The song universe is all about celebrating genres and styles, which is why we often see fabulous collaborations between artists who think their artistry complements the other performer’s body of work extremely well. But unfortunately, the collab scene hasn’t always been pretty. There have been times when some very ill-advised duets by some of the biggest names made us cringe, crawl under the sheets, and cry our eyes out.
Over the years, we’ve seen the likes of Taylor Swift, Joe Jonas make tunes with T-Pain, Nelly. *shudders*. The country/rap hybrid has been a disastrous idea with some tragic consequences. We’re all for taking risks and mixing it up once in a while, but mashing up polar opposites most often blows up in your face.
If you’re still not convinced, here’s an awkward walk down memory lane so we can all relive 10 collaborations that sounded like April Fools jokes, but then actually REALLY happened-
1. Taylor Swift ft. T-Pain – Thug Story
We dare you to watch the video again. That’s Taylor Swift back in 2009 wearing cargo pants and some heavy bling, which clearly looks out of place. Before Taylor blew up big-time in the current music scene, she and T-Pain traded voices on a video that was pre-recorded for the CMT Awards. This is where the gods should have intervened.
2. Jonas Brothers ft. Common – Don’t Charge Me For The Crime
Common really made a name for himself in 2008 with Universal Mind Control, and quickly destroyed it in 2009 with this disastrous collaboration. We’re totally clueless about what made him think of the Jonas Brothers out of all the millions of artists he could have collaborated with, but he has since obviously redeemed himself to be the brilliant rapper he is today. Ok, fine, we forgive you, Common.
3. Eddie Murphy ft. Michael Jackson – Whatzupwitu
We have no logical explanation for how and why this duet was conceived. The only reasonable way explanation is if Eddie Murphy asked for Michael if they could collaborate on a song for his album, because why else would the reigning King of Pop produce a track with someone whose full time gig isn’t even music? But turns out, Michael found a positive message in the lyrics, which led him to lend his talent to the track. While you’re at it, feast your eyes on Murphy’s glorious wifebeater.
4. DMX ft. Marilyn Manson – The Omen
It’s no surprise that DMX is a pretty macabre dude (look at the album cover, for god’s sake). So it only makes sense that he would choose Marilyn Manson to share his creative influences with. Except they didn’t really gel well on this song. We’re just happy Marilyn didn’t go around dropping bars.
5. Nelly ft. Tim McGraw – Over and Over
Nelly had the best go-to jams hands-down for every high school kid back in the early 2000s. So it was odd to say the least, when country crooner Tim McGraw roped in Nelly for his slow number. What makes this even stranger is that the track quickly climbed the charts and nestled itself comfortably at No.3 on Billboards Top 100.
6. Korn ft. NAS- Play Me
Hip-hop legend NAS and Korn, one of the most respectable names in the nu-metal scene made songs together at one point, and they were… horrible. Play Me still sees Korn deliver that hard-hitting garish sounds they’re famous for, but NAS comes in and spits some highly sub-par rhymes that just fall flat. It’s a shame that so much brilliant talent was wasted on this.
7. Ja Rulez, Swiss Beatz and Metallica – We Did It Again
This travesty was birthed to be a part of the equally mega-flop Biker Boyz movie that came out in 2003. Ja Rule somehow managed to get the likes of Swiss Beatz and old-time rockers Metallica to collaborate on a song that would turn out so horrific, we don’t recommend subjecting your eardrums to it, not even for curiosity’s sake. Understandably, Ja Rule’s career ended that year.
8. Steve Aoki ft. Linkin Park – Darker Than Blood
Steve Aoki and Linkin Park collaborated in 2013 for the first time on Waiting For A Light That Never Comes, which turned out to be a total roof-destroying hit showcasing both of the artist’s strengths. They tried their luck again in 2015 with Darker Than Blood, and it turned out to be a generic, overused EDM bore. Every day is not Sunday.
9. JYJ ft. Kanye West and Malik Yusef – Ayyy Girl
Yeezy has previously collaborated with the Teriyaki Boyz and that track was dope, but his second venture to the East to join hands with the JYJ boys wasn’t pleasant. He didn’t even make an appearance in the video, and that itself speaks volumes about the quality of the overall song.
10. Aerosmith ft. Run-D.M.C.- Walk This Way
Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C. joined forces in 1986, much to everyone’s surprise to remake Walk This Way, one of Aerosmith’s biggest tracks. The ’80s was a bad decade for the band, so they tried to repair damages by going ahead and doing something unusual. The song gets chopped into pieces by a lot of DJ-scratching and some verses by D.M.C. The bad news is that their attempt to stand out failed to grab everyone’s attention, let alone make an appearance on any significant music charts.