_ronitapes Manifesto

i've been making mixtape cassettes on & off for much of my life, just for fun & to spread the music that i love to friends and kindred spirits. back when burning CDs became a thing, i did mixes that way for a while but was quickly dissuaded - dragging around songs in a digital playlist just lacked soul & authentic feeling to me, even if the songs were all great. there is such a sterility to digital music, and its physically intangible nature makes people treasure music less, something i witnessed all too much in the younger generations who grew up with that as the standard when i managed the UndergroundHipHop retail store in Boston. when i converted to buying vinyl records instead of CDs around a decade ago, i returned to making my beloved cassette mixtapes first as a way to exercise my growing collecsch. for years i made them solely for myself (or the rare friend who had a working tapedeck!) but eventually making them became a main passion of mine as my vinylfetish became increasingly insatiable, so i wanted to share with a bigger potential audience. i started a Soundcloud page, got a tapedeck that converted cassettes to digital, and _ronitapes were officially born.

i don't blame the younger cats for not holding physical music sacred like i do - they didn't grow up that way so they lack important context. however, i see a very dark, nefarious side to the digital music revolution, which makes music largely disposable and an almost arbitrary element of the artist's oeuvre, with view-counts, image & celebrity seen as more important. it's symptomatic of a bigger world picture with the artists in general being stripped of their power/agency across the board, seen with the fascists' recent attempt to cut all public funding for the arts in the US so they can expand the military-industrial complex, or on a microcosm level how my mom, a life-long professional journalist, has to struggle to get paying jobs because so many will do it for free, as if the service, which takes a lot of work & talent, doesn't deserve just compensation. while the masses constantly take advantage of the inspirations or pleasures gleaned from the music, art and culture they incessantly consume, it's become the standard to treat the creators behind such texts as if we don't deserve pay or respect for our 'indulgences' and that is absolute bullshit, and why you see so many of us die from drug use or depression. if you get something real from music or any art, you should want to show that love back by supporting it actively, whether it's buying a physical release, going to a concert, telling your friends... however you can.

i would also like to note that i'm not getting it twisted - constantly buying a ton of records is also an inherently selfish, indulgent act. while you're supporting the artist, label, and greater culture, it is also simply another form of consumerism, and i can't help feel guilt that i own so many records while so many can't afford to, even if they wanted them. i have no one depending on me financially and have missed many a meal in my lifetime to buy an album instead, but regardless, i just don't feel right keeping all this dopeness that i've copped all to myself. by making these mixes free to stream or download to all, i'm attempting to give back in my own way, and share largely marginalized music that deserves to be heard, which i was lucky to come across thanks to my life's specific path. i'm also in no way trying to give away other peoples' work for free, so these are all uploaded as simply A & B sides, typically 45 minute run-time each, no other track breaks, so online vulture types looking for specific songs can't take advantage.

i've always been bothered by how people stay in one lane musically; the closemindedness of the hip hop scene i worked in for so long especially turned me off, though it's present everywhere. thus, another main goal of these tapes is mashing up a wide variety of styles that i think fit together in an abstract way, in an attempt to further open peoples' minds and horizons. we need to break out of these boxes society forces us into, and truly celebrate what we hold dearest. i will leave you on that note, and hopefully you will take a chance on these tapes in this age of short attention spans- try to suspend your hang-ups and preferences and play them all the way thru from A to B side for the true experience, because if you just skip around to hear what you already know & like, you are missing the point of why i make these.  i hope you enjoy these mixes, made by a real human not a computer analyzing browsing habits; you deserve better, you are more than an algorithm!

if you actually rock these mixes as they're intended to be heard, front-to-back, with any regularity... words cannot express how much love i have for you, even if we never meet! i thank you from the bottom of my heart, and ask only that you share them with other kindred spirits - it has nothing to do with my ego, i just want to spread these inspirations which have given my soul so much fuel to create. any _ronitape presented here was recorded on my updated audio setup (a better sound system, turntable & tapedeck made for digitizing) however for those interested, there are scores more of earlier tapes recorded on a lower-quality setup so are of a lesser audio quality, but still dope! hear the rest on my soundcloud!