THE FAMOUS MUSIC COLLABORATIONS
What do you think is bound to happen if you took Musicology professor and the R in RnB, locked them in the same studio for two whole months with loads of chicken wings, drinks, enough green, Newports and PCP to complement the How To Wank for 60 Days manual?
Long after AIDS stricken Freddy Mercury recorded Mother Love, which had this line, "I long for peace before I die…" his heartfelt collabo with Monseratt Caballe for the opening of the ‘92 Barcelona Olympics remains a masterpiece. This is because even today you can still mix it on some pop, house, grundge, hip hop, RnB and even kwaito beat without robbing it of its goriness. Sadly, can’t say the same thing about Freddie’s anthem of the defeated, Mother Love.
Some hits sound kosher on their original version while they lose their integrity once they are covered or performed live. Some need extra spice and a different scenery to work out. However the same can’t be said about the last United States-French coalition. Or rather a US-Franco-Africa coalition of Yossour N’dour and Neneh Cherry. You play the original version from N’dour or Cherry’s respective albums or the version recorded live in Cape Town at the Nelson Mandela 46664 Concert, you just have to love 7 Seconds. N’dour and Cherry complement each other on the original which makes 7 Seconds a baby that will live a full life, even if it suddenly became orphaned.
The list of what was and what could have been goes a long way, including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight’s That’s what Friends are For. Remember Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston’s collabos, sometimes using a lackluster watered down formula that can only be described as either lukewarm wine or cold coffee, but always winning with hardcore fans.
Also remember Kabelo, Brown Dash and Mzekezeke. A dead track, only saved by the video and that it was on the Yizo Yizo III soundtrack. It was similar to what Puff Daddy, Pharrel Williams of the Neptunes and Lenny Kravitz tried to do. What a flop, it sounded like a mistake in progress, which it was.
Also, do you remember Ja Rule and Jeniffer Lopez with their MTV Awards’ abuse of I’m Real. It was later spoiled when Ja later claimed that they did more than just get down with the beat in the studio. Trust a nigga to mess things up.
This will be incomplete if Tupac and Biggie’s Running was not interrogated. The jury is still out on its merits since it has been so mixed and remixed it risks stealing the title of having invented the remix from P-Diddy and Bad Boy. But wasn’t it great hearing arguably two of the most talented contributors to rap strangle a beat?
Sometimes misery loves company, as Method Man once said. However he never heeded his own advise when he got together with fellow weedhead Redman to record. Quite slamming, but was the button pushers at Def Jam listening as well? I guess not, they were probably on some Rockwilder shit.
Another recent collabo was the Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake. It became a hit not much due to controversy as envisaged but because there was no bra-straps to undo while held up in the studio with virile men