Rising West London rapper Jelani Blackman celebrates the release of his mixtape, ‘Unlimited’ by telling us all about his favourite mixtape of all time…
What’s your favourite mixtape ever?
Kanye West – ‘Get Well Soon’
Why is it so significant to you?
‘The College Dropout’ is up there with my favourite albums of all time, if not the top. The vibe and even actual tracks on there were on ‘Get Well Soon’ first. There were so many classics Kanye made in his time as a Roc-a-fella producer and so many artists I love. Then you’ve even got tracks that end up going on ‘The College Dropout’, like ‘Through the Wire’ were all on that mixtape.
Were there any artists or producers that you discovered through this tape?
Think I heard Talib Kweli on there for the first time but what I also liked was I discovered some parts of Kanye’s history that I didn’t know, which is actually sick to find in an artist you rate.
Where exactly were you when you heard the mixtape for the first time?
Probably somewhere on a bus in London.
Did it come into your life at a significant time?
Not really, I found it a while after it came out, but the album it inspired came at an incredibly important time for me. ‘The College Dropout’ inspired the music I make to this day and I think more significantly it influenced and stimulated my love of listening to music, catching deep energy from it, at an age where I was starting to make steps towards who I was as a person in the world.
Describe the mixtape in three words?
Revolutionary, soulful, hard.
What song is your personal favourite?
‘Through The Wire’.
If you could put a price on this mixtape, how much would you pay?
Not just for this, I think a good musical experience is priceless.
Did you have a physical copy?
No but I would like to.
No? Which is your favourite that you have a physical copy of?
It’s a gripe compilation mixtape from the noughties on CD
Jelani Blackman’s ‘Unlimited’ Mixtape is out now.