Hey DJ, do you take requests?
At times, it seems like musical collaborations are the new norm and no one can manage to put out a single – let alone an entire album – on their own. But if I had my way, we’d get to pick who teams up with whom. While that’s a lot of power to vest in one person, we’d all be better off for it, I swear. I would have saved us from abominations like the LL Cool J/Brad Paisley debacle that was “Accidental Racist.”
Sadly, I get very little say when it comes to artists teaming up. Snoop and Celine Dion didn’t so much as run their duet proposal by me. Granted, I was nine at the time. But even a nine-year-old me could have told them it was a bad idea.
Since I’m not likely to be gifted plenary powers to pair up musicians anytime soon, I’m going to rundown some of the collaborations that are rumored to be in the works (plus one or two pipe dreams) and set the odds we see them come to fruition.
Potential Music Collaborations
The Collab: Beyonce and Destiny’s Child
The Rundown: Let’s start off with an easy one that we already know works. (This is more of a reunion than a collaboration, but we won’t focus on technicalities.) The erstwhile trio, which dominated charts around the turn of the millennium, came together for a brief reunion during the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show. That was three years ago, though, and last month, Kelly Rowland shot down the reunion rumors. I’m not thrown off the scent so easily. The ladies were spotted hanging out more recently and a new single or reunion tour would please Beyonce fans, while rejuvenating dwindling careers for both Kelly and Michelle. Looks like something could be in the making, especially since there’s an official Instagram page.
Odds the ladies of Destiny’s Child say “no, no, no” to flying solo (and put out at least one more song together): 4/5
The Collab: Beyonce and Solange
The Rundown: Let’s get a little more “familiar” with Bey. Beyonce and her sister, Solange, have always been close, but have kept their professional lives separate. On top of that, there have been endless rumors about Solange and Bey’s hubby, Jay Z, not being on the best of terms after that infamous elevator fight two years ago. But Solange appears to be focused on expanding her fan base. She received glowing reviews following a musical guest stint on SNL, and a duet with her sister could only do further wonders for her career.
Odds Beyonce and Solange “elevate” their profiles with a sisterly collaboration: 1/1
The Collab: Drake and Taylor Swift
The Rundown: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And that has Taylor Swift and Drake fans jumping to the conclusion of a collaboration (and even more?) after the rapper posted a photo of the pair at a pal’s birthday party in October. It was quickly liked by Taylor. The two have been friends for a while, and it’d be a surefire way for Swift to garner attention, as she hasn’t released an album in two years.
Odds Drake and Taylor Swift “mix their creative juices”: 7/5
The Collab: Kanye West and Taylor Swift
The Rundown: Unless you’ve been living under a rock that refuses to roll (off of you), you are aware of the drama surrounding Kanye West and Taylor Swift. It dates back to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, when Kanye stormed the stage during Taylor’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video. Since then, the two have gone from enemies to frenemies, and back to enemies again. With Kanye’s recent hospitalization, a surprising comeback single with T-Swift would be just his style. But it’ll only happen if he can get Taylor back on his good side.
Odds Kanye and Taylor Swift “let each other finish”: 4/1
The Collab: Kanye West and Jay Z
The Rundown: In short, this is unlikely. Kanye and Jay Z used to be close friends and collaborated a number of times. But like many of his relationships, Kanye appears to have burned the bridge on this one, too. At a recent concert, he delivered a show-stopping rant about Jay and his wife, Beyonce, before walking off stage. That’s just a glimpse of the chaotic life of Kanye this year alone. Both Jay and Bey have bigger things to deal with than Kanye’s childlike escapades. Because of that, I can’t see him rushing into another Kanye collab anytime soon.
Odds Kanye and Jay Z team-up on another “monster” hit: 2/1
The Collab: Lady Gaga and Madonna
The Rundown: In September, Lady Gaga said there are “no plans” to join forces with Madonna. But saying that, her hit collab with Beyonce, “Telephone”, came out of nowhere. Gaga is not one to shy away from collaborations with big-name artists, evident by her hits with Tony Bennett, Elton John, Florence Welch, and, as mentioned, Beyonce.
Gaga just released a new album, but it has fallen flat with fans. A collab like this could be a quick remedy. Plus, she’s a woman of surprises, so – while there are no credible rumors of them teaming up – I have a hunch you’ll hear this collab on the radio sooner than later.
Odds of a Gaga/Madge collaboration (I’m out of puns): 3/2
The Collab: Feist and Gord Downie
The Rundown: This one qualifies as a pipedream. Feist, of “One Two Three Four”-fame, is no stranger to working with others. She’s a longtime member of supergroup Broken Social Scene and has paired up with the likes of Ben Gibbard, Grizzly Bear, and even metal rockers Mastodon.
Downie is best known as the lead singer of The Tragically Hip. In a horribly tragic turn of events, he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer earlier this year. He’s still fighting, but the entire nation to the north is already mourning his departure. Back in May, Feist paid tribute to Downie by covering the Hip’s “Flamenco” and, according to an article in the New York Times, the two are good friends.
If Downie had more time, a collaboration between the two would seem almost inevitable. His performing days seem to be over now, though, which is a huge loss for everyone who appreciates sincerity and thoughtfulness in their songwriting.
Odds of a Gord Downie/Feist collaboration: 100/1
Photo credit: Cornel Pex (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.