Rap music has been intertwined with alternative music since the beginning. The first rap stars, Run-DMC, have a hit collaboration with the rock band Aerosmith. So it’s no surprise that most rap artists refer to themselves as rock stars. Some rappers even transition to making alternative music, like Machine Gun Kelly and Lil Yachty. Since these two genres are constantly mingling, there are bound to be some weird crossovers. For example, there is a JAY-Z and Linkin Park album, and multiple Ozzy Osbourne collaborations with Post Malone, Travis Scott, and Busta Rhymes. I want to highlight more recent rap/alternative mashups that might rock their way into your playlists.
“AmEN!” by Bring Me The Horizon, Lil Uzi Vert, & Daryl Palumbo
First, we have the most recent addition to the “huh?” collabs. As outlandish as this may seem, it makes sense. Lil Uzi has always leaned more into the rock and emo aesthetic in their music and persona. They have also cited artists such as Marilyn Manson and Paramore as huge influences. As for the actual song, it goes pretty hard. It’s a heavy-hitting song with epic soaring vocals from the lead singer. Lil Uzi’s verse fits in surprisingly well; it does not feel out of place, and they kill it.
“Breathe Deeper – Remix” By Tame Impala & Lil Yachty
Before Lil Yachty tried his hand at making a psychedelic rock album, he teamed up with the Australian music project Tame Impala. This track is a remix to their song “Breathe Deeper” from 2020’s The Slow Rush. The original song is already an ethereal and groovy experience without Lil Boat. His vibrant personality and fun bars help elevate it more. Despite the five-minute runtime, the song breezes by. Yachty and Co. are having so much fun that you are too. Throw this on and start dancing.
“Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” by PinkPantheress & Ice Spice
While more on the pop side, this song still fits under the ‘alternative’ label. 2023’s most surprising runaway hit is yet another remix of another already great track. The original “Boy’s a Liar” was a standout single from PinkPantheress’ 2022 EP Take Me Home. It’s a smooth little bop that doesn’t overstay its welcome. The remix has these same qualities with a bit extra. Ice Spice’s addition gives a nice juxtaposition to PinkPantheress’ performance. Her singing is more meek and vulnerable, while Spice sounds more nonchalant and raspy.
“Tokyo Drifting” by Glass Animals & Denzel Curry
We’ll be throwing it back outside the 2020s for these last two. This song was in heavy rotation for me in 2019. Indie rock band Glass Animals and Florida rapper Denzel Curry working together came out of nowhere, but it was a match made in heaven. The first part of the song is a funky weird rap attempt by frontman Dave Bayley. It’s okay, yet the latter half is the real star of the show. Bayley’s “Wavey Davey” hook and Denzel’s immaculate verse are endlessly catchy. It is a fantastic track with excellent energy anyone can get into.
“What’s My Age Again?/A Milli” by blink-182 & Lil Wayne
Last but not least, two of the best artists of their era came together with two of their best songs. In promotion for their joint tour in 2019, blink-182 and Lil Wayne released this mashup. The two artists pulled a JAY-Z and Linkin Park by lacing the rap verses into the instrumental. You can guess what it sounds like if you’ve heard the originals. It’s a fun reimagining of these tracks that will make a wave of nostalgia wash over you.
That’s all I’ve got for now! I hope you guys rocked with this article. As I said before: this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more weirdly fitting collabs out there. I encourage you to check these and others out too. See you next week.