Joint Hip-Hop Albums: The Best, Ranked
Joint hip-hop albums are much more common than they are in other genres. For example, rapper Future has done quite a few collaborative projects. Hip-hop is a collaborative genre, so these records aren’t uncommon. Arguably, joint albums have often superseded an artist standing alone. Here, we’re looking at some of rap’s best collisions in the studio.
7. Super Slimey – Future & Young Thug (2017)
Super Slimey showcases two of the most influential trap artists of all time. Future and Young Thug have both inspired later generations of rappers and, before doing this project, already cemented themselves as some of the all-time greats. Their joint work wasn’t a groundbreaking record, nor was it either of their best work. Nevertheless, seeing (or hearing) these two artists, who have produced so many iconic songs together, put out a full-length project was excellent.
6. Drip Harder– Lil Baby & Gunna (2018)
Lil Baby and Gunna were a match made in heaven, and that shows on Drip Harder. The collaborative project has these two arguably in their best shape. Neither has produced a solo album quite as good as this one. Perhaps they’re better together than they are apart. There are a lot of excellent tracks on this, such as “Belly,” “Never Recover,” “Drip Too Hard,” and “Business is Business.”
5. What A Time To Be Alive – Future & Drake (2015)
What A Time To Be Alive features two of the most iconic rappers from this age. Many consider Drake the greatest rapper working right now, and there’s no way to tell the story of hip-hop without including a heavy dose of Future. These artists have linked up for many great songs, but their joint album was a true work of art. Even eight years later, the project still stands up in their vast discographies. It’s a short album with only 11 tracks. However, what they sacrificed in length, they more than made up for with quality. There’s hardly a skip on the entire project.
4. Kids See Ghosts – Kanye West & Kid Cudi (2018)
In 2018, it was a big year for joint hip-hop albums. Several other entries on this list were put out that year, but the best and most interesting one was Kanye West (now known simply as Ye) and Kid Cudi’s Kids See Ghosts. This project or a sequel couldn’t happen today due to the conflict between the artists and the never-ending controversy with Ye. However, it stands as one of the most unique collaborations in hip-hop history.
It’s full of excellent songs despite only featuring seven tracks. They’re all unique and find a way to stand out. While both of these artists have legendary discographies, and it’s easy to forget they worked together, this album is still worth revisiting today. It’s not either of their best works, but it is each artist’s most distinctive.
3. Watch the Throne – Kanye West & Jay-Z (2011)
Watch the Throne is one of the earlier examples of a joint album between hip-hop artists. While they existed much earlier than 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s crossover helped set the standard and bring collaborative records into the mainstream. While it’s not Jay-Z’s album of the same name, it is the “blueprint” for how joint hip-hop albums should work. These two worked in perfect tandem and produced iconic songs. Hip-hop would not be the same today if Jay and Ye didn’t decide to come together for one of the best albums of the 21st century. For that alone, it’s one of the best joint hip-hop albums ever.
2. Pluto x Baby Pluto– Future & Lil Uzi Vert (2020)
Understandably, 2020 was a pretty down year for music and the arts. However, it produced some incredible albums like folklore from Taylor Swift and The Weeknd’s After Hours. It also gave music fans an incredible joint album from Future and Lil Uzi Vert. These two came together for Pluto x Baby Pluto, a seminal work for collaborations.
It’s longer than many projects on this list, but it doesn’t suffer for it. All 16 tracks fare well, with songs like “Off Dat,” “That’s It,” “Plastic,” and “Bought A Bad B****” standing out. What’s even better is that the deluxe version adds a few more songs and two great collaborative tracks (“Patek” and “Over Your Head”) released long before this record.
1. Without Warning – 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin’ (2017)
A list of the best collaborative albums in hip-hop cannot exclude 2017’s Without Warning. The surprise project released in late October is one of the best from the entire year. It features songs that people still frequently listen to today. For Offset, this is easily his best work. It could very well be 21 Savage’s, too.
Metro Boomin’ is arguably the best producer in the industry today, and he has a few albums of his own. This genuinely might be his best. The members of Migos have often had a tough time venturing into projects outside the group, but this is excellent work from Offset. 21 Savage, a frequent collaborator with Metro Boomin’, is as good as ever here, too.