Drake, Justin Bieber, T.I., Taylor Swift: When Hip-Hop Meets Pop


By Nadeska Alexis

Hip-hop has come a long way since Jimmy Iovine first begged a skeptical Jann Wenner to put Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre on the cover of Rolling Stone back in 1993. The music has surpassed boundaries to become a global culture that now spawns collaborations across genre lines, especially and increasingly within the world of pop. This year alone we’ve seen rapper Tyler, The Creator profess his love for Justin Bieber, while the Biebs has reciprocated the hip-hop love, most recently by enlisting Kanye West and Drake to work on his upcoming album Believe.

In September, as Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV hit “How To Love” continued its ascent up the charts, both Bieber and fellow pop star Demi Lovato released their respective covers of the song, without hesitation. “I just loved the way that Lil Wayne took a risk doing the song ‘How To love,’” Lovato told MTV News. “And when I really listened to it, it’s such a great song.”

Vibe’s music editor, John Kennedy, attributes some of the crossover madness to Wayne’s magnetic personality, telling MTV News, "Wayne appeals to the pop world because he's obviously got a tremendous following and is a talented artist, but he's a character outside of the music.”

Besides Weezy and his undeniable appeal, however, there have been numerous exchanges between other hip-hop and pop artists. During an early October concert in Atlanta, Taylor Swift took the stage with T.I. to perform the hit “Live Your Life” and earlier in the summer both Swift and Selena Gomez were filmed while rapping over Nicki Minaj’s catchy single “Super Bass.”

Now, only one question remains: What's good with a Kanye West and Taylor Swift collaboration?