Hip-hop fans were dismayed to learn that long-running mixtape streaming site DatPiff — whose existence even predates that of more mainstream DSPs like Spotify — had shut down yesterday, leading to a period of mourning on social media for one of the pillars of the modern-day internet.
That is until DatPiff’s Twitter account popped up with a message reassuring users that the service was still alive and well. “Despite the rumors, we are happy to report that we will still be supplying you with all the mixtapes you love,” it read. “We’re working through technical issues on our site and app, but still actively update our youtube! Thanks for all the love and concerns but we promise, we are still here.”
Despite the rumors, we are happy to report that we will still be supplying you with all the mixtapes you love. We're working through technical issues on our site and app, but still actively update our youtube! Thanks for all the love and concerns but we promise, we are still here
— DatPiff (@DatPiff) March 14, 2023
So, what gives?
Well, you know how I’m constantly harping at you all about making sure you get your news from trustworthy sources? Yeah. Reddit.com is not a trustworthy source. Apparently, a subscriber of the subreddit r/hiphop101 interpreted some of these technical glitches as a sign that the company had completely folded. That post was then shared widely among hip-hop heads on social media — there’s an Instagram screenshot of the Reddit screenshot in the tweet below, courtesy of Complex — and it seems everyone pretty much ran with this story without confirming it via any legit news publications or first-person accounts.
A sad day for the Culture.. if you a hip hop fan I know your sick like me… R.I.P @DatPiff pic.twitter.com/uLGlD8cTkL
— The 10pc. Killa (@MeezyBlvd) March 14, 2023
DatPiff, which hosts mixtapes from both megastars and up-and-coming artists, holds a unique place in hip-hop history. Because it was easier to upload a new tape to the site directly than going through Apple Music (formerly iTunes, the only real name in the streaming game at the time), many artists got their start by sharing DatPiff links with their fans in the early days of social media. That includes names like ASAP Rocky, Big Sean, Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar, among others (I wrote about some of them here). The entire blog rap era basically ran on DatPiff (and illegal file-sharing sites like ZippyShare and MegaUploads), and fans were quick to acknowledge its importance while (mistakenly) eulogizing the site.
Pioneers of the mixtape era. Thank you for shaping the culture in the 2000s and changing the music industry forever.
Long live Biggy Jiggy Mixtapes. So many classic tapes from Weezy and Gucci Mane. A launching pad for Drake, Wiz, and so many more. pic.twitter.com/2rJaGGwqAU
— gino.eth 💽 (@GinoTheGhost) March 14, 2023
I haven't used DatPiff in years but if the site is really gone then RIP, a lot of history was made there and changed a lotta artist's lives.
— Ahmed/The Ears/IG: BigBizTheGod 🇸🇴 (@big_business_) March 14, 2023
Aside from being an amazing archive of mixtapes and unofficial projects that will never, ever touch DSPs, DatPiff outlasted the slang that it named itself after by many years, which I find most incredible.
— Dee Phunk (@DeePhunk) March 14, 2023
RIP Datpiff — who probably has the most important archive of music from the past 10-15 years anywhere on the internet. It was a bridge between the blog era and the streaming era — and a hub for projects that will never see the light of day on DSPs.
Thank you for your service.
— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) March 14, 2023
DatPiff held us DOWN. Forever in debt
— Low (@LowKeyUHTN) March 14, 2023
Of course, with the reveal that the site wasn’t shutting down (yet), it seems that those flowers, while warranted, were premature. If the site can itself back up and running, now might be a good time to download all your favorite tapes for posterity — just in case. If not, well, there’s always LiveMixtapes.