Sunday, December 13, 2020

When the Featured Musical Artist Upstages the Main One--a Fun Little List

Something I find interesting is when a song has a guest singer or rapper and they actually upstage the main person. Whether it is a remix by that guest that is better than the original or a so-so song that suddenly features a bombastic verse, I sometimes take note of this and wanted to share some times I've noticed it.

"Savage Remix," from, "Good News."

Megan Thee Stallion's song, "Savage," was perfectly catchy and fun. Then they threw Beyonce on the track for the remix and she obliterated it (in a good way). I'm not even a huge fan of Queen B, but man if she doesn't rap and sing some killer bars.

"Interlude," from, "Tha Carter IV."

On Lil Wayne's album, "Tha Carther IV," he has tracks labeled that feature guest verses from assorted rappers. One, "Interlude," is simply labeled as having Tech N9ne appearing, and if you listen to it he indeed raps...but then suddenly another voice comes on the track that isn't indicated anywhere in the liner notes or anything on the physical copy of the CD I had purchased (yes, I bought the CD). That voice is Andre 3000, the greatest living mostly-retired rapper and he drops a verse that makes an already great album (the last one by Lil' Wayne I really dug) even better. It was a total surprise to hear Andre 3000 suddenly appear considering this was after OutKast's last album and well into his departure from rapping usually. I'm just glad Wayne convinced him to drop by.

"Nuthin But a G Thang," from, "The Chronic."

Dr. Dre's solo album, "The Chronic," has so much Snoop Dogg on it that some argue it should be considered Dogg's debut LP even moreso than, "Doggystyle." Wherever you fall on that debate, Dr. Dre has admittedly always been a better producer than rapper, with the sound of, "Nuthin But a G Thang," being amazing with its 90's West Coast vibe that Snoop lays his now-signature laid-back drawl over. Dre maybe wasn't the best rapper, but he found some of the best talents ever to make tracks for.

"B.S." from "Stargazing."

I'm not a big fan of Jhené Aiko, many of her songs seem to lack particularly deep lyrics, he singing strikes me as a bit monotone, and so forth. That said, her song, "B.S." has a really catchy melody and she does a decent job on it...only to get totally overshadowed by a guest-verse from the incredibly talented artist H.E.R. I feel a little bad for Aiko as this is a rare song she's pretty good on, but then she just gets blown out of the water by H.E.R. What can ya do?

Kendrick Lamar on any track

I said Andre 3000 was the greatest living rapper alive who is mostly retired up above and that is because Kendrick Lamar is the greatest living rapper alive who is quite active in making songs. Whether it is his own amazing albums or a number of guest appearances where despite being the featured artist he simply makes a track all his own, Kendrick Lamar is an unstoppable burst of creative energy who you're lucky to have on your song because it's gonna be amazing, but you do have to come to terms with the fact he'll outshine anything you contribute.

I'm sure there are plenty of other occasions I didn't think to mention, so please comment if you have one in mind.

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