Daily Archives: September 7, 2010

The Art of Collaboration

Greener Setting Series #2

The idea of Kanye West collaborating on a song with Justin Bieber gives me the heebie jeebies.

I mean, this shouldn’t be a surprise, really.  The fetus has already worked with other hip hop artists like Ludacris and Sean Kingston, but after Snoop Dogg’s collaboration with Katy Perry this summer, I really wish hip hop and pop (or what some folks call the “Hood meets Suburbia”) would part ways.

My issue, of course, is that this trend in collaboration seems less of a musical innovation and more of a cross-marketing gimmick (an attempt to appeal to different fanbases).  I suppose there is nothing fundamentally wrong with that, but rather than inspire an “oh cool! What an awesome sound!” from me, I instead go “YAWN!!!”

I mean, I don’t know if I’m opposed to David laying down his incredible Voice on a rap song by Eminem or if his label thinks he would top the charts if Ludacris added a catchy hook to one of his pop songs.  However, I think it would be far more interesting if he collaborated with another Idol alum.

So, now I’m wondering: what in the world is wrong with 19, and why haven’t they done further explorations of duos and collaborations among the Idols?  I think that would be a great marketing strategy, not to mention giving Idols an opportunity to 1) remove the inane “competition” that their fanbases pursue after the show and 2) place the emphasis on music-making, in which the more successful Idols could boost the less successful ones and introduce different audiences to each other.

I say all this because I think it’s absurd that David has not done a collaboration with his label mates Jordin Sparks and Allison Iraheta.  Or something cool and laid back with Kris Allen. It would also be unique if they shook things up a bit and had different Idols collaborating from different genres.

Like, say, a Fantasia/Adam Lambert collaboration, or a Carrie Underwood/Jennifer Hudson diva song, or how about Kelly Clarkson partnering with Kris Allen?

And, my dream duo: Melinda Doolittle and Elliott Yamin! (Of course, David pairing up with either vocalist would be vocal music heaven to me).

And wouldn’t David be over the moon if he did a duet with Tamyra Gray?

It’s obvious the Idols respect each other and looked like they had a fabulous time at their reunion this past Season Finale on AI.  I think it’s the kind of musical community worth building and something I could see David fully supporting.

It would be awesome if some of the past “divas,” like Syesha Mercado, Latoya London, Kimberly Locke, Lakisha Jones, et al, actually teamed up to give us an En Vogue 2.0.

Whoever is managing the Idols (19 or whoever), it’s time to recognize the most obvious trend: the art of collaboration is where it’s at!