On "Juicy," the Notorious B.I.G. once gloriously rhymed, "I let my tape rock 'til my tape popped!" Like the rest of the song, the line was meant to be a celebration—Biggie professed his love for hip-hop by showing just how much he played his favorite songs. But here's the thing: A tape "popping"—meaning it blew out and broke—isn't something to celebrate. In fact, it's the kind of thing that'll ruin your day.
Same with CDs, which could easily get scratched up after too many plays (or if you kept rewinding your favorite verse) and get damaged in any other number of ways. Remember skipping? CDs did that. And don't even get us started on how fragile vinyl is. You paid good money for an album on wax, and if you really, really loved that album, you played it...enough for it to break. So why spend your hard-earned money to buy it all over again?
All of these problems have a lot to do with why MP3s rose to popularity in the first place. MP3s don't get scratched. They're easily replaceable. Rewinding your favorite verse is an exact process, unlike holding the rewind button and guessing when GZA's about to go in.
Nas once rhymed, "Never put me in your box if your shit eats tapes." We can assure you, Nas: That's something you'll never have to worry about with us.