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The 20 Best Hip-Hop/Rock Collaborations

May 2, 2011  |  9:10am
The 20 Best Hip-Hop/Rock Collaborations

Last week, Big Boi unexpectedly revealed that he’s been working together with Modest Mouse on the band’s forthcoming record. This will add the heralded Atlantan rapper to the list of recent hip-hop artists like Kanye West, The Roots and Kid Cudi who’ve collaborated with rock groups. But the cross-genre collaboration trend dates back to the early ‘80s. Here’s a look back at some of our favorite hip-hop/rock collaborations throughout the past several decades.

20. “Right On”
Rappers: The Roots
Rocker: Joanna Newsom
Since joining Jimmy Fallon’s show as his house band back in 2009, The Roots have accompanied countless artists on the late-night TV set. That’s carried over into their own studio work, including this effort with Joanna Newsom from their 2010 record How I Got Over.

19. ”Numb/Encore”
Rapper: Jay-Z
Rockers: Linkin Park
While we rarely vouch for rap-rockers Linkin Park, their partnership with Jay-Z is one cut that’s worth a listen.

18. “Flyentology”
Rapper: El-P
Rocker: Trent Reznor
The Nine Inch Nail frontman makes a compelling appearance on former Def Jux founder El-P’s masterful 2007 album I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead.

17. “Who Knows Who”
Rappers: The Streets
Rockers: Muse
British rap meets British arena rock on this surprising single.

16. “The Drop I Hold”
Rapper: GZA
Rockers: The Black Lips
Long before the Lips were drinking champagne out of Mark Ronson’s Grammy, they worked with Wu-Tang member GZA for a track off their 2009 record 200 Million Thousand.

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