Collaborations in Music have long been welcomed by fans, but Rap has owned it like no other genre! Most of us have our favorites, but hearing a song flow with the same beats underlying then takes on different personalities throughout, giving the song serious texture and sharp contrasts. Opportunities arise to bring in sharp, witty, fast-hitting lyrics and then transition to or overlap with a soft deeper bass chorus or highlight with melodic seductive sensual femininity. The past 30 years of Rap have seen many of the Kings and Queens of Rap come together, launch careers, partner with their mentors, and ultimately blow the roof off the stage!
Teamwork makes the dream work!
Top Rappers like Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Kayne, Eminem, and Drake have repeatedly partnered with other artists to create songs that help break out of their box. Every true artist is always looking for what’s next? How can I redefine myself? How do I stay Relevant? How do I keep the Glory? While some Rappers have kept busting out lyrics to stay at the top, others have looked past that to build Empires, signing new phenoms and producing for other artists. Dr. Dre not only signed Eminem, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, and Kendrick Lamar he produced Tupac’s blockbuster ‘California Love’ among many others. Just some of the most notable collaborations include:
Tupac & Dr Dre ‘Californoa Love’
Drake, Kanye, Lil Wayne & Eminem ‘Forever’
Kanye, Jay Z, Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj ‘Monster’
Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre ‘Nuthin’ but a G Thang’
Jay Z & Eminem ‘Renegade’
Eminem & Nicki Minaj ‘Roman’s Revenge’
Jay Z & Pharrel ‘I Just Want to Love you’
Superstar Mick Minaj was launched into stardom for her performance in ‘Monster.’ After recording Kayne West almost cut her out because she dominated the other artists! While most of these collaborations have produced amazing results it hasn’t been without conflict. Nas later rapped about the Jay Z – Eminem partnership throwing shade on Jay Z when he rapped Eminem ‘murdered you on your own shit.’
Rap may have started as underground counter-culture, but over the years Artists have inspired other genres and even changed genres. Pharrell Williams got his start in rapping, before producing and performing pop music. His Mega Hit ‘Happy’ was a global phenomenon! While Today Rappers have collaborated on Pop, Rock, and even Country Songs. Original gangsters Run D.M.C. and Rock Legends Aerosmith may have been the first of these hybrids with ‘Walk This Way,’ but that was just the beginning! Other Unlikely Smashes According to RapTV
Jay Z, Linkin Park ‘Numb’
Nelly, Tim Mcgraw ‘Over and Over’
Eminem, Dido ‘Stan’
Kanye West, Estelle ‘American Boy’
A$AP Ferg, Haim ‘My Song 5’
Lil Nas, Billy Ray Cyrus ‘ Old Town Road’
Lil Nas ‘Old Town Road’ dominated the charts and won a Grammy for Best Duo Performance. For a hot minute, it was accidentally placed on The Billboard Country Music Charts! It even had little kids from around the country dancing to it! Meanwhile Estelle’s ‘American Boy’ was nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year.
How do Collaborations Happen
Being a superstar has its perks! When somebody gets ready to lay down a new track or build an album all they need to do is make some calls to find a great producer and artists to feature. The beats and rhymes might be there and a new voice brings it together. Maybe the artist shares the song idea and has the other artist fill in the gaps. When you get great artists in the same room working beautiful things are bound to happen.