Hot UK X US Collabs That Live In Our Imagination

Mixtape Madness

By Mixtape Madness

Mixtape Madness

19 Jan 2021

We all have Grammy-worthy linkups that we fantasise about, and whilst there continues to be exciting clashes of talent between both major markets, we invite you to channel your inner A&R as you read through our hot list of collaborations that don’t exist, but should!

Youngs Teflon x Max B

The Don Dada energy would be unmatched. Both MCs are blessed with a knack for crafting infectious hooks and straight-talking rap music that cruises across various themes of life. Youngs Teflon and Max B are no strangers to street poetics, hood love songs and penning anthems that boost their community spirit. When it comes to each artist’s discography, there’s no doubt that the masters of mixtapes deserve a staple record with one another. The two exude a braggadocious energy and a similar competitive streak to out-bar the next rapper – I can already hear this playing out on the track! Breaking out in the peak 00s era is their shared experience and they’d easily spin an old-school vibe. I hope you haven’t gotten rid of your Avirex, you might need to dust it off! – Sweeney Gloria

Lancey Foux x Young Thug

What would happen if (arguably) two of the most genre defying artists in their cities were to join forces? I mean, yes, the parallels between Thugger and Foux are quite clear, the most obvious being their relentless use of Auto-Tune. But what would it actually sound like? Both their sounds differ stylistically. In order for them to meet in the middle, in my humble opinion, it has to be a high energy banger. The type that will run laps on the radio in Atlanta and strip clubs alike, think PSYKEMAN plus Hot, minus Gunna. The result? Syrupy Auto-Tuned vocals, drip talk, massive 808s and the occasional squawk to make for a weirdly pleasurable listening experience. – Rehana Harmony

A2 x Bryson Tiller

Picture this, a late evening in a hue-lit room, either by yourself or with a love interest with a glass of wine to hand (or a liquor of your choice) and an A2 and Bryson Tiller track is next to come on shuffle; sitting comfortably amongst a seductive introduction and a momentary pause, before a flurry of rolling 808’s make there entrance, and if we’re really going there, a subtle Snoh Aalegra sample weaving in and out of the soft instrumentation – I mean come on this would be a collaboration of dreams, right?! Posing as one of London’s most treasured gems, A2’s polished pen and dynamic flows matched with Bryson Tiller’s reputable intimacy and all-round slick vocals would be a seamless pairing, filled from start to finish with heart-felt lyricism, soul shaking melodies over a textured backdrop – what isn’t there to love? – Elle Evans

Knucks x Smino

For Knucks and Smino alike, the listening experience often includes a sampled groove, non-conformative flows and a track that actually says something. Taking in a new project from each artist is like spinning a roulette that’ll always be a win-win. For the North-West London lyricist and the St. Louis MC, there is an innate musicality that drives them to produce musical arrangements that come naturally and feel good to them. They embody something I describe as ‘vinyl quality’ music. Weaving in spoken interludes, light vocals and elements of soulful genres against a boom-bap beat is top tier artistry. Sharing the capacity to make three-dimensional songs is why this collab needs to happen, like yesterday. – Sweeney Gloria

Nines x Fabolous

I’m sure when you saw the collab choice you already knew the vibes… Well, the true hip-hop stans did anyway *inserts eyes emoji*. Try to imagine the penultimate rags-to-riches storyline. The production? Atmospheric and set with the spacious booms of its bassline. That layers the sensual grooves of guitar strums and the occasional twinkle of piano keys to prepare your eardrums for the realest spit you could ever hear on one track. Atop, the pair channel the exact energy that shot them to legendary status in the first place. As they balance their punchline driven rhymes and honest subject matters, with a cold swagger and an unbothered energy. Nostalgia from the moment you hit that play button… – Rehana Harmony

Kojey Radical x Travis Scott

Daring, I know. However, I’m thinking more along the lines of a head-bopping, raise your drink to the air type of track that would fit perfectly for a mosh-pit? Kojey Radical’s versatility and refined pen speaks for itself and I’m more than convinced that a fearless and auto-tuned hook with the signature echoes of “It’s lit!” in the background, would compliment Kojey’s dexterous flow effortlessly. Each known for pushing their artistic boundaries and experimenting with both their sound and style, the accompanying visuals would be a movie and more! Filled with energy from the onset, a charged-up production with rolling 808’s and a heavy-bass takes centre stage before the London native pierces through with an eloquent delivery, wheel-up worthy bars and a dauntless swagger. Speckling the beat with his explosive adlibs, auto-tuned vocal and quote-worthy bars, Travis Scott breaks through on the second verse adding that extra grit to the already top-notch track. Maybe I’m reaching, who knows – but I’m down for it! – Elle Evans

Little Simz x Kendrick Lamar

Her album ‘GREY Area’ can be best defined as a dynamic sound. Simz’s ability to alter the nature of her flows with such finesse not only draws attention to her distinctiveness as an artist, but it creates a chilling feel when listeners take the time to connect with her music. Kendrick Lamar and Little Simz on a track would be a perfect pairing, as much like Simz’s ‘GREY Area’, Lamar’s ‘DNA’ has an eccentric style; it’s difficult to ignore how ‘DNA’ ‘HUMBLE’ and ‘DUCKWORTH’ are songs that parallel with ‘Venom’, ‘Boss’ and ‘101 FM’ – specifically in terms of the emotion they can evoke from listeners, as well as the similarities in their running themes. As artists who don’t fear to think outside of the box and haven’t failed to deliver, a collaboration by Simbi and Kendrick, would be insane. – Amanda

