50 Years of Hip Hop – Celebrating the Culture

50 Years of Hip Hop – Celebrating the Culture

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg performing at the Super Bowl in 2022 was just the most recent example of the iconic rappers coming together for great duet moments.

As we continue our celebration of 50 Years of Hip Hop, we turn to the iconic artists who have sometimes made things better together as duets.

Growing up whenever someone made the statement that two heads are better than one, my grandmother always added, “Unless one is a goat head.” For some reason, I can never get that out of my head and have to quietly chuckle whenever I hear the phrase now.

Still, I want to dive into a few of my favorite Hip hop duets in music history. The chemistry between two artists, their unique blends of lyrical flow and style can result in some truly unforgettable tracks. In a few instances, it appears that two heads can be better than one, even if one is a goat head.

The first song on my list was a bit overpowered in Hip Hop history by an incident that some say had a negative impact on someone’s career.

During the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, an unexpected event occurred during the live performance of the hit song “Empire State of Mind”. Rapper Lil Mama joined Jay Z and Alicia Keys on stage as they were delivering their iconic anthem.

Lil Mama’s sudden appearance was unscripted and took the audience, and the performers, by surprise. It created quite a stir in the media, sparking discussions about stage etiquette. Regardless, it remains an unforgettable moment in VMA history, adding another layer of intrigue to this already legendary performance and song.

There are some iconic collaborations with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Jay Z and pretty much everyone, and so many more.

Duets have been such a staple of the hip hop culture from Day 1, it’s honestly hard to narrow it down to just 11 tracks. But we’re going to highlight some of our favorites here, and hopefully it’ll help inspire you to dive down a rabbit hole of hip hop duets.

  • JAY-Z and Alicia Keys - Empire State Of Mind

    Try not to sing this song right now. We dare you. Too late, you already did. It’s iconic.

     

  • Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg - Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang

    Just the first stop in a history of collaborations that had these two feeling like the peanut butter and jelly of hip hop for a long time.

  • Method Man and Mary J. Blige - I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By

    This was one of the first Hip Hop & R&B collaboration love songs. And it does not miss.

  • Nas and Lauryn Hill - If I Ruled the World

    This was simply an epic combination of two of the greatest artists to ever hold a microphone.

  • Jay Z and Eminem - Renegade

    This is truly a MOMENT in Hip Hop history. It offers a captivating dialogue between two of the greatest rappers, both delivering some of their best verses.

  • UGK and Outkast - Int'l Players Anthem

    What’s better than a duet? How about two duos doing a duet? These powerhouses put together one of the best tracks to ever hit your speakers.

  • Jay Z and Notorious BIG - Brooklyn's Finest

    This is hands down my personal favorite duo in the History of the genre. The way they pass the verses back and forth and keep the energy on 10 the ENTIRE time: legendary.

  • J. Cole and Drake - In the Morning

    Two modern legends doing what they do best.

  • Nipsey Hussle and Kendrick Lamar - Dedication

    If you know, you know. That’s it.

  • Nelly and Kelly Rowland - Dilemma

    Baby I… love you. Baby I… need you. There aren’t many people out there that don’t know this iconic duet. Though we still can’t figure out why they were “texting” through Excel in the video.

     

  • Salt-N-Peppa and En Vogue - Whatta Man

    These iconic female groups coming together was a high point for R&B/Hip Hop. We’re counting it as a duet, even though there are like 74 people in the video.

     

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