Meek Mill & Wale Explain The Mixtape Game At "Axe: One Night Only" Series

Exclusive: Wale and Meek Mill weigh in on the benefit of mixtapes and their process for recording an album at Axe's "One Night Only" event in Philadelphia.

According to DatPiff.com, Meek Mill's recent “Dreamchasers 3” mixtape was streamed more than 520,000 times and downloaded by more than 850,000 users. Based on Nielsen’s SoundScan calculations, fellow Maybach Music Group member Wale sold 323,000 copies of his third album, The Gifted, as of October 9, 2013. While the difference in their approaches are rather obvious—mixtapes are free for consumers, while albums still carry a price tag—both artists can see the respective benefits of each method.

“Album mode is different,” Wale said during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX at the Philadelphia stop of Axe’s “One Night Only” concert series. “I don’t start the album process trying to provide the feel of a mixtape. As a whole, I put a lot of time into lyrics and production. In the sequencing of my last album The Gifted, you can hear the intricacies between the songs.”

In addition to Wale, J. Cole, A$AP Ferg and Meek Mill also joined the bill for Axe’s “One Night Only” bill. While both Cole and Meek have used mixtapes throughout their careers to increase visibility, Ferg took a different approach this year.

“It was called a mixtape at first, but now we’re going to put it out as an album,” Ferg said in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX in regards to his debut album, Trap Lord. He says that the accompanying barcode wasn’t the only distinction between his album and the A$AP Mob mixtpe, “Lords Never Worry.”

“That was a mixtape, because we all did the songs and tracks in different places, different areas, and it was kind of like, I put my two cents in, Rocky put his two cents in,” Ferg said. “Everybody came from different angles on it.”

Despite a lack of documented, public proof that they can be profitable, mixtapes have other benefits, artists say. Prior to releasing his sophomore album, Born Sinner, J. Cole released two free EPs entitled “Truly Yours.” While admitting the songs from the EPs didn’t fit Born Sinner sonically or thematically, he also said fans “deserved them” free of charge. That mentality was co-signed by Meek Mill while in his hometown of Philadelphia for a surprise appearance at the “One Night Only” concert.

“[Mixtapes] always help me, because I’m putting out hot music anyways,” Meek said. “But giving something back to the fans sometimes…they pay for everything anyways, so why not give ‘em a free album?”

Wale, Meek Mill, J. Cole, Kaptn, A$AP Ferg and French Montana all participated in Axe’s “One Night Only” series, which also included stops in Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Seattle, Washington. For more information about the series, visit AXEONO.com.

Additional Reporting by Andrew Gretchko.

RELATED: Halftime: Addicted To Retail - Selling Mixtapes Legally To Make Extra Royalties [Editorial]

25 Comments

  • Anonymous

    meek mill free music is better than his barcode music..neither one are classic.

  • Angela Amador

    I looked at the receipt which said $9310, I have faith that my mom in-law was truly taking home money parttime from their computer.. there neighbour has been doing this 4 only about twentey months and resently paid for the morgage on their appartment and purchased themselves a Lotus Elan. look at these guys WWW FB39 COm

  • Anonymous

    2Pac's crack, 2Pac's crack Theres all these C.O. niccas searching 2Pac's crack Rubber gloves on me, you can picture that colon With my brand new cuffs, know them wrists gon be swollen Guarding on Death Row, Hookers having my baby But I'm eating my chicken I need a new bowl of gravy They searching 2pac's crack, 2pac's crack There's all these C.O. rappers spreading 2pac's crack

  • Anonymous

    I co-sign Meek Millionaire, you gotta feed the fans. In this era of HipHop music it's possible for an artist to tour off of a mixtape and eat nicely without even putting out a retail album. An artist like Meek with a heavy street base can put out mixtapes and then bubble from doing shows and walk-throughs. An artist like Wale with a heavy female base can put out albums and singles because we all know chicks buy your albums and songs. Beneath the surface you can see Wale and Meek have both been taught the blueprint because they both have their own labels and their own artists in addition to the clothing lines, endorsements, & joint stocks.

    • yk

      And not to hate but Wale headwear apparel is ASS. Like they sell those winter hats at target. Its not original at all...smh

    • dfsfds

      jalil beats aint signed to meek mill. he signed with roc nation

    • Anonymous

      why would a middle aged racist guy pay some white kid to promote him? @BruthaDee is startin to sound like a pedo to me!

    • Anonymous

      Stanley Rhodes is the 12 year old white kid impersonating the other guy, he pays him to type the word "BruthaDee" 50 or more times on different websites for promotional purposes. I exposed them before on WorldStarHipHop.con

    • Anonymous

      BruthaDee we know thats you. act your age nigga. you're not fooling anyone

    • Stanley Rhodes

      The normal kids my age are in school right now or having fun enjoying social activities like chasing girls or playing sports, I'd rather chase 45 year old dudes on the Internet and give them shoutouts.

    • Anonymous

      I was interesting in what BruthaDee had to say about the bizz but his girl cheerleader keeps calling us a buch of kids.

    • Anonymous

      BruthaDee has taken the art of cheerleading to a whole new level. I hope when I'm 40 I got better things to do. Maybe a job or a family to worry about. Fuck defending some rappers on the internet to a bunch of kids hating.

    • Anonymous

      biggest group of sellouts the rap game has seen in years. They'll have 2 minutes of commercials for a 40 second youtube clip!

    • Anonymous

      Meek Mill has Dreamchasers Records (DCR) it's incorporated and he's got multiple artists like Louie V and producer Jahlil Beats. Wale has Board of Administration Records (BOA) it's incorporated and he has artists like Black Cobain. Wale has his own headwear line called Wrking title. Meek has deals with Puma, Ciroc, Belaire, Monster Energy/Monster-24K and Skull-Candy. Joint investments and investing actual stock into companies like Belaire is the new hustle instead of simply being a spokesmodel or repping the brand for a sum with no incentives....this is why you see heavy product placement in a lot of the visuals and photos that these guys drop. Chess.

    • Anonymous

      LOL Meek and Wale dont have no real labels. and who the fuck is looking for Wale and Meek Mills clothing lines? You gotta be the biggest fuck nigga ever to wear some shit Wale put out!

  • Anonymous

    MEEK MILL RAP LIKE HE GOT BURIED ALIVE MEEK MILL RAP LIKE HE GOT WATER IN HIS EARS AFTER SWIMMIN MEEK MILL RAP LIKE HES TRYING TO HAIL A TAXI CAB

  • Anonymous

    Everyone knows Datpiff downloads and listens is rigged just like world star. The more you pay them the more numbers they type in.

  • Anonymous

    "But giving something back to the fans sometimesthey pay for everything anyways, so why not give em a free album?" LOL no they dont!!!

  • Anonymous

    Meek Mill? AKA the nicca whose clinging to a career off a hot album intro!

    • Anonymous

      lol for real...By the time his label actually allows him another album he might already be ghost

    • Anonymous

      So why you always rapping bout how much cake you got? You a son of a bitch, tryna imitate your pop And you never was a thug, why you imitating Pac? You was wrong for doing that song 2Pac Back I seen the video like, where the fuck is 2Pac at? I saw your boss like nah, 2Pac not fat I had Philly on lock before 2Pac got clapped

    • Anonymous

      The troll gimmick is played out, go look in the mirror. Meeks career is thriving, hes one of those few artists thats so hot in the streets that he can do 4 shows a week, he is a promoters dream he makes them bottles come out. His debut album sold 350,000 so his career is something you should envy.

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