2019 05 08

13 Hip-Hop And Rock Combination Tours We’d Love To See

blink-182 and Lil Wayne was just the beginning – here are 13 hip-hop and rock artists who would crush a co-headlining tour.

Yesterday, when blink-182 announced their co-headlining tour with rapper Lil Wayne, plenty of K! readers raised an eyebrow at the very least (one Twitter philosopher said they’d rather get fingered by Edward Scissorhands than attend”). But this rap-rock pairing shouldn’t really surprise anyone — over the last year, the two genres have been meeting in the middle with increasing regularity. Whether it’s notable rappers covering rock tracks or metal labels signing rappers with metal in their histories, rock and hip-hop are on a distinct collision course. 

More than anywhere else, the live arena is where this combination has the potential to shine the brightest. At the end of the day, any concert is all about that energy the audience feels as a musician takes the stage and everyone loses their mind at once. On top of that, having rock bands and hip-hop stars touring together could result in some onstage collaborations that wouldn’t come about otherwise.

Here are 13 hip-hop and rock collaboration tours that we’d pay to see in a heartbeat…

Tyler, The Creator and Watain

Tyler The Creator Watain

Few metal bands could share the stage with deranged rapper Tyler, The Creator and not get creeped out or overwhelmed. But if anyone could do it, it would be black metal primitives Watain, whose all-in attitude and blood-drenched stage show feels like it would strike a chord with Tyler. Worth it if only to people-watch the protesters who show up.

Frank Ocean and FIDLAR

What both rapper/R&B singer Frank Ocean and party punks FIDLAR do well is reflecting on their hedonistic lifestyle. Both Ocean and FIDLAR write about doing some crazy shit in the name of a good time…and then feeling deeply unfulfilled by it all. This raw humanity would bring out a really intense — and really entertaining — mixed crowd of introspective party animals.

Snoop Dogg and Sleep

Snoop Sleep

The reasons this match-up would work are pretty obvious. That said, there’s also something about Sleeps Matt Pike and the Dee Oh Double Gee sharing the stage that feels totally natural. They’re both old-school Cali dudes, who have marched to the beat of their own drummer since Day One. Also, yeah, obviously, the chronic. 

Snoop Dogg picture via The Come Up Show

Cardi B and Paramore

Aside from both being powerful female talents, Cardi B and Paramore have something fascinating in common: they’ve surpassed everyone’s expectations. Cardi went from stripping to becoming the biggest pop star in the world, while Paramore grew from an emo-rock band to an arena-packing rock mega-act. But, more important than that: imagine if Cardi joined Paramore onstage for a duet. Damn, dude. 

Childish Gambino and Muse

Childish Gambino Muse

Raw, unadulterated entertainment. Both Childish Gambino and Muse know that even awesome, inspiring music needs some gorgeous visuals and awesome stage moves to make it truly amazing, even when it’s deeply self-aware and socially conscious. The scope, scale, and pure excitement of this tour would be absolutely breathtaking. Watch Gambino dancing to Hysteria and see how quickly everyone goes fucking nuts.

Necro and Exhumed

To be fair, horror-obsessed rapper Necro and gore metallers Exhumed have collaborated before; the latter appeared on the former’s track Necrotura, from his metal-themed album The Circle Of Tyrants. To have the two of them trade off headlining shows would illustrate just how sick and twisted fans of both metal and hip-hop truly are. And really, isn’t that what bringing these genres together is all about?


Makonnen Swmrs

This tour would be, in a word, plunky. Both Makonnen and SWMRS have a childish, excitable bounce to their music that’s deeply infectious. That said, the two also make music about incredibly serious personal topics, even if those messages are couched in madcap singalongs. Two strange but enticing flavors, together at last.

Death Grips and Anaal Nathrakh

This show would be bleak, but man, would it be awesome. The confrontational rage and detachment of Death Grips could only share the stage with one act: scathing black metal duo Anaal Nathrakh, whose music brims with detestation and contempt for mankind. That said, knowing both of these acts, they might not even show up — and if they did, they’d draw the most nihilistic crowd imaginable.

Kendrick Lamar and Napalm Death

Kendrick Lamar Napalm Death

Hear us out! Yes, Kendrick Lamar’s music is considerably less brutal than that of Napalm Death. At the same time, Kendrick’s music is still pretty no-bullshit, and he’s a socially-conscious genius in his field. Meanwhile, Napalm have always been incredibly politically-minded, and have never dumbed down their brand of furious death metal. This might be the most confusing one of the bunch, but if it happened, it’d make history.

Kendrick Lamar photo via Kenny Sun, Napalm Death photo via Sven Mandel.

Madvillain and The Budos Band

Hip-hop duo Madvillain have a chill, funky sound that’s tinged ever so slightly with menace and melancholy. So what better band to co-headline with them than the Budos Band, modern masters of doom-funk? This, right here — this is how you get a thousand people to shake their asses at once.

Danny Brown and Mindless Self Indulgence

Detroit rapper Danny Brown has played festivals with acts like Knocked Loose before, so it’s not like he’d be baffled by working with a rock act. Meanwhile, there’s something about his fast, unhinged rhyming style and high vocal that would be a perfect match for MSIs speedy, deviant electro-punk. The outfits of this show’s crowd would be some real beautiful shit, too.

Jim Jones and Black Label Society

Jim Jones Bls

Unlike a lot of the acts on this list, Jim Jones doesn’t play experimental or unorthodox hip-hop — he writes pretty traditional rap about hardcore shit. Because of that, he’d fit well with Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, who produce classic outlaw biker metal, just like dad used to get hammered to. These shows would probably result in a lot of dudes in the audience hugging after duffing each other in the face.

Jim Jones photo via CPX Interactive, Zakk Wylde photo via Wikipedia Commons.

Darq E. Freaker and Avatar

What goes best with hallucinatory hip-hop-driven electronica? Swedish clown metal, of course! Both British beat artist Darq E. Freaker and Swedish power-groove band Avatar have a hyperactive insanity to their music that other bands can’t quite touch on. This tour would get a little bizarre, but let’s be real: it’d also be fun as hell.

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Posted on May 8th 2019, 7:31p.m.
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