When I was a kid, I never put much thought into who appeared on what album. It seemed to be fairly formulaic… Biggie did songs with Puff Daddy and other Bad Boy artists because they were on the same label. Every so often a rapper would get some female artist I hadn’t heard of to sing a hook or something. Even more frequently, a singer will get a rap artists to lay down a verse for them on a song.
I’m not talking about that.
I’m talking about a real collaboration. Here’s an example outside the rap world:
This features probably my favorite modern author (Jonathan Tropper) and definitely my favorite screenwriter/actor (Ed Burns). I should clarify, I’ve read all of Tropper’s books and seen nearly all of Burns’ movies (I think I’ve missed one), but I’ve been a fan of Burnsie longer. So when, in a bit of twitter stalking a while back, I stumbled upon the news that Burns and Tropper actually worked together to make one of the latter’s books (The Book of Joe, my second favorite of his) into a movie, you could imagine my excitement.
Part of the fun of being alive is enjoying the work of people who are better than you are at the things you love. When those people happen to work together and create, that’s a great thing.
The best analogy I can make is this: I don’t know about you, but there’s a part of me that’s happy when two attractive people are together and have kids. I realize, there’s a chance those kids aren’t as talented and good looking as they are… but they’re certainly stacking the deck in their favor and that’s better than I can say.
Polar Opposite of this Feeling? When people talk about collaborating and never ever do (ahem, every rap super group ever discussed). Or talk about getting back together (ahem, Fugees) and never do. Or when they do get together and make Harlem Nights (ahem, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy).