Top 10 EDM/Rap Collaborations Of All Time
EDM and rap have been flirting with each other for decades. Countless EDM remixes of rap songs exist, and producers like Just Blaze and Kanye West have incorporated elements of electronic music into rap. Still, true collaborations between the two genres have been few and far between--until recently.
With Lil Jon and DJ Snake''s "Turn Down for What" thumping out of every speaker -- and the coming of Diddy and Guy Gerberr's 11 11, plus Waka Flocka Flame and Steve Aokii's Turn Up Good collaborative albums -- we've ranked the top 10 EDM/rap collaborations to date.
10. Gesaffelstein & A$AP Rocky, "In Distress" (February 28, 2014)
A$AP Rocky might have nabbed top billing on "In Distress," but French DJ Gesaffelstein is the star on this song. Delicate and spacey at first, then quickly turning menacing and paranoid, the production on "In Distress" fits its title. Rocky's gently sung "la la's" do add an eerie touch, but it’s Gesaffelstein who churns the clouds and brews the storm.
9. Guy Gerber & Puff Daddy, "My Heart" (July 7, 2014)
If Diddy's fans were surprised by the first sing off his and Israeli producer Guy Gerber's album 11 11, it's maybe because they forgot he loves to reinvent himself. The slow burner of a track is unlike anything he has done before, and that's what makes it so intriguing. Slippery and throbbing, "My Heart" sounds more likely to be spun at a sleek, upscale sex club in Berlin than the parties Puff used to promote back in the day. He still bops, just in a more sophisticated way.
8. Bassnectar & Lupe Fiasco, "Vava Voom" (April 10, 2012)
Lupe Fiasco is a wildcard, which is why it's interesting that he's the foil for Bassnectar's trippy, frenzied "Vava Voom." He grounds the track, but then throws the standard rapper analogy for a loop with the lines, "My wifey's called 'gettin' paid,' my old chick was called 'minimum wage'/And my side piece is called 'getting a raise.'" Unpredictable as always.
7. Stefan Ponce & Vic Mensa, "Down on My Luck" (April 29, 2014)
Good house music gets you feeling high. "Down on My Luck" is a perfect example. Ponce's production is lush and warm, and spirits you back to the early house scene. Mensa (who could've been a '90s house darling) floats rather than raps. "When I get down on my luck, I hide behind my eyes," he says. "Fuck that, get down!" A song this transcendent makes escaping the grind easy, no E necessary.
6. Flux Pavilion & Childish Gambino, "Do or Die" (January 28, 2013)
Flux Pavilion swaggers in, because he knows what's about to go down. "Do or Die" is sunny and sparkly at first, and Childish Gambino plays around a little, too. But as Flux strips the beat down, Gambino warns, "Ima wait till the beat go in." It's game over. The drop is so monstrous and so punishing, the little hairs on your arms stand up even if you're only listening on laptop speakers.
5. Daft Punk & Kanye West, "On Sight" (June 18, 2013)
Ever the innovator, Kanye West shook up old hip-hop heads in 2007 when he sampled critically acclaimed French house duo Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." The result, "Stronger," was such a success, it makes sense that Kanye wanted DP to co-produce a few songs on Yeezus. With synths sounding like they might rip your speaker’s fabric, "On Sight" is jarring, distorted and cinematic. It's an ideal soundtrack to a chase scene in a futuristic thriller. Diamond-hard and laser-precise, the song is alienating and almost too much (then again, Kanye himself can be almost too much).
4. Machinedrum & Azealia Banks, "1991" (May 29, 2012)
It's telling that Azealia Banks's feisty tweets get more attention than her raps: She's so good, it terrifies some. Her breakout hit "212" established her as fearless, and her tendency to rap over frantic electro beats only solidified her reputation. Which is why "1991" is noteworthy: Machinedrum's plush, glammed-up house groove provides her a marble-smooth runway, and her flow flits over it like Naomi Campbell's stilettos. That's not to say Banks takes it easy -- consider the kick she delivers to fellow rapper T.I. near the end of her first verse -- but she sure does make it seem effortless.
3. Darq E Freaker & Danny Brown, "Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)" (April 30, 2012)
For the first 30 seconds, it sounds like English producer Darq E Freaker is giving Danny Brown a goofy, '70s-era game show beat to play with. That would've worked just fine with Brown's cartoonish yelp. But right when you're settling in, Freaker unchains a ferocious drop and Brown morphs into a snarling Rottweiler. It's a thrilling-slash-chilling moment.
2. Skrillex & A$AP Rocky, "Wild for the Night" (January 15, 2013)
Like a hungry wolf, Skrillex really tries not to scare away his prey in "Wild for the Night." For almost a full minute, he circles slowly before abandoning all restraint and plunging in, fangs bared. Choosing Skrillex's no-holds-barred EDM beat was risky for A$AP Rocky, who made his name rapping over syrupy Houston-influenced production. He keeps up and doesn't get devoured, which is saying a lot.
1. DJ Snake & Lil Jon, "Turn Down for What" (December 18, 2013)
Lil Jon is a legend. Not only did the Atlanta producer introduce the country to crunk, he now has reinvented himself as an in-demand Las Vegas DJ, just as well known for EDM as for rap. "Turn Down for What," his mammoth club smash with DJ Snake, is a double whammy -- the drop is beastly and the hook is contagious. If you're sick of hearing it, too bad. This one will be rattling clubs and bar mitzvahs for decades to come.