Ever since Jay Z and R. Kelly brought us The Best of Both Worlds collaborative albums have grown popular. From Birdman and Lil Wayne’s Like Father Like Son to Drake and Future’s What a Time to Be Alive collab projects have almost become a staple in the Rap game nowadays. Despite Raekwon and Ghostface Killah having one of the greatest collaborations in Rap music history with, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, some of the newer collabs have been lackluster to say the least. It is obvious that people are just doing collaborative projects to increase their popularity and give us lazy raps in the process. Future will jump on any bandwagon yet we haven’t gotten a solo project from him in a while. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad Future took a break from dropping music but I still want to have fun if I decide to go out. The party Raps have gotten boring and the people are waving the white flag. They want substance, bars, rhymes, and lyrical content so with that we’ve gotten some dope collaborative projects from a lot of dope emcees like Dave East and Styles P.
Other dope collaborative efforts that have recently seen the light of day are producer/emcee combos which are some of my favorites. Using the old school format in 2018 is making waves. Jay Z and !llmind, PRhyme, Ghostface and Apollo Brown, and others have been able to lock in with one producer and create a vibe and an energy that you can feel in the music. Yes, it’s great to utilize the technology and email verses and beats back and forth but that takes away from the soul of the recording. That’s part of the reason the music isn’t touching the people. Big name artists are coming together off of their names only but every name doesn’t ring bells in every city.
There’s nothing worse than a cold collab but if everyone rushes to stream the project simply off of the names alone the project still goes gold. What does that say to the artist? What does that say to the label? What does that say about the current state of the culture? This is why I don’t rush to listen to any project, collaboration or solo. Once they’ve made their money, they couldn’t care less but if they can’t tour off the project that is the new telltale sign. Some artists will be able to tour off their names alone but if they name the tour after their weak collaboration album no one will be excited to spend their money on tickets. Collaboration projects should be only done during special moments. Two Rappers at the top of their game is great but that’s not a special moment on the Hip Hop timeline. Worst case scenario, a cold collab could lead to a cold career.
“My collabs turn locals to established artists.” – Gucci Mane (Nonchalant)