Although the current state of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s relationship remains unconfirmed, that will not let us forget six years ago when the legendary duo blessed the game with Watch The Throne, one of the strongest joint albums of all time.
When working within the same industry, especially one that consists of infinite hours vibing in the studio, collabing and partying at the most unimaginable scenes, there’s bound to be some strong bonds that are developed. It’s dope to see such tight knit relationships between MC’s that survive hip-hop’s ups and downs, from the rap beefs to the love triangles. Projects like Watch The Throne allow the musical chemistry and bond shine through, and they are only possible through genuine teamwork. The list of friendships in hip-hop is endless, but here are some of the culture’s favorites in honor of the album’s six year anniversary.
Drake and Lil Wayne
Tat it so we know it’s real, Drake. Oh wait, he did.
6 God’s admiration for Lil Wayne is no hidden phenomenon. Since that legendary meet up on “November 18th”, he’s been super open about how he owes the start of his rap career to Weezy. He has expressed his gratitude in countless verses, interviews, posts and then even solidified his devotion with an arm tattoo of Lil Wayne’s face. Drake has called Wayne his hero and his mentor. Despite the circulation of rumors a few years ago that he was planning to leave Wayne in pursuit of his own label, Drake squashed any speculation and told us over and over again that he will never leave YMCMB or Wayne’s side. Wayne always reciprocates the love, rapping bars like “We pop it like champagne bottles but we never shook / And we gon’ be alright if we put Drake on every hook”, stating that he’s confident in Drake’s talent and ability to hold the team down. Back in 2010, before Weezy was locked up, Drake said “I don’t think there will ever be anybody like Lil Wayne ever again in hip-hop. He paralyzes the room when he walks into it, his wordplay, the excitement that he brings to his music.” Quite frankly, he’s right.
J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar
This mystery collab album has apparently been “on the way” for four years now. But we’ll wait, because we need it.
The two have been friends starting around 2010, and since then, it’s been nothing but love. Although fans constantly compare the two, there has never been an ounce of animosity between these “leaders of the new school”. In the topic of “who’s doing what” in the hip-hop world, a mention of J. Cole almost always elicits a mention of Kendrick, and vice versa. They have brought each other out at countless shows (even one this year), worked together on songs, and always have nothing but words of praise about each other. One of their earliest collabs dates back to 2011, when Cole, who is also a skilled producer, handed over a beat to K. Dot for him to do his thing on. This song later went on to become “HiiiPoWer”, one of Kendrick’s most iconic tracks. Fast forward a few years, Kendrick makes an appearance on J. Cole’s 2013 Born Sinner album on the song “Forbidden Fruit”, a stand-out track on the project. The two wordsmiths went on to drop two incredibly strong solo albums, To Pimp A Butterfly and 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and then surprised fans by dropping remixes of each other’s songs. Kendrick ripped apart Cole’s “A Tale Of 2 Citiez” and Cole spit over Dot’s “Alright”. Rumors have been circulating about a collab album for years now, and these rumors have even been fueled by the two rapper’s themselves at times. This sparked extreme anticipation, catapulting fan art and thinkpieces of the album’s potential greatness. Obviously, the project is still nowhere in sight, but because of this dope bromance and all the already existing collaborations between Cole and Kendrick that showcase their undeniable chemistry, it’s sure to be legendary if it ever drops.
Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa
Nothing makes a bond stronger than holding it down for the same home.
As you may have heard, Chance the Rapper brought out fellow Chicago rapper, Vic Mensa, during his performance at Lollapalooza this past weekend. This was especially a treat not only because the festival took place in their beloved home city, but also because fans have been questioning the relationship between the two recently, as it seemed like it was on shaky grounds. Since way back, the two were believed to have been the best of friends. Both Chano and Mensa were Chicago’s rising heroes, as both of their careers looked incredibly promising and they were oozing with potential. They were both affiliated with Save Money crew, and also work extremely closely with Chicago’s very own legend, Kanye West. Chance’s bars on Acid Rain gave us some perspective early on his relationship with Vic: “And I still get jealous of Vic / And Vic’s jealous of me / But if you touch my brother / All that anti-violence shi*t goes out the window / Along with you and the rest of your team.” In retrospect, whether their speculated “beef” was due to some competition, it’s best to look at it as healthy competition. This goes hand in hand with their extremely brother-like relationship. Both are holding it down for their home, and at least we can rest easy now that we know they are officially on good terms.
Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert
We gotta get a new wave one in here. For clout.
In a recent session with Genius, Playboi Carti was asked who his dream collab would be. Out of the limitless possible answers he could have picked, meaning young, old, dead or alive, who does he select? Lil Uzi Vert. If that’s not a healthy bromance, then what is? Besides appearing frequently on each other’s records, Uzi and Carti are super tight in real life, and always have been. When asked about Uzi, Carti says without any hesitation, “That’s my brother. That’s my twin. Real life brothers. We got good chemistry.” The two have been on tour together and always uplift each other when the chance comes. Uzi killed his verse on one of Carti’s most popular songs, “wokeuplikethis*”, and their list of features on each other’s tracks goes on and on. In regards to the whole new wave gang in general, relations seem to be in great shape as they each stay in their own lanes while still vibing off of each other (Savage on his trap ish, Uzi is on his rockstar lane, while Yachty is on his mainstream lane, etc.).
Big Boi and Andre 3000
We’re going to be brothers for life.
How much do you really have to trust someone enough to dive in and start a group with them? Features are cool and so are words of encouragement when names are mentioned, but Big Boi and Andre 3000 really went in “all or nothing” style when they formed Outkast together. Through the years they have solidified their place as rap legends, dropping classic albums (yes, plural) while staying fly and shattering expectations, both in and out the booth. Although they split as a group, Big Boi assured everyone that he and Andre 3K will always be in good spirits. “We’re brothers before music. We were brothers before this, and we’re going to be brothers for life,” he told Essence. He also told CNN that their relationship is not just about the music, but rather brotherhood. “We’re best friends. Music just came along because it’s what we’re put here to do and what God brought us together to do. But that’s my brother, you know what I’m saying? There’s no beef, no nothing.” The duo definitely has the most promising bromance of all time, and the brotherhood will be everlasting.
Kanye West and Jay-Z
My big brother was B.I.G.’s brother. Used to be Dame and Biggs’ brother.
Last but not least, we have la familia. Jay-Z has taken Kanye under his wing since the start of his career, and the two have always been seen as tight as can be. Whether it was business or personal, during the early years, they were there for each other. On “Last Call” off of Kanye’s debut album, he speaks candidly at the end of the track about how he and Hova linked. Similar to Drake and Lil Wayne’s relationship, it started off as a mentor/big brother figure situation, then eventually developed into something greater. Although Kanye was initially brought into the music world as a producer, he was able to gain respect as a rapper steadily and once he won over King Hov, it was a wrap. Kanye and Jay have numerous tracks together, and shook the world with their epic joint album. In 2007, Kanye dropped one of the most famous accounts of their relationship, his track dedicated to Jay-Z titled “Big Brother”. The song details how their journey has its ups and downs, but the bond had already been built. Kanye West and Jay-Z have one of the most iconic relationships in hip-hop of all time, and no matter what happens, it’s safe to say the rest of the game will feel the impact forever.