Kanye West and Jay Z: The greatest collaboration ever…Or the greatest flop

27 Jan

The jury is still out regarding H.A.M., amidst the hype with facebook pages crashing and all, the song is alright, nothing exceptional just standard. And with this the question is asked whether questionably two of the greatest artists in Hip Hop, with a combined total of 24 grammys, can pull off delivering an excellent album.
Apart from the obvious ego stroking, there is no particular reason as to why this collaboration is happening. They don’t need to do this, they have achieved all what they need to achieve in Hip Hop; so this is merely a want. To be able to say that they have done a collaboration that will probably break some form of record. Hopefully, because of this want, the album should deliver to expectations. They have worked together for years on various tracks on each of their own and other artist’s albums, producing excellent pieces of work. However, rather than the odd one or two tracks, this will be a full album, trying to encompass both artist’s creativity. Therein lies the problem. As opposed to a group, each artist comes with their own ideas of creative direction to the table with some form of compromise. Groups tend to have an organic process of creativity, whilst the compromise is still there, it won’t be as apparent compared to two solo artists.
Who will play the role of Batman and Robin? Kanye with an ego as big as Alaska would be expected to let Jay Z take the lead on this project, but can such creativity be stifled to a man who arguably has the best album this year and has pushed the boundaries of Hip Hop to the extreme? Likewise, does Kanye expect Jay Z to go along with all of his wacky ideas? It may be fine if it were Kanye alone, but even the adaptable Jay Z, has a limit.
Two great artists doing an album together doesn’t automatically equal to critical success. Remember R. Kelly and Jay Z’s Best Of Both Worlds? A good album, but it didn’t do well as hoped. This could also be true for Kanye West and Jay Z.
During the next subsequent weeks, the urban world will be watching keenly at this joint venture, but until the album is dropped, all we can do is speculate.
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