Classic Collaborations Gone Sour

On Tuesday (5 April) a grand celebration took place in honor of the late Phife Dawg, a member of the legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest, at the Apollo. The groups founding members Q-Tip and Jarobi, along with Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Kanye West, and Andre 3000 spoke in honor of Phife. 

Andre 3000 spoke on a joint album between his group, Outkast, and the Tribe, which was meant to happen a few years back.

“I’m going to say some interesting news and some disappointing news at the same time. About a year or two ago, we were talking about doing a Tribe Called Quest and Outkast album. Yeah. For whatever reason, it did not happen. I don’t want to let the time go by, because you never know. And that’s one of the biggest things about regret. Whatever reason we didn’t do it, it was on our plate and we just… let it go for our personal reasons.”

 Hip-hop in the last 20 years has produced incredible rap groups like Run- DMC, N.W.A., Wu-Tang Clan, Outkast, Tribe Called Quest and much more. This brings me to the realization of other rap collaborations that were in the works — but never made it.

In the late 1990s Jay-Z, DMX, and Ja Rule were solo artists who were trying to establish their careers, but producer Irv Gotti believed he could get them together to form what could have been the ultimate rap group of the time, ‘Murder Inc.’

The three men recorded and traveled together and appeared in one another’s videos. They even worked together to appear on the cover of XXL Magazine, which read: “Introducing Ja Rule, Jay-Z, DMX as Murder Inc.”

It came crashing down when Jay-Z and DMX seemed not to get along. They simply could not put their differences aside, which caused the idea of the group to fade away.

Ja Rule had this to say when interviewed on MTV News:

“We couldn’t get X and Jay in the same room, from long ago, their storied battle on the pool table, guns out [and] all of that.” He continued: “We tried to deliver that album. It was a situation where egos all just played a part in its demise.”

Another rap group that did not make it was the collaboration between Jay-Z, Biggie and Charli Baltimore. The group was set to work together but never made it due to the tragic murder of Biggie.

Baltimore interviewed with Hiphopdx, and said this:

“I met [B.I.G.] at a show,” Baltimore says. “I wanted a picture of him, and he wanted a picture of me. We were out there taking pictures of each other. [Laughs] It was a while before I was sitting there writing rhymes and he was critiquing me. We were in the works to start a group called The Commission with myself, him, Puff [Daddy] and Jay-Z, but we weren’t able to have anything come from that because of B.I.G.’s death.” 


Antoinette Alston About Author

Writer and mother of two; an aspiring journalist dedicated to the craft. Currently attending Ashford University in pursuit of a Bachelor's Degree in journalism and mass communications.