DatPiff has uploaded its extensive catalog of free mixtapes to the Internet Archive in order to protect it for the near future.
Legendary mixtape platform DatPiff has uploaded its entire catalog of over 366,420 projects to the Internet Archive. Last March, the service which presents itself as the benchmark for mixtapes experienced a server outage which jeopardized its free music library. A month later, the site relaunched with a page announcing plans to ” evolve beyond our website and app ” in order to ” continue to make the library accessible “. Now, almost a year later, all 50TB of free mixtapes and albums from Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne and other artists are available to stream on The Internet Archive. The mass downloading of these files ensures that a valuable storehouse of rap history will not be lost.
Listeners can access DatPiff music they’ve long enjoyed while the platform goes into maintenance mode and builds its next release. The homepage promises a “ new generation » by DatPiff.
No one at DatPiff has released details about last year’s server outage or their new plans. They developed an app in 2019, but it is no longer on the App Store or Google Play store. It’s unclear what Datpiff 2.0 will look like in a digital ecosystem where streaming providers and platforms like SoundCloud have become the primary places for artists to release their music. But what is certain, for now, is that The Internet Archive will protect a generation of music.
Internet Archive archivist Jason Scott told WECB it was ” happy » that DatPiff brought its collection to the Internet Archive as a long-term storage solution « instead of just deleting the music “. Mr. Scott explains that no one looked at DatPiff before downloading, and that the 50 terabytes of music represent “ half a day’s worth of data » usually uploaded to the site, which hosts files of all kinds.
“ I think what caught their attention was my public belief that hip-hop mixtapes are among the most important and fragile cultural artifacts in existenceexplains Mr. Scott. Even with digital distribution, unless a group becomes really big, a lot can be lost to disinterest or natural entropy. There are so many voices in hip-hop that tackle current events or issues, and they can be dismissed so easily. The risks of losing everything are enormous. »
Last spring’s DatPiff storm came as De La Soul’s return to streaming platforms focused attention on the importance (and fragility) of the digital marketplace. The breakup between De La Soul and Tommy Boy Records made their first six albums difficult to find for younger listeners who did not have access to their CDs and vinyls. Likewise, a deletion of DatPiff would have deprived listeners of key works from the 2000s that they had not saved. The world of digital music is practical and lighter than a book or a CD, but too fragile. Physical media can scratch, break, and warp, but they don’t disappear inexplicably. In 2019, for example, Myspace lost millions of songs uploaded to the site, erasing the archives of an entire era of online music. The Internet Archive was able to preserve a small portion of the downloads thanks to what Scott called ” anonymous university group »
DatPiff was founded in 2005 by Marcus Frasier. The platform served as a hub during the blogging era, an exalted chapter in rap history where everyone from newbie artists to veterans began placing free music on their site and others. DatPiff and blogging sites were essentially a digital marketplace that allowed independent artists to be seen alongside established artists, allowing some to avoid major labels altogether. In 2019, Will Dzombak, president of Taylor Gang and manager of Wiz Khalifa, told Complex that “ In the heyday, DatPiff was an integral part of life ” and that'” he helped shape Wiz’s success “. DatPiff could well become the same type of springboard for a new generation of artists. But even if this is not the case, thanks to The Internet Archive, their library, which marked its era, will be protected for a long time.