When Hip-Hop Meets Electronic: 10 Collaborations We Would Like To See


Electronic music gets a shitty rep sometimes. When you use words like “DJ” or “dance music,” people expect raves, ecstasy, poundingly simple music and a lot of neon. Now, nothing against all that, but it’s very rarely my style. Paisley > Neon. Where a good portion of the electronic music scene slants heavily towards the fun, party music that so many people associate with it, there’s a lot more going on under the surface. At times, these productions sound less like a rave and more like a hip-hop beat.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been listening to something and thought, “man, [rapper’s name] would really kill this track.” Confusion and I came up with list of experimental producers and paired them up with a rapper we thought could do some serious damage over a particular track. Listen to the beats, close your eyes, and use your imagination. Here are some collaborations that, in our heads, sound like pure gold.

Common x Star Slinger
Duo Name: Lonnie and The Astronomy

Common has a commanding voice. He really should be able to carry any track that comes his way, and he seems to anchor any track he really takes control of. However, whenever he’s tried to experiment with anyone outside his comfort zone (most notably with Pharrell on U.M.C.), the results have been abysmal. Finding a more experimental producer for Common was not something we set out to do. We’d be fine hearing him over Dilla and old-school Kanye until the end of time. However, listening to some of Star Slinger’s tracks, The Chicago MC couldn’t help but be brought to mind, with the warm soul samples and enough pizzazz to the percussion to make the beat really pop out over anything in hip-hop right now.

Star Slinger – “Mornin'”

Gold Panda x Raekwon
Duo Name: Panda Chef

For someone known for his contemplative, techno-meets-Dilla music, you’d be surprised at how hard Gold Panda can go at times. However, he never loses that experimental edge that makes his stuff so compelling to listen to. You’d need to be quite the rapper to keep up with something like that. Raekwon is quite the rapper, to say the least, and he’s got just the right balance of aggression and composure. We think he’d murder this track.

Gold Panda – “Greek Style”

Kingdom x Dipset
Group Name: The Oligarchs

Kingdom is one of the most original in the game right now. No one’s doing it quite like him. His catalog’s extremely diverse, so pinning him down to one genre is hard enough, let alone one rapper. So we gave him a posse. When he turns to more hip-hop influenced tracks the results are brutally catchy and just plain destructive. We think they’d be perfect for Dipset. Imagine Cam, Juelz and Jim rocking this one? Fucking crazy. Freekey Zekey can join in too, I suppose. And Hell Rell, if he’s around.

Win Win – “Interleave (Kingdom Remix)”

Girl Unit x Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka
Group Name: Girls Love Ferraris

Girl Unit’s one of the most innovative producers coming out of London right now, and honestly, none of his songs need any extra elements. It’s almost blasphemous to suggest rapping over one of his gems. There just aren’t many rappers that could do this kind of beat justice. But seeing as this is completely hypothetical, and because no one could keep up, we decided to hand this over to the rappers that would make it their own – Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame. We hope this would evolve into Gucci and Waka blurting out adlibs for five minutes. This could, in all seriousness, be an absolutely brilliant thing.

Girl Unit – “Wut”

Boys Noize x Wiz Khalifa
Duo Name: Amber’s Boys

Another producer I’m hesitant to suggest should have someone rap over their track is Boys Noize. However, the German mastermind has proven himself time and time again to have a uncanny ear for pop melodies. Someone else with an almost savant-like talent for ear-catching melodies? Wiz Khalifa. If Wiz could keep up, this would be huge.

Boys Noize – “Yeah”

T.I. x Lunice
Duo Name: Canadian King

T.I. is the kind of technically proficient rapper who demolishes tracks. He’s graced some of the best beats in the industry and just recycles all of them into T.I. gold. We think it’s time to hear him on something a little more off-kilter. Enter Lunice, the Canadian ex-B-Boy currently apprenticing Diplo and crafting some of the most high-energy, swagged out beats on Earth right now. I got too excited about this collab, so I made a mashup to make sure it would work.

Uh, “What You Know” over “Juice.” What You Know About Juice?

Avicii x Mac Miller
Duo Name: Thumbs Up, Bro

Pop overload. Avicii’s gaining huge buzz creating some of the catchiest house music….ever, really. This track is pretty trancey, but if it hits radio, it still has the potential to lure the masses in. What would help would be some rapping to make it more palatable to the people who might not realize they like it because they “don’t listen to techno.” The obvious choice would be someone like Pitbull, but we really, really don’t want to see that. Mac Miller can do the job. He sounds at home even over the poppiest of production, and if we want to see anyone get a mega-hit, we’d at least like it to be for someone who seems like a nice guy.

Avicii – “Levels”

Youth Lagoon x Kendrick Lamar
Duo Name: Kendrick’s Lagoon

Youth Lagoon is a bedroom pop act that borders on chillwave a lot of the time. However, listen to the album and tell me that the kid’s not putting in some serious MPC work in. Things are quiet and distant, then all of a sudden the beats kicks in hard. A good verse could really set something off. The problem? Youth Lagoon makes music that is painfully pretty and brazenly earnest and sincere. The solution? Kendrick Lamar, one of the best rappers doing it right now, who is also comfortable feeling like a real 23 year-old guy just trying to do something great. Jump into this track at about the 2:20 mark and tell me Kendrick couldn’t lay something over that. And then listen to the rest of The Year of Hibernation, and Section.80 while you’re at it, because they’re both great.

