Who doesn’t enjoy the prospect of a shmexy musical collaboration? Don't get me wrong. The ones who made it into music history are absolutely legendary: Linkin Park and Jay Z, Run DMC and Aerosmith, among others. I'll even give some credit to bubble-gum pop collabs like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift on "Everything Has Changed". But we can't help but wonder could have been produced had these projects succeeded.
1. Diddy, Notorious B.I.G, and Diddy Almost Formed a Super Collab Called "The Commission."
This one seems fairly obvious to fans. If you have to ask why it never happened, you clearly don't know much about the history and mystery. We'll consider saving that in our Archives of Drama if we ever get around to making such a category. I could write for 30 hours straight and never get all that mess covered.
Anyway, However, evidence does exist which proves the idea was real and gives some insight into what the finished product might have sounded like. Notorious B.I.G. didn't leave behind much in the way of unreleased music, but what did remain was scraped together and released on the 2005 album Duets: The Final Chapter. The song "Whatchu Want" features Jay Z and Diddy who both reference "The Commission" several times during their respective parts of the song. Unfortunately, we're left with the scraps, but beggers can't be choosers.
2. Prince and Michael Jackson Could Have Made History Together on "Bad"
It's well-known, at least to those born before social media turned our youth into zombies, that Prince and MJ didn't have the most...ideal relationship, personally or professionally. Both reached and exceeded the hierarchy of most successful humans. One could argue that they were music gods. (But, don't argue. We all know it's true.) Remember the lyrics from "Life O' The Party"?
"But it ain't nothing if it ain't fun
My voice is getting higher
And Eye ain't never had my nose done
That's the other guy"
Their respective solar systems almost collided when they tried to team up on MJ's "Bad". However, Prince was a diva and backed out over a lyric. The lyric was the opening line, "Your butt is mine." Prince, all 5'2' of him was insulted. I mean, understandably, I guess. But if only one of them was a goddamn songwriter, maybe they could have tweaked the lyrics? Just a thought. "Bad" would have been "good" and Prince could have walked away with his head high and rode off into the twilight on his purple unicorn. Fabulous.
Prince instead decided to snub the auditory nightmare of the song "We Are the World". MJ wrote the song and Prince wasn't about to take a place between the musical mortals like Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes. Nope. Instead, he created the single "Hello" making sure that the human population knew that kids starving and shit didn't quite sit right with him. But, in the 80s and 90s, Prince could have wallowed in cow shit as a meditation technique and everybody would still be swooning at his pink boas.
3. REM and Nirvana: Intervention
Kurt Cobain and Michael Stipe were great friends – so much so, Cobain eventually named Stipe Godfather to his daughter Frances Bean. “I constructed a project to try to snap Kurt out of a frame of mind,” Stipe said, after the Nirvana man’s drug habits spiraled in 1993. He sent him a plane ticket, a driver and an invitation to team up, but Kurt just tacked the plane ticket to his bedroom wall and refused to talk to anyone. We'll never know if that intervention project would have helped Kurt. I suspect not, but you can't help but admire Michael's attempts to intervene. If we all had friends like this, well, we may not have missed such as meaningful collaboration.
4. Miley Cyrus and Kanye West Almost Did a Thing
Put two batshit crazy musicians in a recording studio and you may or may not end up with a melodic mess. Back in 2013 (damn), people may or may not remember the twerkfest at the MTV Music Awards. Of course we remember it. Miley looked like a lunatic and Paula Patton gave Robin Thicke a "fuck off" for all that sweet Miley loving onstage.
At some point during that...display...Kanye realized that Miley might just be as fucking woke as he was, because that's where they started talking about, er, teaming up. They managed to record and remix "Black Skinhead", which needed neither and should have been kept in the vast wasteland that is Kanye's brain. Fortunately, it was never released because it was deemed to ridiculous. Unfortunately, it appears that it may have been leaked and I can't find the fucks to give to search for it.
Partial Credit to Adam Tod Brown and April Clare Welsh for their impeccable research skills.