On paper, every record on this list seemed like the worst idea ever but somehow worked beautifully. With so many artists stuck in a creative box, it’s always refreshing to see your faves take chances and explore new sounds.
Here are eleven unlikely music collabs that actually worked. Take a look.
Mariah Carey x ODB “Fantasy (Remix)”
How one of the greatest pure vocalists of our time and the Wu’s filthy ‘ole hypeman/mascot made a classic party anthem, we may never know, but it definitely happened.
Ja Rule x Bobby Brown “Thug Lovin”
Bobby SANGIN with ALL his heart and soul on this “so terrible it’s timeless”-Ja Rule jam is hilarious. At the time, crack particles had ruined the troubled legend’s voice but his hook is CLASSIC.
Nelly x Tim McGraw “Over & Over”
Superstar rappity-rap crooner connects with Country music star Tim McGraw to make a smoky, soul-soothing, syrupy-sweet ballad. Most unlikely global smash in music history? Yep.
Juvenile x Jay-Z “Ha (Remix)”
No one knew why Juve was asking questions over a dope Mannie Fresh beat when “Ha” dropped but the innovative Nolia anthem blew and Camel couldn’t resist playing along.
Michael Jackson x Biggie “This Time Around”
Maaaaad people missed this collab made in Heaven buried on the “HIStory album” but it’s worth digging up and adding to your music collection.
Kanye Feat. Bon Iver & Charlie Wilson “Lost in the World”
Kanye + folksy-Pop group of unwashed mountain men + Uncle Charlie + Baltimore club beat = FIRE.
Memphis Bleek Feat. Trick Daddy & T.I. “Round Here”
Blue Ivy’s baby sitter, Trick Daddy & Tip Huxtable on the same record? This shouldn’t have worked but did. Top 5 Memph Bleek record? Easily.
Lady Gaga x Beyonce “Telephone”
Gaga and Bey Bey are cut from two completely different bedazzled fabrics with two different fanbases, personas and musical directions but connected to make an undeniable Pop jam.
J. Cole x TLC “Crooked Smiles”
Jermaine took an incredible risk with a TLC collab in 2013 and finally won after several consecutive losses and fails.
Eminem x Jazmine Sullivan “Coc@ine” (Unreleased)
THIS was Jazmine Sullivan’s golden ticket to mainstream glory—her chance to finally blow—but was shelved shortly before its release. Life’s not fair.
Run DMC x Aerosmith “Walk This Way”
Without this game-changing Hip-Hop/ Rock collab, none of the unlikely records on this list would exist.