Hardwell’s communication with the dance music community has essentially remained idle since February when his series, “The Story of Hardwell,” officially closed its final chapter. Around the same timeframe, the bigroom commander-in-chief admitted in a sit-down with Domeno that he truly had no timetable for returning to dance music after putting his career on hold for personal and health reasons in 2018. While his hiatus has remained wholly intact, the first signs of any movement from the Hardwell universe are beginning to show, as he puts together a “secret” mixtape of ’90s and 2000s hip-hop nostalgia.
Quietly released to friends and family through his personal Instagram account, notably followed by Revealed Recordings personnel, the mix contains 89 hip-hop and R&B gems ranging from Nelly’s “Country Grammar” to Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode.” Although the sonic focus of the mixtape may seem surprising to some, it’s far from Hardwell’s first flirtation with these genres, as his early career as a DJ was primarily founded on spinning hip-hop. Hardwell even played a hip-hop and moombahton pop-up set at Electric Daisy Carnival’s Art Car in 2015.
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