Thanks to Jay-Z and Beyoncé repping for Grizzly Bear and hanging out at Coachella to see some Pitchfork-approved acts, indie rock and hip-hop have been having a very public love affair lately. Sometimes it’s a late night hook-up that is walk-of-shame worthy in the morning (paging Weezer and Lil Wayne) and other times it’s so seamless you wonder why nobody thought of it before. Kid Cudi rolled out the carpe for Ratatat and MGMT on his studio debut, Ghostface Killah has admitted to loving Vampire Weekend and the Black Keys chopped it up with everyone from Mos Def to RZA and Raekwon on the Blakroc album.
In the most recent example, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon revealed that he spent a couple days earlier this year in Hawaii with Kanye West, laying down some of his patented hushed, pastoral vocals for 10 songs that might appear on West’s upcoming CD. That got us thinking about other unlikely but potentially awesome rap/indie collabos that we’d love to see.
Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu
The Radiohead frontman has never come out one way or another on his feelings about hip-hop, but the thought of his mournful wail and morose lyrics intertwined with the boho queen’s politically-charged verses and esoteric arrangements feels like a slam dunk.
Jim James and Clipse
What could be finer than the high and lonesome wail of the My Morning Jacket singer over the grinding coke raps of Pusha T and Malice? Nothing, that’s what.
Waaves with Lil Wayne
Weezy keeps trying to get his rock game right, so maybe he can finally land the plane with unpredictable Beck 2.0 Nathan Williams. Since both tend to speak in riddles, it would be a perfect match.
Natasha Khan with Nicki Minaj
Both take a sideways view of their respective genres (Minaj with forward-thinking hip-hop and Khan — as Bat for Lashes — with rugged orchestral pop). Both have unique approaches to head gear. Both could blow at any time. Minaj’s quirky flow would meld well with Khan’s ramshackle approach to percussion and otherwordly arrangements.
Eric Sean Nally from Foxy Shazam with Kool Keith
Kool Keith is super nutty. So is Eric from Foxy Shazam. Just put them in a studio and see what madness comes out.
Tim Harrington from Les Savy Fav with Drake
Les Savy Fav are about to release their new album Root For Ruin that seems poised to be a great crossover breakthrough for the Brooklyn hardcore art-rockers. An assist from Drake — another emerging star — would be a great fit. Plus, singer Harrington’s rough approach to frontmanness (costumes, stage-diving, strange between-song patter) would provide an interesting counterpoint to Drake’s superhuman smoothness.
Thomas Mars from Phoenix with Wiz Khalifa
Mars could visit Pittsburgh (easily the most Paris-esque of any American city), enjoy some baked goods with Wiz and let the tape roll. It’s uncertain what would come out, though you can pretty much guarantee you could dance to it.
Black Lips and Rick Ross
Because both of them excel at not giving a …
Which indie rockers would you like to see collaborate with rappers? Let us know in your comments below.