We're in it Togther... Mostly

With the rumors of Migos and Bobby Shmurda making a collaborative mixtape that will come to shatter the Brownsville's of the world, I began to think: What makes a good collaborative project? There's several moving parts that go into producing a phenomenal joint song or album. Some of those parts are based on chance alone. Here are some of the collaborations that have contributed great works for pop culture, and some less than successful attempts.

Better Together

Aaliyah & Timbaland/Missy Elliot

This trio has produced some of the most memorable music together. They produced ultra catchy songs like One in a Million, Try Again, Rock the Boat, and countless other high charting songs. These
songs were well known for being silky and smooth pop-R'n'B tracks with Aaliyah's vocals fitting comfortably right in.

Drake & The Weeknd

Separately these artists are very hit and miss for me in terms of quality. However when they come together to produce a song, odds are it is the best track on whatever project they are producing. Songs like Crew Love and Live For are a perfect melding of Drake's tendency to be too precious with his songwriting, and The Weeknd's tendency to over brood on his songs. When the collaboration works, they produce a song that holds a nice amount of emotional weight, yet is also conscious of it's sentiments.

Biggie & Everyone

Biggie has the natural ability to combine with any of his guest artist to produce a song that is a natural melding of both artists' sensibilities. For example F*ck You Tonight feat. R. Kelly doesn't sound like Notorious Thugs feat. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, that doesn't sound like Mo Money, Mo Problems feat. Diddy and Mase. However they all contain a certain essence that categorically make them signature Biggie songs.

Barbra Streisand & Donna Summers

I included them because I am an unabashed disco lover and this disco song, No More Tears, is pure energy. Barbra and Donna refuses the let up on the vocal onslaught even though the song has it's foot firmly pressed on the pedal.

These Also Happened...

Jay-Z and Kanye West

Watch The Throne was not a terrible overall audio experience, however a collaboration of these hip
hop titans should've produced something more than the uninspired pledge of gaudy opulence the album turned out to be.

SZA and Kendrick Lamar

The tragic thing about this collaboration is that neither performer is terrible on the song Babylon. Kendrick is spitting typical fantastic aggressive lyrics. However in the process he upstages SZA's
great understated vocals on her own song. A good collaboration calls for all of the performers to complement each other well.

2 Cellos & Naya Rivera/ Alicia Keys & Jack White

These are examples of songs that are good besides the performers attempt to sink it. I think the kids call it a 'guilty pleasure'. 2 Cellos and Naya Rivera have had a legitimately great song in the cover they did of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. However on their song Supermassive Black Hole the sound is unique enough to keep me hooked, but Naya's screeching on this track is a hard contrast to the powerful steady vocals she displayed on the Smooth Criminal cover.

The same goes for Alicia Keys and Jack White. Their song Another Way to Die for the movie Quantum of Solace is again unique enough to keep the listener interested but Jack's bizarre guitar strumming and their baffling vocal harmonizing doesn't help the song. I suggest giving both songs a listen because they are so unconventional that they may appeal to you.

Lil Wayne & Everyone

Lil Wayne is such an aggressive and obnoxiously loud presence on any song that it's nye impossible to find a complementing voice.


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