Youth Lagoon – “Posters”

Freddie Gibbs x Gold Panda
Duo Name: Golden Gangster

You didn’t think I’d leave Gold Panda with just one rapper, did you? Freddie Gibbs already proved he can rap over just about anything by taking on a Joker track, but we feel like his best song is still “National Anthem.” He sounds fucking phenomenal over a more laid-back beat, bringing out the starkness of his constant aggression and technically proficient flows. Some of GP’s more beautiful beats would make for one hell of a backdrop for Gibbs to sink his teeth into.

Gold Panda – “You.”

Caribou x Mos Def
Duo Name: Yasiinibou

Caribou is an amazingly talented producer, and one that has a penchant for constructing beats that make it hard to think of just music while you’re listening. The tracks have a way of drawing you in and taking you on a trip of visuals, colors, smells, and an overall experience that feels more like a drug and less like a song. While Caribou’s production takes a tight grip of your senses and drags you out for a journey, letting Mos Def help steer seems like a good call. He seems like a trustworthy dude.

Caribou – “Pelican Narrows”

  • gk


    currensy x gold panda
    a mixtape of these two would be amazing

  • Aspergers

    This is fucking awesome guys! Great suggestions. I often think about this myself sometimes. I don’t even like some of the rappers on this list but the thought of hearing them on the suggested beats would make me check out the album, mixtape, EP or whatever. These artists should see this.

  • DOM

    This is sweet. That Kingdom beat is ridiculous.

  • DOM

    Oh and I can absolutely hear Common join over that Star Slinger track…too perfect

  • John

    Flo-rida has already rapped over that avicii song levels! Its called Good Feelings and it sounds like the ultimate radio song!

  • http://jaredwinkel.tumblr.com Jared

    I’d love to hear a collaboration between M83 and Kid Cudi. Call it French Rager.

  • http://moosetache.over-blog.fr/ Moosetache

    Great article, i would love hearing those artists together, they should think about it

  • http://isaacbuckley.bandcamp.com thedopeness

    Jay Electronica and James Blake?

  • Confusion

    M83 and Kid Cudi. I’d like to hear that too

  • http://gwclabelme.blogspot.com/ GWC

    This is awesome. The common collabo I could really see, especially with that track.

    I’ve always said Kid Cudi needs to hook up with Pretty Lights, I think they could make some ridiculous music. I wanna see a Lupe song with somebody like Doctor P. Above all though Rusko, Nas, and Damien Marley would kill it together.

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  • cmnova

    Absolutely need someone going over a Pretty Lights track (besides Na Palm who already has). His tracks are perfect for it!

    That said, this is a fantastic post all the way around. Midas, you bring it every time, love it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/2timers/197180657334 Griff

    Very cool post midas. If nothing else it’s nice to hear some electronic artists that are up my alley. I like that the end of the Wiz/Boys Noize collabo Wiz gets called out. You won’t Wiz, you’re scared ha

  • Timmy

    Youth Lagoon & Kendrick Lamar, Kingdom & Dipset, and Caribou & Mos Def are clever ones. Also agree with Confusion about M83 and KiD CuDi, wouldn’t be surprised if he gets on a sample of theirs in the future (surprised he hasn’t already, really). IMO, Star Slinger could mesh well with most rappers, solely based on his fucking amazing beats.

    Dope list overall.

  • Andrew

    Mimosa x Kanye?, or basically any rapper. Those beats are screaming to be rapped over.

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  • CK

    AWESOME post, Midas (and Con), I think I could hear the suggested rappers over almost every single one of these beats in my head. My favorites in terms of how I think the artists would blend together have to be Common x Star Slinger, Gold Panda x Raekwon, Girl Unit x Gucci Mane/Waka Flocka, Avicii x Mac Miller, and Caribou x Mos Def. But my favorite name combined is definitely Panda Chef. I don’t even like some of types of dance/electronic music that much, but still great post.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgdkZTJdSCA Andrew

    Sick list, been excited about rap/ electro music. Earmilk posted a dude who raps over Neon Indian and other electro music, pretty awesome. Nice read, guys


  • http://twitter.com/eric_chance Eric

    The world would be a better place if all of these actually happened.

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  • Austin

    i think pharrell and daft punk would be a really interesting one as well as bag raiders and wiz khalifa or someone like that

  • Austin

    oh the a collabo with j.u.s.t.i.c.e. would be cool as well

  • John

    Even though The White Panda kind of already did it, I’d love to hear a legit Kanye West x M83 collab.

  • bischyfishy


    heres a sweet cut over a pretty lights track. ya boy goes by jay fresh and he hits the track smoother than a vaporizer hits your lungs.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/j_oddio j_oddio

    needs more glitchHop/laZerBass producers
    IMHO if you were ever gonna put together MCs/rappers with electronic producers, the genres i mentioned should be where you get the producers from.

  • http://finestcreativity.wordpress.com finestcreativity

    creative. love these kinds of posts :)

  • http://twitter.com/silencenogood Zechmann

    Avicii deserves better

  • WOLF

    I can understand going with all the dubstep and indie dance artists, but come on man don’t put Boyz Noise and Avicii out there like that. Wiz has disappointed me since Kush and OJ and Mac is nice but relax. Levels definitely is nowhere near anything remotely “trancy.” Im not trying to bash you or anything but I think you can do better than these artists. Maybe point out someone like Tiesto who already made a track with Three 6 Mafia or Diplo. And if you wanna go into the dubstep/electro why not Wolfgang Gartner with some Big Boi and Dre 300. That shit would be lethal.

  • Calvin

    the funny thing is pitbull did end up rapping over levels hhahaa

  • FandangleGrizzlyKoff



  • D18

    I agree…i hate the way hip hop sounds now

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