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A Project Where An Artist Works With One Producer? Hmm

It was only a matter of time. To be honest, it surely started before this, but I just missed it: rappers making reference to the new most hated trio in sports, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

Game does so on his newly released track, “M.I.A.,” where he spits about keeping three heats on him. 45, Glock, and the Gauge. LeBron James, Chris Bosh and D-Wade. Okay. Not bad.

The track is produced by Cool & Dre and is off of Game’s upcoming mixtape, Brake Lights. The production duo will reportedly be handling all the beats on the project. They’ve worked with Game plenty before and created major hits like “Hate It or Love It” and “My Life,” as well as bangers like “Red Magic” and more. From their past work together, I have no doubt that this mixtape will bump. And it’ll be interesting to hear Game do an entire album with just one production team.

On Wednesday, when we had Styles P in here for the fourth installment of Channel Live, he began taking fan questions, as we do every week. Some fans wanted to know if he’d ever make a full album with either Alchemist or Statik Selektah (Beantown, what up), both of whom he’d worked with in the past. SP answered without hesitation. “Nah,” he said. He then expanded, detailing something to the effect of, he has different feelings at different times, and has a handful of different sounds, and doesn’t want to pigeon hold himself into recording with just one dude.

Cool. I can get with that. I can’t tell the man how to work, even if I do think that full length projects with Alc and Statik would be dope.

That said, it seems like, a lot of times, when rappers work with producers for an entire album or mixtape, the end result feels whole. You have a sound that carries consistently throughout the record. Not in a boring way, though, as if it all sounds the same. More like you just get a feel for what they’re doing, and the album has a constant thread.

A little more than a decade ago, Mannie Fresh was handling all the production for Cash Money. 400 Degreez, Chopper City in the Ghetto, and Tha Block Is Hot were all entirely his touch. 9th Wonder is another producer who has done a handful of albums with just one rapper. From Skyzoo to Murs to Buckshot to David Banner to Wale, 9th seems to like working on full length offerings. It happens a little more often with mixtapes it seems like. Jake One and Freeway released The Stimulus Package, Talib Kweli and Madlib had Liberation, and Statik and Saigon created All In A Day’s Work, to name a few.

Of course, there are dudes that produce all of their own shit, like Kanye, and groups like Gang Starr and Pete Rock & CL Smooth, but those are a little bit of a different beast.

I’m definitely forgetting and leaving out a bunch. What are your favorite rapper/producer collabo albums? Do you like it when artists work with one producer for an entire project, or would you rather it be spread out? —Adam Fleischer

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