Some Beloved Unexpected Collabs

Re-listening to the no longer recent, "Jabroni," as well as the "Tiimmy Turner (Preemix)," had me going back on some collaborations that caught me a bit off guard. Now, these are strictly rap, so no Bone Thugs and Phil Collins collabs. But, they do make you think about how initial contact went down, if they were in the studio together, and other curiosities about how a hip-hop odd couple might work. I'm sure some readers can connect all of the dots on how some of the pairings went down, or trace back their lineage, but I think for the most part they make one think.

Gucci Mane - "Poltergeist" Ft. Talib Kweli

It seems like you can almost make this list entirely from Gucci's catalogue, but this one sticks out the most. You can't say Gucci's name without the word "trap" in the same sentence, and likewise for Talib and "conscious". That's to the public eye, at least. This song came off the Gucci mixtape circa 2010 , Jewelry Selection, and I think it works pretty nicely. As expected it took some heat from hip-hop purists, but HipHopDX caught up with Talib on his thoughts of all the flack.

Mac Miller - "Uber" Ft. Mike Jones 

This track comes from Mac's lengthy and amusingly trippy 2014 project, Faces. It only makes sense that on this left-field, cinema of a mixtape he called upon some random names to help him out. I couldn't be happier that Mike Jones was one of them. Mac and Mike exercise some surprising chemistry on the track- Mike Jones playing a helping role in a plot of sorts on the cut. Arguably the most eccentric of Houston's wave from the early-mid 2000's, Mike Jones will always be a hip-hop favorite whether he's along side the likes of Slim Thugg and Michael Watts, or Mac Miller. Shout out to Mac for making this happen.

The Roots - "Should I" Ft. Project Pat 

This might as well be my favorite track on the list. The Roots have pretty much always been the epitome of being a hip-hop "band," and Project Pat has always embodied the balance of being a pimp and an emcee. At the time it would have came out it probably would have got some polarizing reception similar to the Gucci Mane and Talib Kweli collaboration atop of this list. This song was never officially released by The Roots for reasons unknown, and I'm not positive on the date it was recorded. Malik has a verse on the track which is telling, and I've heard it was just prior to one of Pat's stints behind bars, so maybe...'99? Regardless, there is more I'd like to find out about this track that has a lot of question marks surrounding it.

Rick Ross & Meek Mill - "Perfectionist" 

Okay, I'll admit, I tried to bait you by leaving the title of this one as is. The real reason it makes this list is because of the production from The Alchemist. I mean, at this point Al' shouldn't really be allowed on this list because he's damn near worked with everyone who's looked at a microphone, but this one still fascinates me. It was around 2011 take in mind, so MMG had a lot of beats coming in from all angles, but this one proved worthy. Say what you want about Rick Ross and Meek Mill, but they were a different type of smooth on this one. It could be heard on Alchemist's Cutting Room Floor 3.

Fredo Santana - "Riot" Ft. Childish Gambino

This is another track that will be polarizing to readers. I happen to enjoy it, maybe for the idea of the collab alone. You can tell Childish was happy to get a spot on a the cut, it sounds like the actor in him took it as a chance to fit the Fredo mold. Fredo's leaned out auto-tuning, Childish being Childish, and guitar-riddled production from Young Chop? Yes please. Walking Legend is the project from Fredo that brought together the worlds of xanned out trap activity and exciting social activism.

Fascinating collaborations like these come around pretty infrequently, but they're always worth a listen, even if it's the last listen they get. They promote diversity within the genre, and keep fans on their toes. So, here's to the rappers that are brave enough to step out of their boundaries.