When Watch The Throne dropped in 2011, it was an event, a once-in-a-lifetime meeting of minds that felt special because it was.
Six years later, with the release of Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho the latest in a seemingly interminable string of middling to mediocre collaborative rap projects, I just wish rappers would realize that maybe, just maybe, they can’t recapture that lightning in a bottle and stop trying to.
In 2017 alone, we had Super Slimey, Without Warning, and the aforementioned Huncho Jack, with rumors of a Future/Nicki Minaj joint project. Fans continued to wheedle Top Dawg Entertainment for a non-existent J. Cole/Kendrick Lamar project so badly that label president Punch had to formally issue news of the project’s demise on Twitter — even though it had never been a plan for either TDE or Dreamville since fans got it in their heads they wanted it some three years ago.
Even Drake and Future’s much-anticipated 2015 pairing What A Time To Be Alive was a disappointment, if not an outright stinker, which leads to the question: Why do fans keep demanding these albums when so many of them have failed to live up to expectations?
When two MCs rock a track together, there is often an effect akin to the combinations of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’ Neal, or LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. In short, they make each other better. A top competitor meets his or her match and elevates his or her game — whether out of competition, like the Bryant/Shaq combo that three-peated the NBA championship in the 2000’s or by a metaphysical, platonic pairing like the James/Wade Miami combination that saw them perfectly come together like yin-and-yang.
Another analogy would be akin to a Hall of Fame quarterback being matched with an All-Pro wide receiver. Each plays their role to their absolute peak and finds their ideal match, someone who ensures that every effort they make will be mirrored and matched by a complementary partner.