The 15 Best Unofficial Rap Duos in the Game Right Now

Chance The Rapper & Noname. Kendrick & Jay Rock. Drake & Future. Sometimes, when you see two names together, you just know it's going to be a hit.

drake future

Image via Prince Williams/Getty

drake future

Since its beginnings, hip-hop's most explosive moments have often been its collaborations between the genre's biggest stars. When two rappers team up—unexpected or not—the results are compelling in a way no other genre has ever captured. Rappers know this: grabbing a feature from a big name artist can make an up-and-comer's career, and when A-list stars decide to hop in the booth together, the results are attention-grabbing even when they don't quite work. And when they do work, the best thing to do is just keep getting in that studio together. When artists collaborate frequently they develop a kind of alchemy—everything they're on together becomes more than the sum of its parts—which is why when you see, say Drake and Future next to each other on a tracklist, you know it's going to result in something special. It's those connections—the rappers who keep working on each other—that make rap such a dynamic, versatile genre. These are the best unofficial duos (and one trio) that produce nothing but the best when together.

26. Conway and Westside Gunn

Em inks with Griselda

Songs: "Hall and Nash" (2014), "Gold Pots" (2016), "Rahbanga" (2016), Hall and Nash (2015), Griselda Ghost (2015)

Conway and Westside Gunn have a reason for a solid connection: they're brothers. The Buffalo, NY, pair—recently signed their Griselda Records label to a deal as a Shady Records imprint—are flag-bearers for gritty, NY-style street rap. Their chemistry together is, predictably, instinctual. Over a series of collaborative projects and a long-running string of appearances on each other's best tracks, their ability to trade bars is nearly unmatched. It's the kind of pairing that stands the test of time, making each artist bring their best to the table and hearkening back to the old school posse cuts that made hip-hop a team sport in the first place. 



24. Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti "Lookin" f/ Lil Uzi Vert

Songs: "Of Course We Ghetto Flowers" (2016), "Lookin" (2017), "Wokeuplikethis*" (2017)

Uzi and Carti are two rappers that old heads love to hate, but the general public can't seem to get enough of and are on a tear when it comes to linking up on records. No matter any criticism, what can't be denied is their ability to make a song that will immediately get you on your feet. "Lookin," and "wokeuplikethis*," both will immediately send any party into a frenzy, and that's the true strength of these two.


22. Roc Marciano and Ka

Roc Marciano

Songs: "Not Told" (2012), "Nine Spray" (2012), "Confusius" (2013), "Squeeze" (2013), "Marksmen" (2017)

Two veterans, Roc Marciano and Ka on a record usually leads to something that sounds like the New York hip-hop in its purest form. Marciano's ability to drop slick wordplay with a laidback flow combined with Ka's soft-spoken, deceptively heavy raps is a pairing that feels retro in its dedication to narrative lyricism without ever falling into any outdated tropes. "Not Told," and "Nine Spray," are both standout tracks on Roc Marciano's 2012 album Reloaded while the same can be said about their pairing on "Confusius," from his 2013 album Marci Beaucoup.


20. Meek Mill and Rick Ross

Rick Ross and Meek Mill

Songs: "Ima Boss" (2012), "Believe It" (2012), "So Sophisticated" (2012), "Off the Corner" (2014), "Walkin On Air" (2014), "Been That" (2015), "Lamborghini Doors" (2017)

Meek Mill's declaration that Rick Ross and he were the MMG Captain and Lieutenant on "Dreams and Nightmares," was an appropriate characterization of their relationship, and was cemented with every song the two collaborated on since. The two are equally capable of producing anthems ("Ima Boss") as deep motivational cuts ("Lamborghini Doors"). The combination of Meek's aggressive rapid fire delivery mixed and Ross's laid back, cool demeanor creates a winning contrast, and the instincts they share always leads to a certified banger.


18. Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Lil Wayne

nicki wayne drake ig

Songs: "Only" (2014), "Truffle Butter" (2014), "No Frauds" (2017)

The trio of Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj may be the most star-studded trio on one record label in hip-hop history, and when the Young Money superstars collaborate it's almost a certainty that a high charting single will come from the link up. "Only," and "Truffle Butter," were raunchy and sexy, and proved to be inescapable on airwaves across America. And "No Frauds" showed that, even close to a decade since Young Money's inception, that the public is still all ears when these three collaborate.


16. Jay Z and Rick Ross

Image via Instagram

Songs: "3 Kings" (2012), "F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit" (2013), "Devil Is A Lie" (2013)

Elegance. Luxury. Flexing at its finest. These are words that are synonymous with the records that Jay Z and Rick Ross create together. Two of the best rappers ever at detailing the rise to multimillionaire status (billionaire status for Jay, if we're coming correct), Hov and Rozay are a match made in Boss Heaven. If money had a sound, it probably would sound like "3 Kings," "F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit," or "Devil Is A Lie."


14. Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples

This is a photo of Earl Sweatshirt.

Songs: "Elimination Chamber" (2012), "Hive" (2013), "Wool" (2015)

Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples are both witty, clever, and thoughtful outside of the recording booth, but those same traits follow them to the mic as well. Together, it's their differences that get exaggerated and it becomes apparent that, while people often put these two in similar boxes, they're truly individual artists. While Vince can use his wordplay to detail a day in Long Beach vividly, Earl Sweatshirt bends words and syllables in a way that not many other MC's are capable of. Their approaches to may be different, they leave listeners hanging onto their every word and wondering "what's next?"


