Year of the Collab: 10 collab projects that defined hip-hop in 2017
When I reflect back on 2016, I’m not going to lie, there is not one prominent collaborative album that comes to mind.
In 2011 we were fortunate to have Watch The Throne and in 2015 Drake and Future gave us What A Time To Be Alive, but I can’t think of any collaboration projects outside of established groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Rae Sremmurd, and Migos that made something impressionable in 2016.
There was Smoke DZA and Pete Rock’s Don’t Smoke Rock and you had Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz’s Collegrove but other than that, from mixtapes to studio releases, the dual artist approach to albums was quiet.
2017 has been everything but that.
The amount of collaborative efforts, both as mixtapes and as studio albums, surpassed last year’s output by a landslide. While you might have trouble remembering which multi-artist albums came out last year, this year it’s hard picking from the batch.
From Lil Wayne and T-Pain’s T-Wayne, Chris Brown and Ray J’s Burn My Name two Moneybagg Yo & NBA Youngboy’s Fed Babys, artists have been growing together like it’s 7th grade science lab. You even saw Kodak and Plies link of for a dual album with F.E.M.A.
There were too many to pick from so I narrowed it down for my top 10.
10. Fat Joe & Remy Ma – Plato O Plomo
It’s safe to say it was a successful return for there Terror Squad veterans. Both Fat Joe and Remy Ma may not have had strong album sales, but they did have a chart-topping, Grammy-nominated single “All The Way Up”.
9. Styles P & Talib Kweli’s The Seven
Keep saying lyricism is dead if you want to. The conscious Kweli and the Lox member Styles brought forth an album that will feed your itch for classic hip-hop.
8. Starlito & Don Trip – Step Brothers THREE
The third installment in their series that pays tribute to the great Will Ferrell-John C. Reilly buddy comedy Step Brothers was a treat, arguably the best of the series.
7. Lil Durk & Lil Reese – Supa Vultures
After flying solo in their perspective careers, Durk and Reese reconnected to bring the streets want they needed. Their contrast is what makes them great and they both prove they still have it.
6. Kodak Black & Plies – F.E.M.A: Finesse. Elevate. Motivate. Achieve.
The Florida rappers previously showed chemistry with “Real Hitta” and decided to return with a full collab. Between this pair you can expect some light-hearted bangers.
5. Berner & Young Dolph – Tracking Numbers
The Taylor Gang affiliate links up with the notorious Dolph for what would be both of their second major albums of the year. Between Berner’s ear for beats and Dolph’s storytelling, this one is a must-listen.
4. Offset, 21 Savage & Metro Boomin – Without Warning
Like a thief in the night, Offset, 21 Savage, and Metro Boomin dropped their joint album without warning sending shock waves throughout the internet. Independently they both are on a roll so the fact that they secretly got together to make this happen was a delight.
3. Tee Grizzley & Lil Durk – Bloodas
I never saw this one coming, nor was I huge fan of Tee Grizzley previously but he and Lil Durk definitely got them one with this album. Representing the largest cities in the Midwest in Detroit and Chicago respectively, this duo goes hard as hell, putting together one of the best collabs of the year.
2. Future & Young Thug – Super Slimey
When I woke up to the news of Future and Young Thug dropping Super Slimey, I legit thought Christmas had come early. Imagine an entire tape off the chemistry they show in “Relationships,” that’s Super Slimey.
1. Fabolous & Jadakiss – Friday on Elm Street
Although it did not drop on Halloween, Fabolous and Jadakiss did not disappoint with their Freddy v. Jason themed album. The two lyricists go bar for bar on some of the most soulful beats you’ll hear this year. My favorite collab of the year by far.