The ten best mixtape rappers of all time

Supposedly, albums are where it's at. That's when the artist is supposed to bring their A-game, convert the doubters, all that good stuff. So why is it that a lot of the time it's the mixtapes that are the most enjoyable? Maybe it's because so many mixtapes are when artists are still building their reputation, and they're hungry as hell. Maybe it's because there's less pressure, no worries about first week sales, and the artist feels more free to take chances. It's probably all of these things, but whatever the reason, some rappers just shine when money's not involved. Keep reading for the ten best mixtape rappers of all time.

See also: The ten best mixtape DJs of all time

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Noah Hubbell