In 2008, mixtapes mattered more than ever before in Hip Hop, with
rappers big and small coveting the kind of buzz, success and fame that
artists like 50 Cent, Chamillionaire and Lil Wayne built for themselves in years past through the culture of free music.

HipHopDX remains the premier site to listen to the most relevant, talked about and often exclusive tapes in the game. Our monthly Mixtape Wrapup took a break to re-evaluate last year’s hard, and outstanding work. As artists like Nas said what they weren’t supposed to, Sha Stimuli seemed unstoppable for his monthly, dead-on consistent tapes, and newer faces like Curren$y and Kid Cudi brought the art back into commerce, these tapes, led by Royce Da 5’9″s Bar Exam 2 with Green Lantern, that the over 40 writers, editors and tastemakers behind HipHopDX voted on as best in our 2008 Awards [click to read].

With all tapes ready to listen to, here’s what we’ll never forget from ’08…

A listen to Royce Da 5