I have an inner A & R just like any hip-hop fan.
Given the opportunity, I’d love to pair up certain MCs and producers with one another. Unfortunately, some of my dream collaborators are either no longer with us, or past their prime. But thankfully, a few of my dream match-ups aren’t too far fetched.
Biggie, Jay-Z & Nas: Actually, Big and Hov got to spit with one another twice, so a Nas and Big collabo would do. But just imagine the holy trinity joining forces circa 96. Since the song would have been recorded during the pre-pro tools era, the three legends most likely would have worked together in the studio. Ideally, you would have locked those dudes up in D & D and keep Puff out the session. Rhymes that ill don’t need no freakin’ adlibs.
DJ Premier & Canibus (Circa 98): As long as his catalog is, there are still a handful of folks I would have loved to hear spit over a Premo beat. First off, I’ll never forget this Source Magazine Summer 98 Music Preview. According to their report, Canibus was hard at work on his debut LP with DJ Premier. At the time, Preme was cooking up heaters like All City’s “The Actual,” Jay-Z’s “A Million And One Questions” and Paula Perry’s “Extra Extra.” Just imagine what Bis would have did to a monster beat like “Extra Extra.” Bis and Preme are obviously still living, but they’re both past their prime.
DJ Premier & Lauryn Hill (Circa 98): I’ve always considered Lauryn Hill a dope MC, period. Her and Bis have made such an impression on me during their brief, yet impressive stints that they’re part of my personal Top 5 Dead Or Alive. Lauryn is probably at no. 4 and Bis at no.5 or something. Preme did appear as one of the teachers on the Miseducation, but we’d probably still salivate over whatever gem they cooked up if they did hook up.
DJ Premier & Andre 3000 (Circa 95- 98): Granted, Premo’s been pretty stubborn about switching up his boom bap formula, but he did step out of the box here and there. You guys must have forgot about Devin The Dude’s “Doobie Ashtray.” It was undoubtedly Premo, but still nothing he would have given an East Coast artist. Since Three Stacks didn’t have any solo ambitions at the time, he and Big Boi could have tag team over some work of marts.
Eminem & Big Pun: I was listening to The Slim Shady LP last night and it just hit me. For some reason, I could just hear Pun go off over the Bass Brothers’ production. The fact that both are the most prominent MCs of their respective ethnic groups is coincidental. I just like these two’s word selection and the way the enunciate. They would have been a problem on some rhymin technician ish.
Nas and Just Blaze: I swear, I’m such a Nas stan I practically take it personal whenever I hear him spit over weak beats. It’s like, you’re Nas, why aren’t you picking better beats? This guy went over to Def Jam when Hov was still the president and inexplicably still hasn’t worked with Just Blaze. Just, give dude a call.
Nas and Andre 3000: I know they worked together on Lloyd’s “You” remix, but I’d love these two to cook something up over a Kanye West track. Dre’s been nice for years, but he’s arguably dropped the best verses we’ve heard in the last few years. These two would definitely push each other to pen something incredible.
Jadakiss, Styles P and Freddie Foxxx: Most name drop Kiss or Styles when the hardest MCs in the game come to mind, but Bumpy Knuckles is not to be slept on. Kiss + Styles + Bumpy + DR Period circa 2000 = Superthug Anthem.
Ludacris and Just Blaze: This one could still happen. Just is still nasty and Luda’s still a beast. I’m gonna need Mr. Blaze to give Luda one of them super hero beats so he can black the uck out.
Jay-Z and Big Daddy Kane circa 2002: I know they’ve worked together in the past, but Jay wasn’t Hov at the time and Kane was on the decline. Some of you Future Flavors and Stretch Armstrong listeners will remember that BDK had somewhat of a resurgence at the top of the millenium. Not only did he murk Big L’s “Platinum Plus,” but he also did his thing on the DJ Premier-produced “Any Type Of Way” and “The Man, The Icon” produced by Alchemist. I’m sure a collabo at the time would have made Brooklyn proud.
Eminem and Pharoahe Monch: Remember when Em and Dre said Monch was nasty on 106 & Park? There were even long negotiations to ink Pharoahe to Shady Records, but it never materialized. I still don’t know why one of them blend DJs hasn’t added an Em verse to “Agent Orange” yet. It’s not too late. Pleae lock those guys up with Dre.
What about you guys? What are some of your dream collabos?