It seems like, every so often, we hear two (or more) artists with great chemistry on a record, or string of records and then either they announce or we expect a joint effort from them…and it never comes. And, as a (former) musician, it makes sense. No two artists record at the same speed and if you’ve been a solo artist your entire career, taking time away from that to drop a project with somebody else may not make the best business sense. That being said, as a fan, it still sucks when they don’t deliver on the hype of a great collab. So, here are some of the best Group albums that never happened.
The Commission was our vision, we ain’t see it come to fruition, we ran outta time, damn – Jay Z
The Commission was a proposed supergroup composed of Jay Z, The Notorious BIG, Charli Baltimore, Lil Cease, P Diddy and Un Rivera. Thinking about this group in 2017 is mind blowing. I mean, Jay is the GOAT and Biggie is a larger than life legend in everybody’s Top 5. That alone makes the thought of a project between these two unreal. But back in 96? The King of NY and and up and coming lyrical wizard? Definitely would’ve been something to witness. Obviously, the untimely demise of Biggie took away any chance of hearing this album but I Love the Dough and Brooklyn’s Finest gave us a small taste of what could have been. RIP BIG!
Most rap fans know Murder Inc as the label founded by Irv Gotti and the home of Ja Rule and Ashanti. But it was also supposed to be a supergroup composed of Jay Z, DMX and Ja Rule. The group only released 2 records, Murdagram and It’s Murda before quietly fading away, apparently, due to tension between DMX and Hov.
Jay Z and Pharrell
Although I’m unsure if these two ever officially announced a joint album, it’s still something that, as a fan, you just hoped would happen at some point. I mean, these two have a slew of hit records together from Give It To Me, to Excuse Me Miss, Frontin’, Allure, Change Clothes, etc. There’s ZERO reason these two couldn’t have given us at least an EP.
Mac and Brad
From their collab on Guess Who’s Back (along with Hov) it was clear Scarface and Beanie Sigel had the chemistry needed to pull off a full album. The Broadstreet Bully and Mr. Jordan have collabed multiple times over the years, but sadly, no album ever materialized.
I Can’t Feel My Face
The synergy between Weezy and ‘Elz was something otherworldly in the mid 2000s. Anything the two of them were on together was fire and there’s zero doubt and album would’ve had the same result. Weezy F Baby and Human Crack in the Flesh both had star power and charisma needed to carry a project worthy of the hype it generated. Sadly, label politics and the chronic leaking of Wayne’s records stopped this album from ever happening.
Child Rebel Soldier
Child Rebel Soldier was supposed to be the supergroup that changed hip-hop for fans of backpack hip-hop. Composed of Kanye, Lupe and Pharrell, the trio initially collabed on Us Placers for Ye’s Can’t Tell Me Nothing mixtape and the trio decided to form a group. Sadly, label politics, Kanye being the biggest rapper in the world (at the time) doomed them from giving us an album. Luckily, we did two more records from them Everybody Nose Remix and Don’t Stop.
All City Chess Club
Speaking of Lupe, the All City Chess Club was his brainchild. A supergroup consisting of backpack and alternative rap up and comers. Composed of Lupe, Asher Roth, BOB, Diggy Simmons, J Cole, Charles Hamilton, Wale, Pharrell, The Cool Kids, Pharrell, Blu and Dosage, this group only gave us one record I’m Beamin Remix and it didn’t feature all of the members. With as many people in this group, it’s no wonder we never got a full project from them.
J Cole and Kendrick Lamar
I’ve come to the conclusion that this album is just never coming out and if it was, we would’ve gotten it by now. Cole and Kendrick have teased this album for years and we’ve still only gotten one record from it. And I get it, the time for them to do this was on their come up, not now when they are two of the biggest superstars in hip-hop. Their schedules and other responsibilities likely won’t allow for it. The crazy thing about it is the only record we have where both of them rap together is a low quality audio rip of the video above Temptation. Cole produced HiiiPower for Dot and Dot did the chorus for Forbidden Fruit for Cole. That tells me that they have songs recorded but they are saving them in the hopes that an album will get done. Maybe, when these guys hit the downslope of their careers, we will finally get at least an EP from them and hopefully, that’s a looooooong time from now.
Did somebody say “rap supergroup” and “Kendrick”? You knew this was coming and also that it’s never coming. Black Hippy, the TDE supergroup consisting of Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q is one of the tightest knit and most lyrical groups this side of Slaughterhouse. But much like Cole and Kendrick, the time for this group to make an album has passed. They are all big name rappers and if they didn’t give us one when they were hungry up and comers with nothing but time to make records, we aren’t getting one now that they are all household names as solo artists. But thankfully, we still get a fire posse cut from them once a year where Jay Rock reminds everyone who the big brother is.
Chance and Childish Gambino
A joint album between Chano and Bino has been teased for a while now and it’s one we just may get. While both have ascended into super stardom, they both seem to want to make this project. Also, with Gambino working his way away from music, he may make the time to get this done. Songs like Favorite Song and They Don’t Like Me definitely give you a small glimpse into what could happen over the course of an EP or full blown album.
And while this list isn’t all encompassing, I think it shows just how hard it is to bring two stars together to make a joint album. So when we get them, we should be impressed. The Slaughterhouses, WATTBA, WTT, and RTJs of the world are rare. Hell, it’s insane to think about Jay Z, at the height of his rap dominance, recording a mash up EP overnight with Linkin Park. That just doesn’t happen anymore. So, hopefully, the next time two rappers announce a collab album and we get it, we remember just how rare it is.