There are a few rappers who always show out when they collaborate with another particular artist, Method Man and Redman, Lil Wayne and Drake, Jay-Z and Rick Ross, even A$AP Rocky and ScHoolboy Q have heat when the hook-up. These unofficial duos have always garnered anticipation of what a full project from them would sound like. Today, in 2017 it seems fans want collaborative albums from any two rappers who post an Instagram picture. I'm here to say; there are some collabs projects we don't need to hear.
Let me preface my statements by saying that I'm all for rappers hopping on a track together for the culture to bring the people some heat. I am just confused by the trend that we always need to get a project from two rappers whose styles don't fit very well and are just doing the project as a whole as a cash grab. It's corny.
I have fell victim to this thinking as well. When Future dropped "Where ya at" featuring Drake, I silently thought, "It would be dope if these two put out a mixtape together they sound good." I didn't think their styles clashed too much and I felt they complemented each other.
It seemed like they had the same thoughts, a few weeks later in September of 2015, they dropped and joint-mixtape called What A Time To Be Alive. The response from the people was to be expected when two superstars join forces to put out music. People took to the tape at first. It wasn't until the radio began to run the songs into the ground (like they always do) did people notice how weak it was. The quality was subpar, and the content of the music was much to be desired. Not to mention you can tell neither of the emcees were in the studio together when they layed their vocals down. It was evident in tracks like "Digital Dash" that the song was an unfinished track that Future had in the vault, and he just let Drake go on the end of it. The mixtape was cheap, but it made them a lot of money so shouts out to them, and shouts out to Protools for making all possible.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have gotten official joint-albums from rappers that have worked out because both rappers were together to create it. Jay-Z and Kanye with Watch The Throne, Lil Wayne and Birdman with Like Father, Like Son (which is underrated in my opinion), or recently when DJ Quik and Problem with Rosecrans; each of these projects are an example of what collab projects can be when both artists put work into them. As a fan, I get offended when an artist phones in their work when they expect me to support and spend money on it.
Today, it feels like every time I look on the internet two artist promise their fans they will be putting together a project with another artist. I also find it interesting that many of these mixtapes the fans are promised never come out. I'm tired of rappers playing with fans by dangling this phantom "joint-album" that they have coming out that will probably never come out:
- Drake and Kanye West
- J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar
- Childish Gambino and Chance the Rapper
- Fabolous and Jadakiss
- Quavo and Travis Scott
- Lil Yatchy and Lil Pump (I have no idea why this is a thing, don't ask me)
Rappers wanting to get together with their friends to put out music is not new in Hip-Hop by any means. I just don't think rappers should use these projects as a quick buck. We as music consumers are not dumb and can tell when there is no passion within a project. And latching on to a hot artist because you can't hold down an album on your own isn't cool either, and fans have caught on to that move as well. I mean did you hear Coke Zoo by French Montana and Fetty Wap? I didn't think so.
Malcom X. Bowser is a writer, curator, and founder of Urban X.