Drake and Future’s entry in the rap collaboration game

A look at "What a Time to Be Alive" and other tag-team LPs


Every once in awhile, the rap industry blesses us with a new collaboration or compilation album. There is something incredibly enticing about having prominent artists come together, mixing their sounds and influences and sometimes bringing together fanbases that wouldn’t normally converge. The latest rap collaboration album to hit music libraries is “What a Time to Be Alive” by superstar rappers Drake and Future. The album is truly a highlight of the two young rappers’ careers, and the braggadocious audacity of their styles manifests itself magnificently on the album.

The release is an 11-track victory lap around what fans love most about the two rappers. Both are known for their singing and rapping dynamism, making the need for vocalists to sing the hooks completely unnecessary. Whereas other rap collaborations feature many different artists, Drake and Future’s effort is entirely their own work. Some definite tracks to check out on the album include “Diamonds Dancing,” “Change Locations” and “Jumpman.”

Beyond this year's collaboration between Drake and Future, rap lovers have had a pretty great past few years as far as collaborative albums go. Earlier this year, Chris Brown and Tyga released “Fan of a Fan: The Album.” The album received mixed reviews and spawned only two singles (“Ayo” and “B*****s N Marijuana”). All in all, it was pretty forgettable, bogged down by throwaway tracks and mediocre rapping. The music industry learned Chris Brown should stick to singing and Tyga should stick to...whatever it is he does.

Another collaboration album over the past few years came in the form of Young Money’s latest release last year, “Young Money: Rise of an Empire,” which was also met with mixed reviews. It was a rag-tag collection of songs, with only a few standout tracks (“Lookin Ass” and “Trophies”). Even this star-studded roster proved that it is not easy to put together a tight-knit collaborative album, especially, when it comes to bringing together very strong rappers on the same label.

A few highly notable highlights of the past few years of collaborative and compilation rap albums have been “Shady XV” (2014), “Cruel Summer” (2012) and “Watch The Throne” (2011). While Drake and Future are not the first two rappers to come together in recent memory, they certainly produced a great body of music together, and collaborations of this magnitude are what truly keep the rap community alive. 2015 has been an excellent year for the two artists who are still fresh off the heels of their most recent album release (Drake in February, and Future in July). Now the question is: who will be dropping the next big collaboration album?

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