"When Wayne reached out to me at the time I just wasn't in the position to really do things the right way. I'll probably drop two mixtapes before the album and we gonna get everything right, we gonna get everything back in the proper perspective where it need to be. When I put out my music it will be well worth the wait, that's all I can say." —Juelz Santana to MTV, 5/8/12
WHAT THEY MEANT: Juelz: [Dials Wayne, but a voicemail greeting pops up.] Yo, Weezy, this your boy Santana. I’m really sorry I didn’t get my act together earlier. Gimme another shot and we can do this!
Wayne: [Hears the voicemail.] Uh...No.
THE VERDICT: Not only do these two not seem to be on the same page, but one of them works incessantly, and the other one rarely surfaces these days. If fans hold their breaths until this comes out, they’ll be the ones who can’t feel their face.
“We’re still trying to formulate it and sit down in a neutral zone, where either one of us is moving and doing shows, interviews and press all the time. We want to lock ourselves in the studio and make it right. We got songs where we can actually formulate something, but we want it to be right.” —Kendrick Lamar to XXLMag.com, 12/21/11
WHAT THEY MEANT: J. Cole: This isn’t even close to either of our number one priorities. Kendrick, he’s working on his debut album for Dr. Dre and Interscope. Me? I gotta focus on my second album, now that the label sees what I can do and will give me the proper push.
THE VERDICT: As great as a joint project from two of rap’s most-promising young spitters would be, it seems unlikely at this stage. To compound the fact that each are working on solo efforts and touring heavily, Cole’s statement that it will be an album, rather than a mixtape, brings two major labels into the fold, which could make things tricky.
"You know, it's official, the music is most definitely official. But you know, me being a boss, I'm trying to find a way that we could put that on the shelves for the world, baby. But it's most definitely official." —Rick Ross to MTV, 11/18/11
WHAT THEY MEANT: Both: We like to go to the strip club, go to the studio, smoke, drink, fuck bitches, and make joints that make people go crazy. If we get enough time together for an album, we could move some units.
THE VERDICT: Though it’s been just over half a year since Drake’s last album, fans are already eager for something new and more rap-heavy. Ross is so focused on his own career—and finally getting out God Forgives, I Don’t—as well as pushing Self Made, Vol. 2 and the careers of his artists Meek Mill, Wale, Stalley, and now French Montana and Omarion, so it’s hard to imagine he’d have time to focus on a joint project. But the Bawse is an undeniable studio rat, so anything is possible. (Maybe he can hit the treadmill, too?)
“Bugatti Boyz album coming soon! @rickyrozay @spifftvfilms” —Diddy on Twitter (with an attached picture of the two), 4/1/11
WHAT THEY MEANT: Diddy: We not even doing an album, n****. We not doing shit but talkin’ shit. Take that!
THE VERDICT: Ross has built up his Maybach Music Group mini empire in the time since the initial announcement, and neither does it seem that he needs Diddy’s oversight as much, nor that he spends as much time with the legendary "shit-talker" anymore. A mixtape or album cut here and there will probably continue to be the extent of this musical marriage.
"Jeezy and I we have discussed doing a collaborative album. Right now, we are both focused on putting Atlanta back on top. In my absence, I’ve seen the city take a backseat, if you will, to other areas and other regions. No I ain’t trying to swipe everybody’s efforts and contributions to the game, but I know what my city represents and I know what my city is capable of, and if I feel like we are not living up to our full potential, I am gonna gather the cats who I know, who supposed to ride for the town like I ride, and we get it back right." —T.I. to Power 106, 1/5/12
WHAT THEY MEANT: T.I.: Neither of us are in the spots that we were at our height, but we’re each clawing back, and still heating up these streets. Maybe working together could help. But it took Jeezy years to get out TM103 and The K(a)ng is still working on his new album. We gonna fuck the city up and bring that real back to the people soon, though!
THE VERDICT: This could happen, but don’t expect it anytime soon. T.I. still needs to release Trouble Man, and Jizzle has another album left on Def Jam before he’ll have this kind of freedom.
WHAT THEY MEANT: Common: I really want to build the buzz for my solo album, so I’m doing whatever kind of press, talking about whatever would sound good.
THE VERDICT: Seems unlikely. These two veterans work infrequently as is, at this stage in their careers. If, somehow, they do get together—well, that’s as much of an ideal situation for any hip-hop head as it was 15 years ago.
