Do you speak music? Here’s the difference between Single, Ep, Lp, Album & Mixtape

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Let’s face it; we’ve all wondered what those fancy ‘musical’ terms we see when artistes drop new bodies of work are. We see stuff like LP, EP, Mixtape on the digital covers–duh nobody makes hard copy CD’s anymore– and wonder what they mean–for about 6 seconds(the goldfish has longer attention span btw)–before we jump right into the content without bothering to find out what they mean.

It’s okay if music lovers don’t know what these terms mean, some of us think it’s a way to make the titles pop; like “NEPA – The EP”, “The Corruption LP” & “Jollof Rice – The Mixtape”. (I promise the titles I just used make sense, as you’ll realize at the end of this post.)

But before you say you’re an artiste, you need to at least know the basic “industry terms”. How else will you sound cool when telling that hot chic about your music, or try to get a record label boss to sign you when you don’t know the right terms? Language bruh, language!

It’s like a Medical Doctor not knowing what Blepharoconjunctivitis is. He could have just said “Pink Eye” or “Apollo” but hey, we’re trying to let the world know we do know our onions, aren’t we? Without further ado, below are the terms and their meanings:

Singles: Singles are basically a track released by an artiste/label for promotional purposes. These are free samples mostly sent out to blogs, radio stations and Dj’s for spins and rotation.

EP: EP is short for “Extended Play”; which is a collection of music up to 4 tracks mostly below 25 minutes altogether. It’s not considered an album; as an album is expected to be longer–pack more heat. So…no, EP doesn’t stand for “Electronic Package”–sorry shay.

LP: LP is short for “Long Play”; which basically a longer EP. Up to 10 tracks usually about 40 minutes long. LP’s are–by definition–longer and “packs more heat”–every artiste brags about dropping fire after all. Why don’t we just call them Albums? I’d say it’s because these are mostly regarded as independent projects meant to test waters, gather feedback from fans and are more relaxed; freedom of expression without worrying much about political correctness maybe.

Album: An Album is a LP that’s heavily promoted and sold by the label. It usually has a huge promotional budget allocated by the sponsor/label and is considered as the artiste’s official commercial body of work. Labels are mostly largely involved in the creation of an album; controlling the tone, message and other aspects in order to make it more marketable–a lot f investment has gone into its creation so yes, money must be made.

Mixtape: Mixtapes are generally albums given out for free in order to build an artiste’s fan base. Mixtapes are mostly controlled solely by the artistes; it’s where artistes unleash their “real selves” without worrying about sellability and censorship, and are mostly remixes of popular songs at the time.

Oh yeah, the titles used earlier.

NEPA – The EP – Because electricity in Nigeria never lasts, be thankful if you get a good 25 minutes power supply daily!

The Corruption LP – Of course! Corruption is one thing that just sticks around for so long we think it’s an “Official” part of us –like an Album– but it isn’t.

Jollof The Mixtape – What can I say, not unlike Jollof; the mixtape puts various “ingredients” from other artistes/genres, remixing and jumping on trending song from big names in order to show versatility and prove the artistes jolloficity.

Now you know what the terms mean. If you got something to add or disagree with any part of this post, feel free to drop a comment or hit me up on social media via @UnilagOlodo.

*drops mic*

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