Unexpected Music Collaborations: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Miley Cyrus, Tyler, the Creator
Getty Images

In honor of Miley and Tyler, here are 12 collaborations that we never saw coming.

Soon, the world will know what a Miley Cyrus song that features Tyler, The Creator and was co-written by Mary J. Blige sounds like. The pop star revealed the gonzo collaboration on her forthcoming fourth studio album in a new interview, and the process of anticipating a Hannah Montana-Odd Future summit officially, gloriously began.

Somehow, however, the Cyrus-Tyler-MJB track is hardly the most shocking musical collaboration in recent memory -- how about the time Jack White hung out with Insane Clown Posse, or when Kanye West called up Bon Iver? Check out this rundown of the most memorable unexpected pairings in pop history, from the successful collaborations (Bowie and Bing!) to the misfires (Common and the JoBros?) to the spectacularly woeful team-ups (Weezer… and… Weezy). 


Kanye West and Bon Iver, "Lost in the World"

Yeezy tapped Justin Vernon to reinterpret the Bon Iver song "Woods" for his "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" single "Lost in the World," and the resulting track made a sterling hip-hop hook out of a folk song.

Elton John and Eminem, "Stan"

Eminem's original stalker anthem, featuring Dido, is powerful enough, but "Stan" took on a new life after Slim Shady hooked up with Sir Elton to perform the track at the 2001 Grammy Awards. The controversial pairing ended in a triumphant embrace from the two musical geniuses.

Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat, "Opposites Attract"

Want to improve your infectious radio single? You should probably invite a rapping animated feline along for the ride. Before her "American Idol" days, Abdul scored a smash with "Opposites Attract," with an unforgettable intro courtesy of the highly talented, highly fictional MC Skat Kat.

David Bowie and Bing Crosby, "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy"

Recorded in 1977 for Crosby's Christmas TV special, "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" is a now-classic example of two wildly different musical personalities coming together for a killer rendition of a holiday staple. Sadly, Crosby passed away a month before the special aired.

Michael Jackson and The Notorious B.I.G., "This Time Around"

Michael Jackson's "HIStory" album features some crazy collabos with artists like Boyz II Men, Slash and Shaquille O'Neal (!), but his team-up with Biggie Smalls effectively brought together the King of Pop and the greatest rapper ever. It may have been only released as a promo single, but "This Time Around" endures as a highly enjoyable funk track.

Click below for The Bad and The Ugly pairings


Limp Bizkit and Method Man, "N 2 Gether Now"

To be fair, this "Significant Other" single has a pretty sick sample, and Method Man delivers a reliably solid guest verse. But listening to Fred Durst spit rhymes on "N 2 Gether Now" ("Where we gonna run/Maybe we can meet up on the sun!") is still a cringeworthy experience. Stick to "Break Stuff," buddy.

Jay-Z and Chris Martin, "Beach Chair"

One year before Kanye West recruited the Coldplay singer to provide the hook for "Homecoming," Chris Martin teamed up with Hov for the closing track on 2006's lackluster "Kingdom Come." The two talents on "Beach Chair" should work well in theory, but the song has no punch to it.

Public Enemy and Anthrax, "Bring The Noise"

One of the best songs on "It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back" gets the rap-rock treatment by Anthrax, a band that got a shout-out in the original. "Bring The Noise" tries to inject more head-banging into a classic hip-hop track -- never a great move.

Jonas Brothers and Common, "Don't Charge Me for the Crime"

Who doesn't love the Jonas Brothers' Disney-approved pop-rock antics and Common's wise street poetry? Sadly, this mash-up of the two styles played out like oil and water -- although it did confirm once and for all that, despite the opinions of conservative talking heads, Common is not a controversial hip-hop figure.


Jack White and Insane Clown Posse, "Leck Mich Im Arsch"

A 7-inch single in which Insane Clown Posse raps over a Jack White-produced song that interpolates an obscure Mozart piece that translates to "Lick me in the arse" sounds, not surprisingly, like a 7-inch single in which Insane Clown Posse raps over a Jack White-produced song that interpolates an obscure Mozart piece that translates to "Lick me in the arse."

Weezer and Lil Wayne, "Can't Stop Partying"

Remember when Rivers Cuomo wrote intimate, biting alt-rock songs like "Say It Ain't So" and "Tired of Sex"? With this "Raditude" cut," Weezer firmly declared that those days were long behind them.

DMX and Marilyn Manson, "The Omen"

Teaming up for the sequel to "It's Dark and Hell is Hot" track "Damien," "The Omen" is the meeting of two particularly angry minds, and a song that is wholly unsettling. This sounds like it was a really weird studio session, with results that should have been kept under lock and key.