I’ve always admired when an artist and a producer lock-in together to create an album, so below is a list some of my favourites. In order to qualify, the album in question must be by an artist(s) and produced by one person, excluding those who already perform as part of a group. So, for example, albums from Slum Village are not acceptable as J. Dilla is part of the group. In addition, albums considered must not have been produced by the artist’s themselves.
Curren$y – Covert Coup (2011)
Who knew Alchemist’s abstract production style would suit Curren$y’s ultra laid-back flows so brilliantly? Following the breakthrough success of Pilot Talk & Pilot Talk II from the previous year, Curren$y consolidated his place as one of the premier underground acts of the time by expertly sliding over some of Alchemist’s ever-consistent instrumentation. The chemistry between the pair proved fruitful enough to create a sequel in the form of The Carrollton Heist (2016).
Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury (2006)
Producers: The Neptunes
The one Clipse album that is widely considered a classic, Hell Hath No Fury is the ultimate amalgamation of their musical relationship with The Neptunes. For the most part, it seems Pharrell and Chad adapted their usual sound that they were synonymous with at the time in order to suit Clipse’s street raps and evoke the best performances from Pusha T and Malice.
Missy Elliot – Miss E… So Addictive (2001)
Missy Elliot and Timbaland’s musical relationship is legendary, and the most accomplished demonstration of that relationship was seen on Miss E… So Addictive. Outrageously successful singles ‘Get Ur Freak On’, ‘Lick Shots’ and ‘One Minute Man’ set the tone for an album that included a host of bangers, cementing both of their iconic statuses.
MF DOOM – Madvillainy (2004)
One of Hip Hop’s greatest underground achievements, Madvilliany was the pairing of two eclectic artists in MF DOOM and Madlib and is often regarded as their best work as individuals. It was a project that aged very well, with the passing years only increasing its allure and mystique, though calls for a sequel fell on deaf ears.
Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)
Producer: Quincy Jones
Obviously, I don’t have to say much to justify the selection of the highest selling album of all time. The legendary Quincy Jones sort to bring out the best of Michael Jackson’s seemingly infinite talent and he did just that, producing an album of which the nine tracks included are all hits. That is – on my personal album rating scale – a ridiculous 100% success rate. Nine songs, nice certified hits.