Once upon a time in a universe far, far away, HipHopDX used to host blogs. Through Meka, Brillyance, Aliya Ewing and others, readers got unfiltered opinions on the most current topics in and beyond Hip Hop. After a few years, a couple redesigns and the collective vision of three different Editors-In-Chief, blogs are back. Sort of. Since our blog section went the way of two-way pagers and physical mixtapes, Twitter, Instagram and Ustream have further accelerated the pace of current events in Hip Hop. Rappers beef with each other 140 characters at a time, entire mixtapes (and their associated artwork) can be released via Instagram, and sometimes these events require a rapid reaction.
As such, I’m reserving this space for a weekly reaction to Hip Hop’s current events. Or whatever else I deem worthy. And the “I” in question is myself, Andre Grant. I serve as HipHopDX’s Features Staff. Aside from tackling stray topics, I may invite artists and other personalities in Hip Hop to join the conversation. Without further delay, here’s this week’s “Stray Shots.”
(Asterisk appears for whole albums/EPs)
Kanye West & Who?
As a brief introduction, it leaked to the world this week that Kanye said he might be getting out of the game. Some of you are elated at this prospect, others saddened beyond belief. As for me, it couldn’t help but make me wonder about all of the collaborations I’d wished he had done as a producer and artist before his time was up. It may only be rumor, but the what if’s abound. In honor of that, here’s five Kanye West collabs we hope happen before he decides to hange ’em up and try his hand at fashion full time.
Andre 3000 & Kanye West
An Andre 3000 and Kanye West collaboration could easily spiral out into absurdity. Two of the most creative individuals in Hip Hop would undoubtedly butt heads on certain topics. Many of them would include timing, and sheer brinksmanship, since Kanye is a relentless perfectionist and 3 Stacks is the quiet artiste. Yet, in terms of what could possibly happen together, the result could be a bonkers piece of work that drives the entire genre forward. If Kanye’s mammoth ego doesn’t interfere and 3 Stacks doesn’t talk himself out of it, this could be one for the ages. And if an Andre 3000 solo album does finally materialize and Kanye West isn’t behind the boards for at least one track, a true crime against humanity would have been taken place. As far as fantasies go, this one is highly unlikely, as both parties are off in two very different bubbles (Stacks concentrating on dad-ship and Kanye concentrating on Kim’s booty, G.O.O.D music, North West and kicks), but I wouldn’t ever believe you if you said you hadn’t thought of it. Oh, and no, this doesn’t count.
*Kendrick Lamar & Kanye West
Kendrick has made it clear that he likes his inhouse producers and that he’s extremely loyal to TDE and the West Coast sound they’re building, however, a Kanye West collaboration would be legendary. Not only can K. Dot rap over anything (check the way he utterly demolished Fly Lo‘s “Never Catch Me” as an example) but his sudden, jagged voice changes and myriad of flows offer entry ways to entirely new narratives for both artists. As a completely exploratory venture, it would be worth it in terms of what those two artists would give to the world (imagine for a moment Kendrick Lamar over Kanye production for an entire EP?) but symbolically it would mean even more as it would feel like a passing of the torch. The likelikness of this one is up in the air, but let’s hope it happens for all our sakes.
Jay Electronica & Kanye West
This one may or may not have already happened. On Jay Electronica’s tracklist from his Act II: Patents Of Nobility (the turn)the album shows Kanye showing up twice on songs “New Illuminati” and “Rough Love.” That album also reads like the best tracklisting of all time, with Jigga on a song named “Road To Perdition.” But we haven’t heard the fruits of this collaboration just yet, and its existence is, of course, shrouded in mystery. For my money, if it does exist, I hope it is the earth shattering, eye-opener I always believed it could be. Raps resident buddhist monk with Raps most ostentatious revolutionary could only lead to exemplar or tragic results. Either way, let’s hope this is already in the bag, and if it’s not, let’s hope both of them wake up before it’s too late.
50 Cent & Kanye West
Let it sink in for a moment that 50 Cent has never rapped over a Kanye West beat. They practically hit their strides at the same time, and although it would have made all the sense in the world, it just han’t happened. Fif and ‘Ye even talked about it for 50’s proposed album after Curtis, but Watch The Thronewas said to get in the way. Now, these two seem very different on paper, but if anyone can bring masterful, complete project out of 50 Cent it’s Kanye West. An entire album would be better, but we’re trying not to be greedy here.
*Lil Wayne & Kanye West
Wayne says he wants off Cash Money, and Pusha’s already extended the invitation. If it does happen, it needs to be an entire album. Who else but Yeezy could craft the kind of magical potion that can pull a cohesive, narrative driven project out of the N’Orleans superstar? And with Wayne’s recent joining of the Zulu nation, could Wayne be considering addressing topics he’s typically stayed away from in the past? We know they’ve worked together in the past on various remixes as well as Wayne’s “Comfortable” and Kanye’s “Barry Bonds” amongst others, but just sit and think for a second what a one emcee / one producer album would sound like out of these two? Well, if Cash Money doesn’t have anything to say about it.
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Andre Grant is an NYC native turned L.A. transplant that’s contributed to a few different properties on the web and is now the Senior Features Writer for HipHopDX. He’s also trying to live it to the limit and love it a lot. Follow him on Twitter@drejones