Original publish date: 9/26/2013
When an artist is featured on a song not only are they putting their own brand at risk but potentially forfeiting their best work over to someone else. We’ve all been guilty of listening to a collaborative song and thinking “why in the hell did he jump on this whack track” or “Damn, she just ruined this song.” Much thought should be put into collaborative projects but unfortunately many aren’t doing so.
Artists can’t always dominate a beat on their own. Artists can’t always tell an affective story solo. Collaborations are, yes needed but they’re needed sometimes at a cost. One of those costs being losing credibility.
We are living in an era of declining credibility. This era is not only because of lack of thought but also because of excess generosity. Is Lil Wayne annoying for handing out verses like candy? Is Eminem a great because he doesn’t hop on just anyone’s song? Featuring has a fine line between success and failure.
Listeners, including myself, live for memorable collaborations and experiencing amazing creativity tossed back and forth between complimenting artists. Maybe DJ Khaled shouldn’t recruit the whole mainstream rap community to do one half ass song. And maybe Kendrick Lamar shouldn’t hand out great verses to the incohesive
Some artists are too good for some songs, some artists aren’t a good fit with others and some artists are deluding the pool of music by spreading themselves too thin. Featuring at its best makes sense and at its worst leaves listeners puzzled. Let’s hope the future holds better collaborations then what we’re dealing with today.