Today, popular musicians are able to work beyond their respective fields. Just because an artist starts out in hip-hop, that doesn’t mean they won’t venture into the world of R&B, or even rock or country music, in some cases.
Pop stars and world-famous musicians don’t just stick to the recording booth, either. They try their hand at clothing collections, eSports, acting, and more. If fans are interested, then a savvy celebrity is, too. After all, their brand is often built on their ability to stun and please fans.
When it comes to hip-hop artists specifically, many partner up with similar musicians to deliver albums like Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne or MF Doom and Madlib’s Madvillainy. But as hip-hop became more popular in the late 90s and early 2000s, those partnerships became even more varied.
Some of them delivered on hit mashups, while others fell flat. Let’s take a closer look at some of hip-hops weirdest joint projects in the past two decades.
Nicki Minaj & Justin Bieber
2012 “Beauty and the Beat”
As one of the most seasoned and respected hip-hop artists active today, Nicki Minaj often finds her way into headlines. Whether making cheeky comments or beefing with other artists, she’s not afraid of the limelight.
She’s not afraid of pop music crossovers, either. In fact, much of her career has come from crossover hits like Superbass. However, her 2012 mashup with Bieber on ‘Beauty and the Beat’ didn’t just fall flat—it crashed and burned.
Lil Wayne & Donald Trump
Hip-hop artists partnering with elite businesspeople isn’t anything new, which makes Lil Wayne’s endorsement of Trump in 2020 unsurprising. What’s less certain is what Lil Wayne expected out of the relationship given Trump’s catalogue of business losses and a tenuous overlap of their fanbases.
Kanye West & Kim Kardashian
Though not technically a business partnership, the long-term relationship between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian bled over into the musician’s career frequently. Though kept separate, their Yeezy and KKW brands often benefitted from cross-appeal from fans.
Kim, as either a brand, muse, or romantic partner (or even all three), also appeared in West’s video for ‘Bound 2’ back in 2013. Over the course of their relationship, they were seen with fellow musical power couple, Jay-Z and Beyonce. Earlier this year, Kim filed for divorce.
Snoop Dogg & Martha Stewart
2016 “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”
Though partners like Jay-Z and Beyonce (and even Kim and Kanye), have been regarded as dynastic artists in the music industry, Snoop Dogg & Martha Stewart are close behind. The friends and business partners first teamed up in 2008 when Snoop appeared on her cooking show.
Following a few appearances on her show, Snoop and Stewart delighted fans with their Twitter exchanges. Eventually, their friendship blossomed into multiple business ventures, including a candle collection from Snoop, before launching their own show on VH1 in 2016, titled ‘Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party’.
Nelly & Tim McGraw
2004 “Over and Over”
Some ideas don’t get enough credit in their time. Today, country and hip-hop mashups are becoming popular via artists like Lil Nas X, developing into a specific country rap genre. Back in 2004, Nelly and country singer Tim McGraw took a chance with ‘Over and Over’.
Some turned up their nose at the song; it wasn’t country enough, nor was it considered rap. Nelly, from the Midwest, called on the country singer to deliver something new. However, though the song became a major hit, their groundbreaking partnership didn’t help launch a new genre—at least not right away.
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