Browse the racks of Lil Wayne discs at HMV's downtown location and eventually R 'N' Weezy turns up, a selection of R&B joints the ragamuffin rapper has hopped on in the past few years.
But is it any good? Is it even a real mixtape? And, above all, is it worth the hefty price tag?
The answers are murky at best. So beware the mixtapes or mixtape-like CDs in mainstream brick-and-mortar stores. Often they're not really mixtapes, but poorly packaged compilations by unknown and unreliable mixtape DJs. They can be of suspect quality, past their best-before dates, and they ain't cheap.
In short, mixtapes just weren't meant to be sold above-ground (if at all, considering that most rappers give them away for free).
But even buying mixtapes from behind the counter at small, independent hip-hop stores can be frustrating if you don't know exactly what you're looking for. The slapdash nature of the tapes means they're hit-or-miss to begin with. Add in the flood of amateur producers cut-and-pasting raps from other songs, small-time distribution companies trying to cash in with haphazard and illegit mixes, and those DJs who can't stop themselves from yelling all over the music, and you mostly turn up misses.
So why not let a group of hyper-critical, always online and usually on-point rap dorks vet the tapes for you?
Here are a few taste-making blogs that can help you find them. Start by reading nahright.com (best rap site ever!), 2dopeboyz.com, cocaineblunts.com, thecyberkrib.com and illroots.com. And for downloading, datpiff.com, mixunit.com and onsmash.com are three starting points.