Is this some stupid trip down nostalgic lane?
Does my love of mixtapes reveal my age?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Mixtapes stood for friendship. Connection. Love. Attention to mixology and art.
When you got a mixtape you could not wait to throw it in the cassette player. Unmarked or a work of art, it didnʼt matter. There was gold in those tapes. There was a message. Sometimes there wasnʼt.
(Didnʼt everyone have a Krazy Mix?) Random songs gleaned from the radio, records, and other cassettes always said at least, listen to this! Inherently it was about the music. Sometimes slow hands pressed "record" too late or too early or there were the random ambient sounds of the TV interrupting Motorhead.
Then there were those tapes given to or received from crushes. Songs with subtle or not so subtle messages would attempt to grab your attention and then your heart.
It does sound old to lament the loss of mixtape culture. I think what I miss is the care and attention that friendships used to naturally have. Demands of relationships, bills, and the heavy burden of the future gradually erode the time and space that one can give to friendships. Mixtapes are a sentimental look at a time where what mattered was putting together an awesome tape full of songs and giving it away.