DJ Envy: Evolving His Way to the Top

Ask anybody how they listen to music, and the majority of their answers will probably be Spotify, Apple Music, or some other online streaming service. Thirty years ago, if you wanted to listen to a specific song on demand, you would have to go to a record store and buy a copy of the album or wait for it to be played on the radio. Since then, the way we consume music has constantly evolved. In the early 2000s, digital music downloads were invented, and streaming services like YouTube, Pandora, and Soundcloud followed soon after. Some record stores survived, as a lot of people still wanted to buy physical copies of albums. Mixtapes, however, found themselves in a perilous situation. They didn’t find their home online immediately like mainstream album releases did, but the advent of streaming services meant that many did not want to buy mixtapes from the corner, or wait for them in the mail. Mixtapes eventually found their home on digital platforms, but for a while, their future was unclear. DJs who made a living making and selling these tapes had to find a way to adapt, or risk being lost to obscurity.

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