To my mind, 2011 has seen even further erosion of the boundaries between mixtapes and albums - some of my favourites releases of the year, like Big K.R.I.T's 'Return Of 4Eva', Danny Brown's 'XXX' and The Weeknd's 'House of Balloons' were released via the internet for free. But they have all been ranking on end of year lists (highly as well), and seeing as they all push the runtime of an album - comfortably in KRIT and Browns' case - does it count?
I mean, in the modern age releasing a mixtape/album online can be a sign of frustration with record labels or just a faster way of distribution to fans, right? So why is it that mostly hip-hop releases for free straddle the middle ground between a mixtape and an album? Is it just the nature of the genre?
I do get pretty confused though, so someone pull me up on this if I'm wrong