When two budding rappers named Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y released their joint mixtape How Fly in 2009, the world was a different place. Barack Obama was serving his first term as US President, Apple still made iPod shuffles, and Twitter was a brand new thing. People weren’t buying CDs anymore but streaming services were still in their infancy, and hosting sites, blogs and forums like DatPiff, 2DopeBoyz and NikeTalk were providing a direct artist-to-fan connection via download links, cutting out industry middle men and knocking down decades-old barriers in the process.