They were fun while they lasted. I truly enjoyed Drip Harder, a collaborative effort from two of my favourite artists, and I personally felt as if the hype surrounding the release had been satisfactorily met. But, then I thought, it’s enough now.
The last year has seen a surge in collaborative tapes; before, collaborative tapes were hugely sporadic (which ultimately helped fans take them in more) but now, with a new one seemingly dropping every month, they’ve lost their novelty and freshness. It’s like every new artist is following the same recipe for success; release a hit single, get your name bubbling a bit, then BAM! Straight to a collab tape. It’s boring, guys.
Don’t get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed some of the collaborative tapes that have dropped in the last 12 months for a specific period of time; Without Warning probably being my favourite, and one of the very few that I still listen to til this day. Hearing your favourite artists coming together on a song is special enough, so to have a whole tape of the two just going back and forth is great to hear. But why is it that collaborative tapes have become almost obligatory for artists now? It is rare to not see artists’ mentions and Instagram feeds littered with requests from fans for them to drop a tape with so and so, and sometimes you have to look at these comments and think, why?
A LOT of these tapes have either been rushed i.e Huncho Jack or forced i.e Double or Nothing (which was Big Sean’s collab tape with Metro Boomin which absolutely nobody listened to). Here’s the makeup of 75% of modern collab tapes; same old features (Offset, 21 Savage etc) and 6-8 tracks throwaway filler songs and only about 3-4 standouts. And because of this, they are swept under the carpet within 2 weeks of their release, which bears the question of ‘what is the actual point?’.
For newer artists; why invest so much energy into a joint tape that is going to be forgotten about so soon, when you could go for a more organic approach of growing your fanbase, and drop your own music and build your own buzz? Establish yourself first ffs. I personally think collaborative tapes should be a no-go zone for new artists, because at the end of the day, people want to know YOUR sound and style, not your sound mixed with somebody else’s. One of the rare examples of a collaborative tape from two new artists which actually benefited both artists was Fed Babys 2, by Moneybagg Yo and NBA Youngboy, two artists who had already built themselves established fanbases (fanbases which probably consisted of the same people), and used the tape as a platform to get even bigger. Compare that to Trippie Redd and Lil Wop’s joint tape, Angels and Demons, which came out last year, when both artists were very fresh on the scene – a reactionary tape, that had little to no impact on either artists’ career, and sounded as forced as it did rushed. A poor choice of artists to boot; nobody is tryna hear them two on a track, let alone a tape. Collaborative tapes should only be seen as an option for established artists from now please, it’s actually enough.
Moral of this post; if the collab makes sense, drop it. If you haven’t got a mixtape to your name yet, keep it. And Drip Harder was better than Watch The Throne.
This post was inspired by a video I saw in which Quavo said that Migos and Drake have a collab tape on the way. Who actually asked them? Please keep it.