So, the start off, this is very much a personal opinion, like most stuff on this blog is. You might like the rap inserts in songs, I personally am not a fan of music of featuring rap artists as most of the time they just ruin the song for me. There are some expetions to this which you’ll see while reading this post. If you are unaware of what a featuring artist is, its when a band have another artist in a part of their song, normally you can spot these with the (feat. ###) in the song title.
Now if done correctly, having a featuring artist can prove to be great for both the artist involved and the listener, a good example would be Clean Bandit, who do not have a dedicated singer in their band and feature a whole host of other singers in their track. This works great as their work suits each singer perfectly. Its when its forced is when it all falls apart. There are quite a few songs where the featuring artist just kills the song outright and it is the rappers most of the time for me. The pacing goes their segments just fells dull and unsavoury compared to the rest of the piece. Below are a few examples and what I thought of their featuring rapper artist compared to the rest of the song.
Levitating – Dua Lipa (feat. DaBaby)
Now the standard Levitating without the feature which is in the album is great, the feature here really kills the vibe and just does not fit. Honestly not sure why this became a thing. Below is the normal version for comparison:
Tick Tock – Clean Bandit & Mabel (feat. 24kGoldn)
By far this is one of the better rap features, the song does not pause for the rapper to spew out a load of words in quick succession. It fits the song and keeps it going, this example has to be one of the few times I actually like the rap feature.
Bang Bang – Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
While not a featuring artist, I though it was worth being this one up. If you listen the first two artists sections, the song is actually really good. But then Nicki turns up and ruins it. She just kills the pace entirely and really does not fit in a song of this style. Granted she is not rapping at her fastest to make it fit a little better, it still is such a contrast to the rest of the song for me.
Moves – Olly Murs (feat. Snoop Dogg)
Credit where it is due, Snoop’s part of this song fits perfectly! I have nothing bad to say with his contributions here, they fit and sound great with Olly’s vocals and the beat of the song.
Kissing Strangers – DNCE (feat. Nicki Minaj)
This one is not as bad as the last example, Nicki’s part of the song does flow okay and does sound like it was meant to be in the song, I’m just not a fan of rap in pop so it would always stand out a little for me.
Problem – Ariana Grande (feat. Iggy Azalea)
Now this song is in a bit of weird spot for me, while I like it in places it mixes a lot of different voices and styles into one song and does often lose its pacing to me. As for Iggy’s segment, it sounds okay, but still feels a little out of place to me. Its certainly not the worst of bunch and for me is in the meh territory.
Heart skips a beat – Olly Murs (Feat. Chiddy Bang or Rizzle Kicks)
So, this is actually a good use of a featuring rapper. It does not kill the rhythm set before it, it is short and understandable and actually fits with the rest of the piece. This follows on nicely to the next one. There is another rapper version which is considerably worse. See below:
I felt I should point out a good example of rap fitting vs it not and this song is perfect for that. Listen to both and see which one you perfer.
California Gurls – Katy Perry (feat. Snoop Dogg)
ike Moves, Snoop’s part in this one also fits the song, maybe not quite as well as others he has been in, but it still is not bad. For me it does drag on a bit and I’m left waiting for it to get back to Katy again.
So that is just a few examples that I could find at short notice. While some are pretty okay, I tend to find the rappers making the song worse in one way or another. Now obviously this could just be me, I’m not a fan of rap music in general, someone who maybe likes rap music would feel drastically different about this topic. But that is my two cents on the topic.