Who knows what the term mixtape even means in 2011? After all, these downloadable albums haven't existed on magnetic tape or even CDs for years. But there's no doubt that mixtapes remain the lifeblood of hip-hop and R&B. Consider the fact that the top four entries on this year's list all appeared in the top 10 of Complex's Best Albums of 2011.

Nothing says Christmas like free music. Maybe that's why Gucci Mane announced he was dropping a mixtape last night, and Fabolous, Raekwon, Nelly, and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire all promised to drop something special for their fans today. (Big shout to our peoples at LiveMixtapes.com who always know what's got the streets on lock.) Tis the season, so click through and make sure you're up on all the best mixtapes of 2011.

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Written by Alex Gale (@ApexDujeous)

Tags: best-mixtapes
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