House Of Pharaohs x Brent Faiyaz

Euphoria – like, almost in a trance. I can’t imagine this track putting me in any other zone. History has proven that the best collaborative tracks often come from artists who have an authentic chemistry between them. Now, I’m not sure if they’ve met, but this pairing strikes me as one that would work really well – at least sonically. The Londoners approach music with a ‘big city’ flare that merges their striking fashion with a psychedelic yet underground sound. All five members would seamlessly dance around Brent’s neo-R&B melodies. Whether they choose a skippy or mellow beat is completely up to them, but it would totally make a masterpiece to spark one to! – Sweeney Gloria

Nadia Rose x Flo Milli

They’re both bad gal freestylers, with a common care-free black girl aesthetic and I want to hear what that conjunction sounds like on a track. Asap. Throw in a hot visual treatment to match and, oh my God, they might just break the internet. Popular culture is amplifying an unapologetic and independent narrative for women, particularly in modern rap music. Charged by their female-forward bars, we know we can anticipate a racy bop – you know, the type you’d blast whilst getting ready for a (pre-COVID) night out at your girl’s house? However, Nadia Rose and Flo Milli wouldn’t just be a viral moment. Their pen game holds proof that their light-hearted tracks are no merit of what they can fully offer as MCs. That’s what excites me. – Sweeney Gloria

169 x 6LACK x Gunna

Having the competence to interchange between being both a producer and artist
truly demonstrates Tyrell’s (169) range. His releases such as “Millies” (ft. Jaiah),
“Progression” (ft Reid) and “Bucket” (ft. Mcevoy) highlight how well he can tap into the different realms of RNB and alternative music; merging the characteristics of both to create his own unique sound. This is exactly what 6LACK did in the creation of his album ‘FREE 6LACK’ and there’s no denying that an artist collaboration by these two, would be a musical masterpiece. One Six has stated that a proportion of certain beats he’s produced are very Atlanta trap-based and influenced by musicians such as Southside. He’s already incorporated melodies into his own music and has expertise working with a variety of genres – so producing for Gunna, would birth tracks which are unconventional, and sonically pleasing. – Amanda

Meekz x 21 Savage

It’s an audacious collaboration that I’d like to see, don’t get me wrong, but I’m going with Meekz and 21 Savage. You can hear it now. I’m going to word it how I envision it panning out. Let’s say 21 Savage is brought on a remix of “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”. Meekz on the introduction establishing the tone, setting the scene, and reciting his lyrics that fans know all so well. His simplified delivery in the opening verse ascending to the dramatic beat change. Then, the explosion of the kicks and highs to drive the beat into the next stage. First verse now over, the cadence is met with the ad-libs indicating who’s about to join the record. In steps Atlanta’s 21 Savage, sprinkling his flair repeating the title “Can’t stop, won’t stop” as he prepares to unload. At this point you already know its game over. His unique and laid-back flow now seamlessly balances out the next stage of the track. With the extra dimension now engaged, we’re now led to the outro where the pair go back-to-back. Meekz the commander, 21 Savage intuitively complementing the pattern. So, there you go. That is definitely one collaboration I’m down to hear. – Josh Clubbe

Kof17enkins x Mozzy

It’s no doubt that we were spoiled last year in terms of collaborative music. With the global rap scene growing at a rapid rate, it’s inevitable that the demand to see collaborations from multiple artists will increase. The reoccurring question of, “What would your favourite collab be?”, often arises in discussions about music and though there is no right or wrong answer, mine would be OFB’s Kof17enkins featuring Mozzy. Both artists make records that fall under what is described as the ‘pain rap’ genre – which is elite music, pulled from difficult and often relatable experiences in life. Kof17enkins doesn’t take the typical approach to rap that’s popular in our scene. Instead, he’s taken the road of combining his melodic, R&B flow with classic rap – something that isn’t as popular in the U.K. but most definitely works for him. In a collaboration between the artists, we’d hear a mellow hip-hop inspired tune, euphonious lyrics, and Kof17enkins bringing his signature sound to the hook. Mozzy, as always, would cut in with his gritty style and real bars. A recipe for greatness if you ask me! – Gishan Akanga

Sam Wise x Baby Keem

Both artists offer a cool delivery over looped melodic instrumentals. Sam Wise can be energetic with his flow and is up to make music as he gears up to drop his mixtape. Baby Keem is clearly primed to deliver on his music. Both artists are showing exactly how well this would sound if you play “Hooligan” and “How It Feels” one after the other. Whether they make a calm lyrical track or make a body-moving energetic track, they are capable of delivering something that we NEED to hear. A looped main melody with Sam Wise and Baby Keem on it can only mean the track must be on repeat for days. It could arguably be the best US and UK collaboration on this list – if not of recent times. – Botshelo Bogopane

Let’s cross our fingers – and if this hot list has got your mind racing, click here to check out more of our thought-provoking articles!