Rick Ross, Lil Wayne Dominate Midyear Mixtape Roundup

Young Jeezy makes a bold return, while upstarts like Machine Gun Kelly make our must-watch list, in Mixtape Daily.

Mixtape Daily: Midseason Report

The mixtape is what sets rappers apart from artists in other musical genres. Before gearing up for a major album release, you won't find Lady Gaga or Coldplay dropping a full-length, promotional body of work for their fans to enjoy for free. But this year alone, [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist], Young Jeezy, Game and Soulja Boy have all served up mixtapes to their loyal fans. This is what makes hip-hop unique and it's also what makes MTV News' Mixtape Daily necessary.

When Weezy, one of rap's biggest superstars, dropped his Sorry 4 the Wait mixtape in July, fanatics flocked to their favorite blog sites to download the cohesive collection of freestyles. The mix was an aptly titled apology to Wayne's faithful following, an attempt to make up for the multiple delays surrounding the Young Money CEO's upcoming album, Tha Carter IV.

Lil Wayne announced he's dropping his album on midnight this Sunday, right after the VMAs!

"The mixtape is called Sorry 4 the Wait, and it's because [manager Cortez Bryant] pushed the album back so, sorry for the wait," Weezy told Shaheem Reid in outtakes from an interview for XXL's July/August issue.

Young Jeezy made a bold statement, as well, on his The Real Is Back tape in May. As Jizzle gears up for the release of his TM 103 LP, the Atlanta trap rapper returned to his roots and reunited with DJ Drama after feuding with him for a number of years. The pairing was significant because it was with Drama that Jeezy first collaborated on his two breakout tapes, Tha Streets Iz Watchin and Trap or Die.

While Rick Ross' Ashes to Ashes was technically was released on Christmas Eve 2010, the tape's impact was felt well into 2011. Songs like "9 Piece" still resonate on radio eight months later, while "Play Your Part" and "Pandemonium" helped introduce Rozay's new Maybach Music Group roster. The latter two tracks, featuring MMG acts Wale and Meek Mill, were included on Ross' Self Made, Vol. 1 compilation.

But Mixtape Daily did more than spotlight rap's biggest street tunes: We also helped introduce fans to rising artists like Bad Boy's Machine Gun Kelly. And we checked up on some of the game's favorite producers, like Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and Rico Love, in our Behind the Beats column.

With summer drawing to a close, there's still a lot to look forward to, so be sure to catch it all first with MTV News' Mixtape Daily.

For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.