecting the Mixtape

Jonathan Wong
Dec 1, 2006
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This past summer was the first time in a long while that I'd spent making mixtapes for the car. I'll use the word "mixtape" loosely since it's probably rare that any car these days even rocks a tape deck. I've been a mixtape junkie for years now, burned through hundreds of normal-biased TDKs to create hour-long musical imprints that were sure-fire for a joto-inspired sing-a-long or a backseat make-out session for my friends in high school. In middle school, I had no qualms squandering my hard-earned allowance by picking up three cassingles (remember maxi-casettes with the 12-inch dance versions and instrumentals?) for $9 at Music Plus, then sitting for hours on end, working with my collection to cut and splice tracks for the JVC boom box. And then the CD player came along and with it, a battle between digital and analog.

Crossing over to the compact disc made making mixtapes a trickier business. It was just too pristine and precise-I had to be careful with my selections and switch to metal bias to compensate for the sound quality. Coupled with a higher cost to buy music, I scrapped my mixtape-making skills, that is, until I got into DJing five years ago. That really revived my ears for the mix, this time I was actually blending songs instead of connecting bits and pieces off a tape deck. With CD burners being so inexpensive, I found myself back in my old shoes, making one-off mixes that I could listen to with unparalleled quality. Granted, at the time I was listening to house music non-stop, but my musical tastes have come full circle as I've been slowly acclimating myself with hip-hop again, as well as a handful of other eclectic genres.

So far I've been updating on a pretty consistent basis and thank goodness for the internet; accessing great music (legally) saves me from taking a trip to the local record shop. As it stands, here's my current playlist, and no, it's not powered by iTunes:

-Lupe Fiasco-Food & Liquor
-Homemade N.E.R.D. mixtape
-Kool & The Gang-Greatest Hits: Remastered
-G-Funk classics vs G-Funk hits (homemade mixtape with the original sampled tracks paired up with Dre's bombs)

What rocks your deck?

Jonathan Wong

By Jonathan Wong
487 Articles



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