In a recent interview with GQ, Jack White let it be known that he had just recorded a song with none other than Jay-Z and that said song is “unbelievable-sounding.”
And while we have no reason to doubt the man’s word, we’re still a bit wary. After all, the last time White ventured outside his comfort zone was in 2008, when he recorded “Another Way To Die” — the theme song to that year’s James Bond vehicle “Quantum of Solace”
— which was one part total brilliance and three parts train wreck (though it’s possible that the movie itself was the real culprit).
Also, it’s not like the history of rock-n-rap collaborations is all that great anyway. Aside from a few watershed moments — like the Beastie Boys’ entire career, Run-D.M.C. teaming up with Aerosmith for “Walk This Way,” the soundtrack to 1993’s “Judgment Night” (Biohazard and Onyx! Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill!) — you’re basically looking at two decades of Limp Bizkitry and Kottonmouth Kinging, which is a pretty dire legacy, if you think about it.
And while White played coy when asked just when or where his Jay-Z track would surface, from the sound of things, he’s very interested in getting it out there. So in celebration of two of the best in the business getting together and making magic, we’ve compiled a list of rock/rap team-ups that are the complete opposite of that. These are some of the most painful, irritating and downright unnecessary rock/rap collaborations of all time.
Helmet feat. House of Pain, “Just Another Victim”
Okay, so not everything on the soundtrack to “Judgment Night” is great. Witness “Victim,” a wheezing, shambling track featuring sludgy, plodding guitars-n-wailing, plus an aggro cameo by House of Pain. Nothing really gels, but hey, it was the ’90s. People were into that sort of thing back then. It makes us want to go out and break something — most notably our ear drums.
Limp Bizkit feat. Method Man, “N 2 Gether Now”
The talents of DJ Premier and the Ticallion Stallion go to waste on this rather, uh, limp Bizkit track. It is dragged down mainly by the mush-mouthed rapping of LB frontman Fred Durst (“Where we gonna run / Maybe we can meet up on the sun”) and a video that looks like it cost 15 bucks to make and is perhaps most notable for a Pauly Shore cameo. Meth n’ Fred spend roughly 60 percent of this song chirping “Shut the f–k up.” Too bad they didn’t take their own advice.
Puff Daddy feat. Jimmy Page, “Come With Me”
Daddy (now Diddy) somehow convinced legendary Led Zeppelin axeman Page to play on this relatively disastrous track (off the soundtrack to the relatively disastrous “Godzilla” reboot), which recreates Zep’s “Kashmir.” Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza reportedly called the collaboration “a blasphemy,” and Fuel frontman Brett Scallions (whose band was also offered a slot on the soundtrack) said the remake made him pass on the soundtrack entirely. And when the dude from Fuel says something is lousy, well, you can probably believe him.
Korn feat. Ice Cube, “Children of the Korn”
A murky, plodding track of Korn’s Follow the Leader album featuring Johathan Davis’ scatting and a cameo by Cube that literally sounds like he was phoning it in. Not either gentleman’s finest hour.
Incubus feat. Big Pun, “Still Not A Player”
The late, great Pun shows up on this dreadful remake (or more probably, his verses do, since he died in early 2000, months before the track was released), off the equally dreadful Loud Rocks compilation. Incubus come across as unspeakably white here, and the re-worked song — all goofy scratches and wailing police sirens — is perhaps the stiffest in history. All of it raises the question: “Why was this necessary?” The answer, of course, is that it wasn’t.
Who did we miss? What’s the most unnecessary rock/rap collaboration of all time? Let us know in the comments below.