12. Chance The Rapper and Noname

Chance the Rapper

Songs: "Lost" (2013), "Israel (Sparring)" (2015), "Finish Line/Drown" (2016)

Two of the most prominent names in Chicago's new generation of hip-hop, Chance The Rapper and Noname share a similar densely lyrical and deeply emotive brand of artistry, and when they come together the results are always stunning pieces of songwriting. "Lost" is a song detailing a relationship between two lovers who are deeply flawed individuals but find solace in one another, "Israel (Sparring)" and "Finish Line/Drown" are both partially meditations on faith featuring high-wire feats of technically astounding rapping. Separately, these are two of the most promising artists in the world. Together, they bring out something in the other that only doubles down on their most affecting strengths. 


10. Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock

This is TDE's 2016 Holiday Collection.

Songs: "Money Trees" (2012), "Pay For It" (2014), "Easy Bake" (2015)

Kendrick Lamar is close to inarguably the best rapper in the game currently, and getting the best of him on a record is no easy feat. But his TDE label mate Jay Rock did just that on "Money Trees" on K. Dot's debut album, detailing the trials and tribulations of selling drugs and hustling in the Watts projects. The song was Jay Rock's breakout moment to people who hadn't heard him before, and the pair's easy, long-running chemistry means that we'll almost certainly see more from them in the future. We can't wait. 


8. Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug

Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan

Songs: "Lifestyle" (2014), "Mamacita" (2014), "Tell Em (Lies)" (2014), Rich Gang: Tha Tour, Pt.1 (2014)

If this list were written in 2014, Rich Homie Quan and Thug would have made a case to be at the top of it. The Atlanta pair found a winning formula as a duo, forming a fully-functioning unit whenever they appeared on a track together. No song dominated the summer of 2014 as much as the celebratory anthem "Lifestyle," which catapulted both into full-fledged superstardom. Though their relationship appears rocky at the moment there is no denying that when these two are locked in a studio together there is close to a guarantee that something magical is going to be produced.


6. ASAP Rocky and Schoolboy Q

This is a picture of A$AP Rocky performing from Wikicommons

Songs: "Hands On The Wheel" (2012), "PMW (All I Really Need)" (2013), "Californication" (2014), "Electric Body" (2015)

ASAP Rocky and Schoolboy Q have been collaborating on records since Rocky's debut mixtape, Live. Love. ASAP, back when both were bubbling underground artists trying to make it big. Now both stand as full-fledged stars in hip-hop and consistently body tracks on each other's albums. The party anthem "Hands On The Wheel," from Q's 2012 effort Habits and Contradictions and "Electric Body," from Rocky's sophomore album At. Long. Last. ASAP serve as high points for both records.



4. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz

2 Chainz Collegrove

Songs: "Rich As F**k" (2013), "I Do It" (2013), "No Problem"s (2016), "Back On The B******t" (2016), Collegrove (2016)

Wayne and 2 Chainz have a history of working together as far back as 2007. Back when Chainz was a part of the duo Playaz Circle, Weezy laced the crew with a now-classic Wayne hook on the street anthem "Duffle Bag Boy." Their collaborative efforts, though, didn't kick into overdrive until 2016. Last year, two of the biggest heavyweights in the history of the South came together to deliver the criminally underrated Collegrove, which served not only as a 2 Chainz homage to Wayne, but also an intersection of New Orleans and Atlanta culture, two cities with rich hip-hop traditions. The pair also hijacked Chance The Rapper's "No Problems" in a rare double star turn, both doing what they do best: delivering witty and absurdly charismatic bars in the voices they've been honing for decades. 

3. Travis Scott and Quavo

travis scott and quavo

Songs: "Oh My Dis Side" (2015), "Pick Up The Phone" (2016), "Go Off" (2017), "Portland" (2017), "Know No Better" (2017)

Migos' breakout voice and La Flame are two of the hottest rappers out, manipulating autotuned melodies to craft (literally) unforgettable songs. Together, that skill is only amplified. "Oh My Dis Side" is one of the best songs in Travis Scott's catalog; the combination of Travis high energy and Quavo's laid back demeanor is a winning recipe. The chemistry is so apparent that Travis says they are working on a collaborative album. If it comes to fruition, that's good news for us all.

2. Drake and Future

Drake and Future

Songs: "Fo Real" (2014), "Never Satisfied" (2014), "Where Ya At" (2015), What A Time To Be Alive (2015), "Grammy's" (2016), "100it Racks" (2016), "Used To This" (2016)

A long-standing, if unconventional, pairing, there is no denying the track record that Drake and Future have under their belts. Exhibit A is their collaborative mixtape, What A Time To Be Alive. Recorded over the span of six days in Atlanta and served as a sort of off-the-cuff bid at the magnitude of a project like Watch The Throne—two rappers joining forces at the height of their power. The project produced the inescapable "Jumpman," along with the celebratory crew cut "Big Rings," though focusing on What A Time alone would be to disregard the series of great songs the two leave littered in their wake when they hit the studio together. 

1. Travis Scott and Young Thug

Travis Scott Young Thug Pick Up the Phone

Songs: "Mamacita" (2014), "Skyfall" (2014), "Maria, I'm Drunk" (2015), "Floyd Mayweather" (2016), "Pick Up The Phone" (2016)

This pair has been collaborating since virtually the beginning of their careers, Thugger and Travis Scott have launched themselves into the upper echelon of hip-hop in the last few years while consistently dropping in on each other's projects (their biggest hit to date, "Pick Up The Phone," appears on both Travis' Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight and Thug's Jeffery). No two of their songs sound alike. "Skyfall" sounds like an outer-space odyssey, "Maria, I'm Drunk" (also featuring Justin Bieber) is woozy and intoxicating, and "Pick Up The Phone"—which takes rapping to melodic extremes—is a vision of a pop hit unlike anything else that hit the charts before it. The two appear to be incapable of producing a bad record together. 

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