Five supremely strange rap collaborations

It’s always interesting when people go out of their comfort zone to make music – too many artists are more than content to keep doing the same thing over and over, so I can appreciate some outside-the-box thinking.

Sometimes, the results are positive. Say what you will, but I’ve liked Chris Martin’s forays into rap, both on Kanye’s “Homecoming” and Jay-Z’s “Beach Chair”.

But sometimes, you wonder what kind of crack everyone was smoking when they met in the recording studio. We’re going to look at five of the worst offenders.

Bone Thugs & Harmony featuring Phil Collins – “Home”: This goes beyond simply using a Collins sample. Originally, that’s what the speedy quartet wanted to do, but Collins apparently was taken with the idea (and obviously didn’t have anything better to do) and decided to actually lend his vocals to the project.

In some ways, I can even deal with this. But then BNTH got the great idea to make “Home” into a video, and thus we are treated to the truly incongruous image of a 60-year-old Brit hanging out with three dudes from Cleveland (by “hanging out” I mean, “looking creepy”). I can imagine 80 percent of Bone’s fan base was like, “Who’s this old white dude?”

Was Phil really this desperate for publicity that he just couldn’t have cleared the sample?

LFO featuring MOP – “Life is Good”: To truly understand how odd this is, you must have some history with East Coast gangsta rap and how the Mash Out Posse is the grimiest of the grimy. I mean, these dudes spend 90% of their albums shouting murderous exhortations to brothas decked out in hoodies and Timberlands.

On the other hand, you have LFO (which apparently stands for Lyte Funky Ones), possibly the softest boy band foisted upon us during the Great Boy Band Era of the late 1990s. You may remember (or want to forget) their hit “Summer Girls,” which put Abercrombie & Fitch in the public conscious.

If you gave me a million guesses, I would have never put these two groups together, yet here we are, which truly makes me wonder about M.O.P.’s finances. Just look at those guys!

Victoria Beckham featuring Jim Jones – “This Groove”: Lets forget for a second that the former Posh Spice committed audio murder against The System’s great 80s jam. No, the bigger issue is that for a brief period around 2003, people thought Posh was going to be some sort of urban diva.

Legendary blowhard and sometime producer Damon Dash hooked up with Mrs. Beckham with the hopes of capitalizing on her overseas popularity through a hip hop/R&B-flavored album, of which this single was one of the first releases (I’m not sure anyone besides DipSet diehards have actually heard it).

It’s pandering at its laziest, with Jones dropping in to trade a few verses and come hithers with Posh. I can only imagine what she thought when Jones and his crew rolled in. There’s very little evidence that this song actually exists and since I can’t post iTunes songs, I must leave you with Posh herself, writhing around while bleating her lyrics.

Kool G Rap featuring Haylie Duff – “On The Rise”: The ballad of the aged rapper is a sad one indeed. Kool G Rap is a Hall of Famer, no doubt, but his career certainly has hit a brick wall. So what’s a guy to do? Get the less-popular sister of a pop starlet to appear on your latest single!

The weird thing about “On The Rise” is that it’s a damn good song, produced by DJ Premier and featuring some sharp raps by a still potent G Rap. But Haylie Duff? I don’t understand it, especially considering she’s on the hook for like 7 seconds. What is the benefit of this for either party?

I couldn’t pick out Haylie Duff if she was standing on my front porch, so I’m not going to turn into some big fan. And all 22 of Haylie’s fans aren’t going to find anything in common with a 40-plus thug rapper. A truly bizarre combo.

Ashkay Kumar featuring Snoop Dogg – “Singh is King”: There are some people I am convinced will do anything if you ask them. I could be putting on an elementary school play and if I asked Samuel L. Jackson to appear, he’d probably show up.

Snoop Dogg is the same way. At one point considered to be the king of the West Coast, Snoop has become a caricature of himself, offering half-hearted 16s to any artist whose check clears. And thus we have this merging of Bollywood and hip hop, done to far less success than other attempts.

Seriously, what the hell is Snoop doing here? Does this make any sense?

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~ by Elliott on January 19, 2010.

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