The Best Rap Collaborations of 2017 (So Far)

We've shared the best songsalbums, and verses of 2017 so far, but one category we've yet to highlight this year is the rap collaboration. Historically speaking, these records rise to the top when we look back at pivotal performances in years past. Think “Believe Me,” “Otis,” “Pick Up the Phone,” “Cartoon & Cereal.” No need to list off the artists involved; these moments speak for themselves.

There's a good chance a rap collab or two in 2017 joins that pantheon of greatness. With July marking the halfway point, here's a rundown of the best rap collaborations this year has had to offer.


  • Drake f/ 2 Chainz and Young Thug “Sacrifices”

    Whenever Drake and 2 Chainz link up on a track, it's guaranteed to make waves. That said, “Sacrifices” truly takes off thanks to Young Thug's inclusion. Surprisingly enough, this song counts as Drake and Thug's first proper collaboration, and the trio of rappers don't disappoint with slick rhymes on how they finessed their situations into something better. 


  • Wale f/ Lil Wayne “Running Back”

    Wale and Lil Wayne have a history of flipping sports references and metaphors throughout their careers, so it should come as no surprise that they continue it on a record called “Running Back.” The song showcases their chemistry together, along with playful lyricism that makes “Running Back” an enjoyable listen. 


  • Playboi Carti f/ Lil Uzi Vert “Woke Up Like This”

    Playboi Carti only recently started to gain national recognition through “Magnolia” and his self-titled debut project, but if you ask the ATL rapper he's already got imitators in the game. “Woke Up Like This” embodies this narrative, where Carti and Lil Uzi Vert call out those who are jacking their style. Carti and Uzi Vert have linked up a handful of times in the past, and “Woke Up Like This” is their best collaboration yet.


  • Kodak Black f/ Jeezy “Feeling Like”

    “Feeling Like” is a deep cut off Kodak Black's Painting Pictures that details the struggles of making it out of the streets and having a target on your back even when that takes place. It's a sobering performance that shows how well Kodak and Jeezy match up, with the younger act providing his concerns in real time while the veteran ATL native keeps his success in perspective.


  • DJ Khaled f/ Chance the Rapper, Quavo, Lil Wayne, and Justin Bieber “I’m the One”

    It may have took 10 albums, but DJ Khaled finally secured his first No. 1 single with “I'm the One.” And to his credit, he put together a lineup that was tailor-made to hit the top of the charts, with Justin Bieber handling hook duties and Chance the Rapper, Quavo, and Lil Wayne delivering their animated bars over a sugar-coated melody. Respect the process.

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Kodak Black Has Been Released From Jail

Kodak Black has been released from Broward County Jail. Sun Sentinel reporter Brett Clarkson shared an automated message he received regarding Kodak Black's release, noting that the release had not yet been confirmed.

XXL has since confirmed the rapper's release through a representative at the Broward County Sheriff's Office. Complex has reached out to a rep for Black and will update when available.

The Painting Pictures artist was apparently quick to jump on Instagram Live following his release:

kodak
Image via Instagram

In May, Kodak Black was sentenced for violating the terms of his house arrest. Black violated his house arrest terms by attending a boxing match, visiting a Miami-Dade strip club, and “other places” without prior authorization of a probation officer. Though he was sentenced to jail time for the violation, he was also given the opportunity to be released within 30 days upon successful completion of a life skills course. Prior to the sentencing, Black fired two of his attorneys.

In a separate case, Kodak Black is accused of sexual battery against a woman in a Florence, South Carolina hotel room following a show. In the arrest warrant, Black (Dieuson Octave) is accused of forcing the victim “onto the bed in the room and then onto the floor of the room.” Black is also accused of biting the woman. A sexual assault kit, the Sun Sentinel reported in November, confirmed the victim's injuries.

Black was removed from Future's Nobody Safe Tour in April.

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Kodak Black Sentenced 1 Year for Violating House Arrest

Kodak Black was sentenced 364 days in county jail Thursday for violating the terms of his house arrest, according to on-the-scene journalist Brett Clarkson. If Kodak completes a required life skills course, however, he could be out of jail within 30 days:

Prior to the sentencing, it was reported by Todd Tongen that Kodak had fired two of his attorneys:

New attorney Brad Cohen, ahead of the sentencing, told the court that allegations in police documents against his client were “one-sided” and that he was not a “danger to the community.” According to Clarkson, Cohen added that Kodak was a “good kid” who “treats everyone well.”

Kodak also read a statement to the court: 

The court also heard from additional witnesses, including Kodak's godmother and Michael Kushner from Atlantic Records, the label behind this year's Painting Pictures album. Kushner said Atlantic will hire a full-time “handler” for Kodak.

The Broward County state attorney's office had previously expressed their desire that Kodak, whose real name is Dieuson Octave, serve eight years for the violation. The Sun-Sentinel reported that prosecutor Meredith Hough said last month that the Painting Pictures artist had “essentially squandered” his chances. His Florida Department of Corrections probation officer, however, had instead recommended a 30-day sentence and an additional year of house arrest. In a separate case in South Carolina, Kodak is accused of “sexually attacking” a woman at a Florence hotel in 2016.

Last month, Kodak Black was replaced with ASAP Ferg on Future's Nobody Safe Tour.

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