Last week, during a surprise performance at Drake’s OVO Fest in Toronto, Kanye added fuel to the collaborative album fire he and Drizzy have been periodically stoking since February of last year. But while the prospect of a joint album between two of the most iconic figures in music at the moment has hip-hop fans and rap bloggers equally hyped, as DJBooth's own Yoh already addressed, the probability that we'll actually receive the album is very low.
The very thought of Drizzy and Ye discussing an album, one that will most likely never be released, reignited a long-burning disappointment within me over the countless collaborative albums we’ve been teased with that never came to fruition. Remember, artists discuss working with one another on full-length collaborative projects with best of intentions. The real issue is when announced plans never manifest themselves into recording and released music. But rather than sitting here quietly sobbing over these projects like a distraught Fresh Prince realizing his dad isn’t showing up, lets revist a select few that could have been amazing. Who knows, maybe someone with some influence will read this article and think, “Oh shit, I forgot about that! Why didn’t we ever drop that? We should totally drop that.”
Ab-Soul x JMSN - Unit 6
It’s been almost four years since Motown R&B artist JMSN, the producer behind one of my favorite Ab-Soul tracks “Nibiru,” announced that the pair were working on a collaborative project. Several months after the initial announcement, fans were gifted both an album title (Unit 6, obviously) and a lead single in the form of “You’re Gone.” It was all very promising.
Fast forward three years, both artists have released new music, some of it excellent, but none of it has been in tandem. Considering the extreme quality and experimental nature of their previous collaborations, this is one joint project I just haven't been willing to let slide. At the same time, it’s well documented the Black Lip Pastor has been anxious to release a new solo album for quite some time now, so at this point anything new from Soulo would be a welcome.
Yasiin Bey x Mannie Fresh - OMFGOD
The emcee formerly known as Mos Def and veteran producer Mannie Fresh are two artists who, unfortunately, will never be able to release a full volume of music that satisfies the voracious fanbases they’ve accrued. Listeners will always want more, especially true in the case of promised collaborative effort OMFGOD.
In 2013, the pairing delivered an extremely uplifting lead single, entitled “Black Jesus,” followed by three studiosessionvideos to assure us that, yes, an album was being crafted. It’s now been three years since the announcement of OMFGOD, and here we are, continuing to wait on this fish fry with prayers that they will indeed proceed. Hey, at least we've received an album's worth of material from a semi-retired Yasiin Bey.
Black Thought x Danger Mouse - Dangerous Thoughts
Ten years. TEN GODDAMN YEARS. I know this is one collaboration I should've collectively given up on many moons ago, but these fingers just keep typing out of pure desire (and a touch of spite). When someone widely regarded as one of the greatest emcees of all-time announces a project with one of the most versatile and acclaimed producers of the last 15 years, people are going to remember. Throughout his career, Black Thought has teased multiple non-Roots projects -- Dangerous Thoughts, Masterpiece Theater, Talented Mr. Trotter. Sadly, none of these albums ever materialized. In April of last year, Black Thought tweeted confirmation that he was hard at work on a solo project, but details were scarce, and there was no mention of Danger Mouse’s involvement. After all this time, perhaps all we can do now is hope for a Black Thought solo album sometime in the near future. May the rap gods and Jimmy Fallon heed our cries.
So there you have it, three joint projects that I resufe to quit on. Being teased with the prospect of greatness also means there is the potential for a let down. Some things are just too good to be true.
By Brent Bradley, who desperately needs interaction on his Twitter.