Alicia Keys is a lot of things: A singer, a songwriter, a Grammy Award-winner, an on-the-nose Netflix romcom producer, a wife, a mother, and now, apparently, a true agent of chaos. Considering the absolute deluge of drama that comes out of any attempt to force Lil Wayne and Pusha T into reconciliation, her decision to put them both on her upcoming album KEYS is like the rap game equivalent of throwing rocks at a wasp’s nest. She shared a tracklist for the 26-track double album featuring both names and set rap fans buzzing about the possibility of renewed hostilities.
Granted, unlike prior attempts to force collaboration, she didn’t put them on the same track — in fact, she didn’t even put them on the same “disc,” as KEYS has a unique twist meant to show off the duality of the singer’s classical training as juxtaposed with her deep roots in hip-hop. But the move does read a lot like playing with fire, especially if Pusha T’s younger brother instincts take over and have him tossing darts at Lil Wayne across the gulf. The two don’t even have to be on the same track to spark resentment, with Pusha’s verse on Pop Smoke’s album taking shots at Wayne’s longtime labelmate Drake and prompting Young Thug to speak out against him.
Pusha T and Lil Wayne seeing each other on Alicia Keys new album tracklist pic.twitter.com/OvrgUI34jH
— #KEYS 🗝 (@DiaryOfKeysus) December 7, 2021
Pusha will appear on Side One, dropping bars on the intro track “Plentiful,” and Wayne will pop up on “Nat King Cole,” produced by Mike Will Made-It. Hopefully, the two can resist their urge to butt heads without being on the same track, as Rick Ross attempted to do in 2019 before Pusha torpedoed that plan with his “Maybach Music VI” verse, which ultimately had to be cut to keep the peace. If they can keep things civil, it’ll be one more step toward reconciliation after Wayne admitted he has no idea why Pusha has been sniping at him for the last 15 years.
“You can’t diss Lil Wayne”
— 𝙴𝚊𝚛𝚕 𝚂𝚠𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚙𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚜 ㄣ⃒ (@kayd_ssbm) December 7, 2021
Meanwhile, Alicia’s other guests are way more likely to keep things cool; as Khalid, Lucky Daye, and Swae Lee all seem unlikely to start throwing reckless haymakers at each other — although stranger things have happened in the world of hip-hop.
KEYS is due 12/10 on RCA. Pre-save it here.