A recent trend that has surfaced in hip-hop is to do collaborative projects with another artist. I'm not saying that artists haven't done this before, I'm saying that it's become a trend. Arguably two of the greatest, Kanye West & Jay-Z, may have gotten this trend going when they dropped Watch The Throne. That was definitely a successful collab that everyone was (and still is, it seems) pumped about. And now there have been rumours of a lot of other joint efforts coming up (and some have already dropped). A few of these I am excited for, but there are also a few that have me asking what the fuck?
I know that I always get excited when I hear that two artists I love are working together-- I mean, having two of your favourite artists on a track together is something any fan loves. But I think that one person has to be a fan of both artists. The artists have to share a similar vibe, or balance eachother out in a way for it to work well. You can't just put any two artists together for a collab project and get results like Watch The Throne.
Case in point: Gucci Mane and V-Nasty. Their joint effort was a failure and I think that's because, honestly, what Gucci Mane fan would also actually be a fan of some white girl who was only famous for inappropriately using the n-word? She was not a white girl who had any kind of skill on the mic. She only dragged Gucci down. Gucci Mane is obviously not the most lyrical, but he has some brilliantly ignorant ish that sells well to his fans, whereas V-Nasty is just ignorant. No brilliance there as far as I can tell. And no fans either.
On the other end of the spectrum, Drake has confirmed that he and Rick Ross have plans to do a joint mixtape called YOLO. This is something I can postulate will be extremely successful. Why is that? These are two fairly mainstream artists who I would assume share a lot of the same fans. On top of this, they are both skilled, not necessarily in the same way though. In general, when Drizzy and Ross are on a single together, fans get excited. They balance each other out well, and they are actually both really good at doing hooks. On top of this, they are two of the biggest names in the game right now so it is to their advantage to work together and expand what is already a large fan base. I am not the biggest Rick Ross fan, but I don't mind him in small doses. I wouldn't go out of my way to get Rozay's music but if he's doing something with Drake, I'd definitely cop it. In that way Ross is reaching a wider audience and vice versa for Drake. Who knows, maybe after a Drake x Rick Ross collab I'll get really into Ross (probably not).
Another possible joint project we got word of is an A$AP Rocky & ScHoolboy Q album. This too I could assume would do very well. These two rappers share the same underground hip-hop fan, perhaps on the edge of the mainstream. Not only do they have similar fans, but these are two artists who have worked together before, and their past collabs were well-recieved by fans. They are both up & comers who individually are bringing a new sound and flow into the game.
Lastly, I want to consider Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa's joint mixtape How Fly. I know this is an old collab, but it was dope when it came out (back in 2009). I guess they did it “before it was cool.” At that time Wiz Khalifa was still coming up in the game. Both Spitta and Wiz were underground rappers, talking similar shit (weed etc.), and sharing a similar laid-back sound. And so most fans of Jet Life were also fans of TGOD. Now Wiz may have lost some of his underground fans because he has gone a little mainstream with his sound, but nonetheless, this project was, and still is, a fan favourite. Shit, now I wanna go back and listen to that tape.
Basically I just wanted to think about what makes a successful collaborative project and why that is, since it sounds like there may be a few coming up in the near future. So leave your thoughts on the subject below.