5. Bandmanrill & Kyle Richh
In a year that saw Jersey Club become one of the most dominant sounds in Hip-Hop, Bandmanrill has put in the work to make sure he helped push that sound as far as it could go. Appearing on the fast-paced “Jiggy in Jersey” with Sha EK and DJ Swill B, he solidified that he was more than capable of keeping up with those in the Drill circuit. Not to mention his debut project “Club Godfather,” also dropped this past year, Bandmanrill has shown that there is versatility in the Jersey Club sound. 2022 also saw Kyle Richh and his 41 crew burst onto the Drill scene while helping put Brooklyn Drill back on the map. Although he’s received his fair share of criticism for his dissing of other dead Drill rappers, Kyle Richh’s lyrical ability is undeniable. He was also one of the most consistent rappers of the past year, constantly keeping his name in people’s mouths.
A collaboration between these two would be a great way to further ingrain the Jersey Club and Drill sound together, showing unity in a field that primarily rewards division. A New York/New Jersey crossover with some of the best artists in both genres would no doubt receive love from both places, and it would be interesting to see how they blend these two sounds together even more.
4. Maiya The Don & B-Lovee
Although she only has 4 songs available on DSP’s, the viral hit “Telfy,” certified that Maiya The Don is a star in the making. Having been brought onstage by various mainstream rappers when they’re in town for a show, and getting various cosigns on social media through the use of her song as a sound, Maiya The Don is poised to make 2023 her true breakout year. She’s already been featured on a track with Lay Bankz (“No More Crying”), and is reportedly on the remix to Flo Milli’s “Conceited,” too. With this string of success, I feel like a collaboration with The Bronx’s B-Lovee would be a great move for the both of them. B-Lovee is currently in the midst of redefining his sound while he matures as an artist. 2022 saw him drop his major label debut in the form of “Misunderstood,” an 8-song project that came out to mixed reception from fans and first-time listeners alike. As one of the Bronx Drill pioneers, though, B-Lovee’s name still holds weight in that regard.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Drill track (though it would be nice to see Maiya The Don’s versatility on one), but a collaboration between these two would definitely bring some CrossTown unity to the city as well. The Bronx and Brooklyn are often pit against each other, so having two of their young stars come together on a track that could incorporate various sounds and genres, is a prospect that needs to be recognized.
3. Cash Cobain & Lil Uzi Vert
When The New York Times included “2 SLIZZY 2 SEXY (DELUXE)” on their 2022 Albums of the Year list, they confirmed what most people already knew about Cash Cobain: His talent is undeniable. With a take on sample beats that is seldom heard from even mainstream producers, Cash Cobain and Chow Lee created a series of tracks that have a vibe unlike any other. Mixing in elements of the Jersey Club sound with Drill, but also with elements of Trap was a risky move that paid off tremendously. When he dropped the deluxe version later in the year, alongside a sold-out show at Brooklyn venue Baby’s All Right, the addition of 12 new tracks helped further solidify Cash’s talent on production as well as on the mic. Everyone knows who Lil Uzi Vert is, but something changed when he dropped “Just Wanna Rock”. One of the biggest artists in the world made a Jersey Club track that exploded on TikTok, and can now be heard almost anywhere. Since living in New York, Uzi has not been a stranger and appeared in random places you would never even expect. So what feels like the obvious next step, would be collaborating with a New York artist.
Cash and Uzi both have their creativity in common, doing things that most rappers wouldn’t even think twice about. Not only could Cash produce the track they collaborate on, but to hear them trade bars alongside his signature production tag, would surely make waves across the mainstream and underground music scenes alike.
2. Sha Ek & Girll Codee
Sha Ek is probably one of the most famous Bronx Drill rappers to come from the movement. He’s also one of the most consistent and disrespectful rappers the movement has seen. Sha EK has beef with too many people to name, although he happily welcomes that, seeing it as a part of the Drill Culture. Something he doesn’t get enough credit for is his lyrical ability. Though most dismiss him as just being loud and rude, he has one of the better pens on his side of the industry. Girll Code is a duo who have made waves because they embrace a more traditional, uber-bar-heavy style of rap. Their most recent project, “ShaBiggaa & Hiii Siddity,” saw the duo step into different pockets of sound across Hip-Hop. It was a boastful display of versatility that most male rappers can’t step to.
To hear Sha EK on a Boom Bap track would be something amazing, as he’s rarely stepped out of Drill (with the exception of Jersey Club sound, but even then there are heavy Drill influences in those tracks). Although stepping outside of your comfort zone is not necessarily a prerequisite to maintaining a faithful fan base, it would undoubtedly bring attention to what Sha EK can do outside of it. Girll Codee would also stand to benefit from this feature, with the exposure that Sha Ek can bring to their own sound, which is truly underrated and doesn’t get enough attention. Especially considering the tenacity and attitude that both of these incredibly talented women maintain on their tracks.
1. Ice Spice & PinkPantheress
Ice Spice has been making music long before “Munch,” broke through the algorithm on TikTok, and became heard on phones across the country and the world alike. Though critics largely attribute her success to her looks, that could not be further from the truth. Ice Spice has made a Drill sound different from most others. Sampling EDM tracks and taking a much more chill approach to her flow, all while keeping it bar-heavy, Ice Spice is absolutely essential to the NYC Drill Movement. Especially if it wants to move out from under the shadows of Cop Mayor Eric Adams, who often blames the city’s rise in crime (which follows a national trend of rise in crime) on Drill music and bail reform (data proves this isn’t the case but that is another article for another time). Her aesthetic has captivated the internet and turned her into a viral darling with real talent. PinkPantheress also saw quite a success from TikTok. Going viral for her quaint-yet-quality House tracks, she dropped her debut project in 2021 to positive reception. Though she didn’t drop as much music, personally, in 2022, she still managed to make waves with standout features and singles. Her most recent track, “Boy’s a liar,” is her most popular yet. A fun House banger with a funky bassline and a simple-but-effective melody, it is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard all year.
With both of these viral superstars on the same track, the internet might just explode. Ice Spice’s unique take on the Drill sound with PinkPantheress’ House production would be an exciting step forward in the dynamic and sounds of both genres. There is already a Drill scene in PinkPantheress’ native UK, though it takes more influence from the country’s Grime Scene than it does from US Hip-Hop. An across-the-pond collaboration like this would be unifying, and possibly one of the best collaborations that nobody would expect.
Now that you’ve read what we have to say, what do you think? Who are some artists you’d like to see collaborate with this year? Let us know in the comment section down below!