Now that Drake’s classic mixtape So Far Gone is available for streaming on Apple Music and Spotify, fans have started wondering what other groundbreaking tapes from the “blog era” of hip-hop deserve similar veneration. Many of those older mixtapes don’t exist in their original forms online anymore, even though many of them were tremendously influential, either seeding styles that are still used today or launching then-unknown aspirants into rap superstardom. There’s a reason many of those artists now live on top of the charts, like Childish Gambino, Drake, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Nicki Minaj.
Given how widespread streaming is these days, it only makes sense that fans would want to revisit them using the formats we’re most accustomed to now. Unfortunately, many of the “mixtapes” of the era only bear that designation (as opposed to “albums”) because many were unofficial releases that couldn’t be monetized due to uncleared samples and uncredited beats. But many rap fans still remember the era of “blog rap” fondly and hope for some of its most pivotal projects to follow Drake’s lead. Here are some of the more popular choices that deserve to join the ranks of the streaming era.