Could a Drake and Kanye West collaborative album really happen?
During a surprise appearance on the final night of Drake’s OVO Fest in Toronto, Kanye West asked a stunned audience, “Y'all ready for this album?”
Monday night's hyped up comments mark the first time we’ve heard Kanye talk about the pair recording an album together since he first brought it up during an interview with The Breakfast Club in February of 2015. At that time the album was to be called Wolves. Shortly after the release of Views, Drake confirmed in an interview with Zane Lowe that while the two live near each other and have worked on material, a full idea had never materialized.
It's important to note that when Drake rejoined West on stage, he asked the audience, "Are y'all ready if we make an album?" Not, "Are y'all ready for our album?" as though it's an absolute, but rather a "If we were to seriously consider doing this." This is a big, telling difference in word choice.
As DJBooth's Yoh wrote a few months ago, a collaborative album seemed like an impossibility. In addition to being signed to different labels, Kanye and Drake are also caught in the middle of arguably the biggest beef in music right now: Apple vs. Tidal. The two streaming services are constantly fighting for exclusives, and it's doubtful either side would be willing to let the other get first dibs on such a monumental project.
And then there's both artists’ busy schedules. Drake's fresh off the release of Views, an album he is currently touring in support of, and already promised more new music this year, including a solo mixtape and a joint EP with Gucci Mane. Meanwhile West just released The Life Of Pablo, and he previously stated that he plans to release another album this year. Watch The Throne and What A Time To Be Alive may have spoiled us, but these superstar collaborative albums rarely happen. They end up just being “what if” folklore among fans. Remember Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana's never realized I Can't Feel My Face?
That said, Kanye's clearly been vocal about a joint album on multiple times occasions - without being asked - for a reason, right? Rumors have been circulating for months that Apple was exploring the possibility of acquiring Tidal, and Kanye encouraged that process to move along in a mini Twitter rant over the weekend. Would Apple cutting a check help guarentee this album becomes a reality? And do Kanye and Drake have more music done than they’ve led on? With all the surprise and short-notice releases that have happened over the past 24 months, imagine the impact of a Drake and Kanye album completely coming out of nowhere.
Only time will tell, but whether you’re excited about the music or not, the spectacle of the whole thing would be worth the price of admission.
By WIlliam E. Ketchum III, on Twitter @WEKetchum
Photo Credit: Instagram