Rap and rock artists should collab more


Breanna Moore, Layout and Design Manager

In today’s culture, it is not uncommon for musicians from different genres to come together to create music with one another. From pop and country to alternative and EDM collaborations, it’s always exciting to hear what artists from different areas of the industry come up with when working together. Of the many variations of collabs between genres, my personal favorite is one that I feel does not occur enough: collaborations between rock and hip-hop/rap.

Now, rap and rock have been known to mesh well together for at least the past decade. Originating primarily in the 2000’s, several rock bands incorporated different variations of rap into their music. Bands such as Hollywood Undead and Linkin Park were known for having portions of rap throughout various songs in their discography. However, those are not the type of rap-rock mashups that are the topic of this article. Instead, what I am referring to is the collaboration between a rock band and a rapper.

Even though rock and rap are two distinctly different genres of music, they surprisingly go incredibly well together. The first rock/rap collaboration that I had ever heard was “Alone” by Sleeping With Sirens featuring MGK, a.k.a. Machine Gun Kelly. The song came out in 2013 on the band’s third studio album. It quickly became my favorite song, and it remained my favorite for a long time. MGK’s rap lines blend in seamlessly with the rest of the elements within the song, yet also creates a bit of a contrast that makes it stand out. As someone who does not necessarily listen to much rap music, I actually really enjoyed hearing elements of both genres in one song. 

Since then, primarily in the more recent years, there have been increasingly more instances of rock bands and rap artists collaborating. One of my personal favorite bands called I Prevail has done two collabs with rappers during the cycle of their second album “Trauma”. On the first initial release of the album was a song called “Rise Above It”, which featured rapper Justin Stone. This is one of my favorite songs on the album, as the contrast of the hard rock vocals and the rapping sections came together to create a catchy, exciting song that makes you want to get up and move. Another song on the same album was called “DOA”, which stands for “Dead On Arrival.” Originally, the song had no featured musicians and was simply a song done by I Prevail. However, one year after the album’s release, they reimagined the song and included rising rapper Joyner Lucas. Along with Joyner’s emotional rapping introduction and the production of a very hard-hitting music video targeting problems within our country, the ending result was an incredibly powerful collaboration with great meaning behind it. I highly recommend watching the music video to the song, however viewer discretion is advised as the video contains a lot of upsetting and potentially triggering content, so please only watch if you are comfortable enough to. 

A few more honorable mentions of rock and rap collaborations I would like to include are “Heavy is the Weight” by Memphis May Fire featuring Andy Mineo and “Headspace” by Fame On Fire featuring Poorstacy. Both of these songs are brilliant combinations of the two genres with parts of pure hard rock, as well as rap sections that reflect the sound of modern day rap and hip-hop culture. These songs were also frequently played on satellite radio provider Sirius XM’s Octane, a station that plays hard rock hits and received a lot of love from fans.

Rock bands and rappers come together to make some of the best genre collaborations throughout the music industry. They bring something different to the music scene and need to be something that occurs more often. While these musicians are from two very different styles of music, they sound incredible when they are put together. Rock and rap artists should collaborate more, because in my opinion, they are something that the world needs more of.

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