"The love was there. A lot of chemistry. He's got his way of doing things, I've got my way. When we're locked in, it's harmony. We're even looking forward to doing an album together at the end of this year." —AZ to MTV, 3/26/02
WHAT THEY MEANT: Nas: We’ve had a few classic moments, particularly with “Life’s A Bitch,” but we haven’t done an album yet. What makes you think we’ll do one now?
THE VERDICT: They haven’t done an album yet. What makes you think they’ll do one now?
“We've been talking about that shit forever it seems like. I just actually talked to K.R.I.T. the day before yesterday. We're both obviously down to do it, we're just always out grinding. I personally wanted to sit down in the studio and knock it out, but at this point, we might as well be doing an album. I definitely don't want to go and just throw anything out there; it would have to be the best that we could actually put together, and that doesn't happen often in a week. Sometimes it does…but it's hard to do it. Now, I'm growing more and more picky, too, about beats and songs." —Yelawolf to The Daily Chiefers, 4/30/12
WHAT THEY MEANT: Yelawolf: We would make some trunk-rattlin’ shit if we ever got in the studio together for a long enough period of time, but we’re each busy and getting busier, so who knows when that will be.
THE VERDICT: If the two were too busy to lock in for enough time to bang out this project back in 2010, the scheduling issues are only magnified now. Yelawolf dropped his debut album late last year, and Krizzle is just weeks away from delivering his. It doesn’t seem to be a matter for them not wanting to work together, but it’s hard to believe that either of their labels would give a hat tip to such indulgence until their solo careers were a little more established.
WHAT THEY MEANT: Red Cafe: Fab and I, we some Brooklyn dudes.
THE VERDICT: It’s been three years since Fab dropped his last album, and Red Cafe’s debut, Shakedown, is entering Detox levels of purgatory. Sure, Loso and the Bad Boy signee have been known to collaborate, but at the very best this project will end up as a mixtape.
"We doin' songs, I got six, he got six. It's a process that we go through to do this album. It's a reality now; you know our word is our bond. We said we gonna do somethin', we gonna do it." —Scarface to MTV, 5/10/12
WHAT THEY MEANT: Beanie Sigel: We’re each recording, but we haven’t really been working together. We like the idea of this album, and if we can each stay out of trouble and get in the same place, we’re gonna make it happen.
THE VERDICT: It’s been a few years since either veterans released a solo project (though Beans did team up with Freeway for a joint album in 2010, so he’s down with the process), but this one may actually happen.
"I’ve been a long time admirer of Starks. Them cats in Wu came out, their whole thing sparked MF Doom shit, really. I had it in the works, but when I seen those cats comin’ with that shit and it was the same type of direction I was comin, it was only natural that if I kept doing my thing, we was gonna eventually cross paths." —MF Doom to Mass Appeal, October, 2005
WHAT THEY MEANT: Ghostface Killah: Doom's lazy.
THE VERDICT: The album was meant to be titled Swift & Changeable, but the release date seems to be the only thing that's swiftly changing. With GFK claiming there's a pile of songs already in the stash, we just have to wait on Doom to get things out of the system. Let's just hope he doesn't use a stunt double for the recording process.
“What's good my twitter fam..I'm letting out some NEW (WU/BLOCK) sheek/gfk FIRE today called (BARRY).! Get ready album dropping this summer !” —Sheek Louch on Twitter, 3/14/12
WHAT THEY MEANT: Sheek Louch: We’ve been talking about this album for a while, and releasing songs here and there to make people think that it’s actually coming, but don’t hold your breath.
THE VERDICT: The two powerhouse New York crews coming together would mean pure mayhem. So much so that it may be hard to put the project together, actually. Just imagine the number of Timberland boots, Champion hoodies, and blunts will be needed for those sessions.
WHAT THEY MEANT: Lupe Fiasco: Kanye's too busy with Kim, so we're doing CRS without him.
THE VERDICT: Initially, the idea of hip-hop supergroup Child Rebel Soldier was birthed when Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Lupe Fiasco hopped on a posse cut for West's Can't Tell Me Nothing mixtape back in '07. The celebrated concept, featuring rap's most futuristic (or Japanese-culture-obsessed) trio as a group, ignited wet dreams for hypebeasts all over the world, but nothing materialized for the past five years. At this point, with 'Ye heavily caught up with his own label (and a publicized relationship), it's unlikely the three will come together like the musketeers, but Lupe and Pharrell as a dynamic duo doesn't sound too bad, either.
WHAT THEY MEANT: Raekwon: Yo, Nas, when we doing this killa tape, God? I was hurt when you ain't hop on Only Built for Cuban Linx 2.
THE VERDICT: It should've happened back in '96. But, hey, Nas is recording with a lot of artists recently, so who knows?