Top 4 R&B Mixtapes: High School Edition

Hey everyone! I previously did a post on my top 5 Hip Hop mixtapes in high school, and I wanted write up another throwback for you guys! In this post, I’m discussing the R&B music that I was listening to around my freshman or sophomore year of high school. 2010-2011 was an interesting time in my life, and I’m sure it was an interesting for you guys!

Here’s my top 4 R&B mixtapes of the times:

  • OHMYGOD. Do you guys remember In “My Zone” by Chris Brown? I remember it like it was yesterday. In My Zone was released February 14, 2010. I was a HUMONGOUS Chris Brown fan at the time, and this was a year after Chris and Rihanna’s situation. At that time, I know most people weren’t too sure if they wanted to still listen to his music, and the situation with Rihanna always overshadowed the music, because of them being such a high profile couple and going through such a horrendous thing. I saw Chris Brown as someone who kept begging and pleading for forgiveness for what he had done, and him being so young at the time, I wanted to see him correct his wrongs, and I saw that he began to put more focus into the music. At that time, when he was recording the DJ Drama hosted mixtape, Chris Brown would always be on Ustream, showing his self in the studio with Kevin McCall, Sevyn Streeter, Ester Dean, and so many other talented writers. As a fan, In My Zone was a memorable time in my life, and I witnessed it actually help Chris Brown get people to believe in him again, with the likes of one of his well known tracks from the tape, “No Bullsh*t.” Listen to one of my favorites from the tapes, Sex here.

  • Despite me not being a big fan of Tyler, the Creator and the Odd Future era, Frank Ocean was definitely someone who caught my attention in high school. Novacane was everywhere in 2011, and I remember always seeing people talk about Frank Ocean on Tumblr, and so I began digging deeper. Every day, on the way to school, I would listen to “nostalgia, ULTRA,” which was released February 16, 2011. I loved the fact that Frank Ocean’s music had deeper subject matter, and that I could do the same thing with his music as I do with rap; which was search for a deeper understanding. At that time, Frank Ocean’s music was absolutely refreshing and I can still listen to “nostalgia, ULTRA,” even though it’s hard to find now. My 3 favorites from the mixtape are American Wedding, LoveCrimes, and Nature Feels.

  • A little after Frank Ocean released his tape, here came The Weeknd! The Weeknd was also popping up on my incredibly dope Tumblr feed. *bats eyelashes* I remember seeing people always talk about how great his first song was, “The Morning,” but no one knew what he looked like, so it was awesome to watch his music blow up like it did. I recall listening to the “The Morning,” and vibing to it, and The Weeknd was someone who I could appreciate at the time. After building buzz with his lead single, March 21, 2011, The Weeknd released his “House of Balloons” mixtape. “House of Balloons” is also one of those tapes that are hard to find now, especially, since “Wicked Games” was a part of his Trilogy album, and it blew up, once he got Drake behind him! House of Balloons was just a vibe, every track was melodic and hypnotizing. My favorite tracks from the tape are: What You Need, Coming Down, and The Knowing.

  • I’m not too sure if you all are familiar with Iman Omari, but I absolutely love him! In 2011, I began listening to a rap group named OverDoz., and I came across Iman Omari as a feature on their tape, “Live for, Die for.” After my nerdy musical research, I found out that he’s a singer, producer, DJ, and I’m sure so much more! I discovered his track, Energy, which is from his mixtape (or you can call it an EP), that goes by the same name. November 28, 2011, Iman Omari released his Energy LP, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I liked the single Energy so much, because of it being a different sound, lyrically and musically. This was the first time I had heard an R&B artist talk about energy and vibrational frequencies in relation to attracting a woman. It somewhat played a part in me looking into spirituality, amongst other things. With Iman Omari’s music, I know he’s very hands on with his own projects, and with the Energy EP, he makes sure to showcase his own sound, which is a distinct and harmonious vibe. My favorite tracks from the Energy EP are Midnight, First Time, and I’ll Do Anything for You.

These are some of the R&B mixtapes that I always remember, when I reminisce on high school. What were some R&B mixtapes you guys were listening to back in your high school days?


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