(ThyBlackMan.com) Let’s look at five modern hip-hop collaborative albums. We’re going into the last ten years of music and this is by no means a definitive list. It also won’t be the last list but these are five collabs that immediately come to mind.
Future & Drake – What a Time to Be Alive (2015)
When I was being introduced to Drake by my brother, sometimes I wish it was via What a Time to Be Alive. Before that, my intro to Drake was via whatever popped and people on social media hyping it up. Now, I know that I missed out roughly eight or nine years and while writing and playing games, I catch up on a lot of stuff I overlooked, never caught up on, or listened to period.
I’ve discovered plenty of artists in my free time or while working. What a Time to Be Alive would be great to get into if you want a more up-tempo Drake. Both Future and Drake do their thing here and I felt they mixed extremely well here but the album for the most part was mostly Future-paced.
Both artists get songs that cater more to their respective approaches but the mix goes well as far being an album that you can either vibe to or turn up on.
2 Piece: Digital Dash and Jumpman
Future & Young Thug – Super Slimey (2017)
Since we’re going in chronological order and I’m going down this list I have here—it’s another dose of Future. This is a collab that got mild reviews from the music press but sitting with the album, I found it enjoyable. Then again, I rock with Future and I dig Young Thug’s mix of rapping and singing. The guy leaves it all on the dance floor vocally. Even if it doesn’t sound good, it can work with careful beat selection.
These two actually mix very well together when one or the other is featured. I can see where some would say it seems like best of or a collection of album cuts instead of a concentrated project. I wouldn’t put it in a top five or ten of collabs but Super Slimey can be enjoyable—plus, it was meant as a treaty mixtape.
The one take away going through this and reading the background of the album and I’m more surprised that it was dropped as recently as 2017.
2 Piece: All da Smoke, Patek Water (f/ Offset)
21 Savage, Offset, & Metro Boomin’ – Without Warning (2017)
Without Warning is a strong collaboration with the 21 Savage and Offset being backed by Metro Boomin’ production mastery. What I love is that we have a seasoned Offset who has produced hits and worked with other major performers going into this one and a raw 21 Savage who had been announced as one of XXL’s freshmen in the year prior.
A quick study, he really sharpened his style in time for I Am > I Was a year later. The mix of the two turned out extremely well on Without Waring. It sounds well produced but not plastic, there’s still a rawness or grittiness to some of the songs without being bargain basement or poorly produced.
2 Piece: Ric Flair Drip (Offset), Mad Stalkers
Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, & The Alchemist – Fetti (2018)
Let’s tone it down a bit with some more vibe-type music over the more hardcore trap of the previous three albums. As you probably know from previous top fives on hip-hop, I dig Curren$y. I discovered Freddie Gibbs through Fetti and I’ll say this is a good intro to both. I’ll also say that of the collaborations on this list, this and our following entry are the most concrete.
As with any collaborative album, most are going to be true collabs with a few tracks being solo tracks or solos with a feature. Fetti is a very short album running for under 25 minutes but it’s very vibe-heavy even with Gibbs bringing a little more danger to the proceedings. As a matter of fact, “Willie Lloyd” is probably the hardest song on the album.
For the most part, Fetti is a very chill, smooth album start to finish.
2 Piece: Willie Lloyd (Freddie Gibbs), Tapatio
Curren$y & Wiz Khalifa – 2009 (2019)
Surprise! We’ve got another Curren$y album—this time with Wiz Khalifa. This is actually the second collab with the two and comes ten years after the first after How Fly. Unfortunately, that 2009 and outside of the scope for this list because How Fly is truly, truly fly.
That said, 2009 is no slouch. From start to finish you can vibe out to this one without running into anything too aggressive. It’s just two friends basically doing an anniversary album of their first mixtape together. Both are more seasoned, experienced more in life, and have become established in the industry in different ways and at different levels.
This isn’t an album of two young and hungry musicians but a laid-back offering of hang out and chill music with zero urgency. Dive in and enjoy this one if you’re not up for lyrics featuring hard drug use, violence, toxicity, and so on. It isn’t uplifting, positive, mostly lame hip-hop but it’s not hyper aggressive or anything.
2 Piece: Garage Talk, Stoned Gentlemen
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.