Rap is the world of what ifs. We consistently see artists being taken away from us for one reason or another. Some artists are born during the right time, some are a generation too late. The following 10 imagined collab albums would fit perfectly in the discography of rap.

10. Tupac x YG: Strictly 4 My Set

Just imagining the possibilities that could come out of a Tupac and YG album gets me giddy. With the backing of a Death Row label that YG’s spirit belongs on and the production magic that could be made between Dr.Dre and Dj Mustard could bring some bops that the streets need. With YG and Pac going back and forth exchanging hooks after hooks this could lead to YG ultimately growing as a storyteller, similar to his lyrical peak with Meet The Flockers, while Tupac does all but ensure himself a shrine in the rap hall of fame.

9. Andre 3000 X Chance: 3000 Chances

Two of the most distinct sounds that have ever came out of rap. The creative energy that would surface in a studio session between Andre 3000 (who is criminally underrated and unrepresented as a top 10 lyricist of all time) and Chance The Rapper aka the future of rap, would be magical. 3000 would help break Chance out of his P.C shell, as he’s built an almost impenetrable clean image for himself. Long-term this is great for Chance, but for one project I need Chance to show the world that he isn’t one to be messed with.

8. Biggie Smalls X Big Pun: The Big Apple

Two of the saddest stories in rap both from New York collab to make the biggest album for NY of all time. Biggie is an icon, we all know that but with the newer generation, specifically Big Pun gets disrespected. What the uneducated seem to be forgetting is that Pun rivaled Jay Z for the throne of NY before his untimely passing. Both rappers eerily passed after astronomical rises to the top of the hip hop game. This album should settle in my opinion, who was the greatest lyrcist from N.Y is (no disrespect to KRS-One, Jay Z, Nas). A ten track album, Freddie vs Jason style, for the throne of the big apple.

7. Snoop Dogg X Wiz Khalifa: The Two Pape

Is this one really in need of explanation? We get Doggystyle Snoop and Kush and OJ Wiz on a 19 track album filled with enough narcotic references to get you 25 to life. Uncle Snoop needs this, Wiz needs this, stoners are begging for this and from how the political climate is changing it seems like the world needs this.

6. Pusha T X Rick Ross: Boss Musik

In the past decade there may not be two artists that are more sonically compatible that haven’t made more music with each other than King Push and Ricky Rozay. Both representing one another’s label, it’s only right that we get a glow off between two of the most underrated rappers of our generation. With classics to each of their names and seemingly teflon in their positions in rap history, this ones for the fans and the young entrepreneurs.

5. Lauryn Hill X Frank Ocean: Once In A Life Time

This might be the boldest decision of all time, because both Lauryn Hill and Frank Ocean seem extremely complacent on touring off of one album for decades. But one could only imagine the sparks that would fly in studio sessions. I thought we were going to get our first glimpse at what a collab would look like on A$AP Rocky’s Testing but it was a Lauryn Hill sample, because why wouldn’t it be? The world needs new Lauryn Hill music and forsure needs more Frank Ocean music after his very divisive blonde. All I’m asking is for 8 tracks, that’s all.

4. Nas X Dave East: Wax On, Wax Off

If you don’t know what the album title is reference is from, this album isn’t for you. Go listen to Lil Pump and Smokepurpp’s collab album or write a 2000 word essay on how the Migos are the new Beatles. This album would be a perfect end to Nas’s illustrious career, after the letdown which was Nasir. Like they say, iron sharpens iron and it seems to me that Dave East would be the perfect rapper to light that fire under Nas. Their relationship is well documented, as Nas has become a big brother to East over his career and this album could be the passing of the torch between the two. East is ready to take over and a collab album with Nas is the last hurdle before superstardom.

3. T.I x Gucci Mane: Trial By Insanity

The album you never thought you needed. Ladies and gentlemen, two of the most unstable rappers of all time. For clarity sake, this isn’t new Gucci(who I’m very glad is doing well mentally and physically) or the new and articulate T.I, I’m talking mid 2000’s for both gentlemen, when they were at their most volatile but arguably when they were both in their primes. For the safety of everybody involved, these studio sessions has a finite amount of narcotics for creative purposes and absolutely 0 weapons. There will be times these alphas collide from an artistic standpoint, so the biggest hurdle they will face is finding a sound that doesn’t compromise either artist.

2. Raekwon X J Cole: Only Built 4 Lyricists

The reason why I’ve pitted these two lyricists together is because they are the most imperfect perfect rappers to ever spit. Both of these rappers seemingly focus on one part of their artistry and have to be forced into the lime light. Raekwon is as hard headed as it gets as an artist, never leaving himself vulnerable on any of his music and on the other hand Cole seems to be hesitant to big himself up as being one of the greatest to ever do it. The two spectrums of artistry seem to find a balance, like all things should be.

1. NWA X Black Hippy: Welcome to The West

If I had one wish to wish for anything in the world, sorry world hunger but you take a back seat. This might be the most complete project, as an artist’s on either team can cover up for one another’s weakness. Dr.Dre is not getting one single verse, or hook on this album, his a** is producing every single song on this album. But rather than forcing every single artists on each song, it’ll only be right to mix the pot on every track. From some street talk with a song with Ice Cube, Ren, Q and Jay Rock to bops with Eazy and Kdot holding it down, this album would give the most versatile and complete album ever made.

Ananth Para
paramana@mcmaster.ca

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