Drake and Future are two stars who have no trouble keeping themselves on hip-hop fans’ radars. After the release of their hotly-anticipated team-up “Life Is Good” on Friday (Jan. 10), it’s safe to say listeners are ready for more. It’s been over four years since their collaboration project What A Time To Be Alive, which was crafted together in a matter of days, but regardless debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 despite it being a surprise release.
It’s no surprise why the two have great musical chemistry. Both artists are known for their workaholic attitudes towards their crafts, and have reigned as masters of bars, with equally potent hooks to match, which may explain why they see eye-to-eye in the studio.
Back in 2014, in a CRWN interview with Elliott Wilson, Future spoke about how his relationship with Drake has been able to establish a good foundation dating back to their 2011 collaboration of “Tony Montana.” “It’s always been about the music,” Future recalled. “Right from the first conversation, I was like, ‘Man, you don’t even have to do this for me. I know you’re big right now and I’m just doing mixtapes. I’m good where I’m at.' But he reached out and every time it’s been about the music for me.”
Considering the length of their relationship, countless guest appearances on each other’s projects, topped off with having a full-length project together as well, it’s difficult to pick just a single favorite Drake and Future collab. Here’s a list of their 10 best collaborations through the years.
10. “Tony Montana” (2011)
Appearing on Future’s 2012 Pluto 3D album, "Tony Montana" captures the essence of both artists early in their careers. According to Future in the aforementioned CRWN interview with Elliott Wilson, Drake reached out first to be on the “Tony Montana” remix, sparking what would ultimately become an extraordinary music relationship for many years to come.
9. "Grammys" (2016)
This Views track features the two at the height of their braggadocious tendencies, and also predicted Future’s inevitable award-winning success. While his main line in the song speaks to how he’s so good they'll “think” he won a Grammy, fast forward to 2019, Future wound up grabbing his first Grammy win, with “King’s Dead” (by him, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and James Blake) for best rap performance.
8. “Used to This” (2016)
Fans have been holding onto this gem since 2016, as it was originally supposed to be on Future’s then-unreleased mixtape, Beast Mode 2, which wound up not seeing the light of day until 2018. The track opens with an unmistakable Zaytoven piano riff, contains the ultimate flex in its hook (about partying with the real Madonna) and features a Drake verse further testifying about his workaholism ("Never see me out in person, I'm always working").
7. “Blue Tint” (2018)
Although he’s not officially credited on the track, Future’s high-pitched contributions on the hook to this Scorpion cut are the details that take this song from good to great. In an episode of Genius’ Deconstructed, the track’s producer, Supah Mario, says the heavily Memphis-influenced beat for “Blue Tint” was included solely because he saw Drake had recently worked with BlocBoy JB on their collab hit “Look Alive.” “I had to put myself in [Drake’s] shoes. You travel all over the world and you go to Memphis and find some inspiration that’s probably going to stick with you,” says Supah Mario in the episode.
6. “Never Satisfied” (2014)
On Future’s 2014 project Honest, we find Drake and Future trading bars about no matter how much they have, they may never be fully satisfied and have it be enough -- a feeling many listeners likely can relate to.
5. “Live From the Gutter” (2015)
While smash hits like “Jumpman” and “Big Rings” were getting blasted at sports arenas and grabbing most of the spotlight after WATTBA’s release, deep cuts like “Live From the Gutter” serve to further exemplify Drizzy and Future’s musical compatibility across any beat. The real shining star of the track is its cutting bass line, as the track’s production was handled by an all-star trio: Metro Boomin’, Southside, and Boi-1da.
4. “Jumpman” (2015)
As the clear standout from WATTBA, fans immediately latched onto this single, which masterfully pays homage to Michael Jordan’s brand. Drake’s shoutout to Metro (“Jumpman, Jumpman, Metro Boomin’ on production, wow”) was the catchy catalyst to help the producer’s already-soaring career.
3. “Love Me” (2013)
With Mike WiLL Made-It on the beat, “Love Me” grabbed a spot on Lil Wayne’s I Am Not A Human Being II. Drake and Future tag team the song's chorus for one of the most memorable and widely recited hooks of either of their careers.
2. “Scholarships” (2015)
Another underrated cut off of WATTBA is this woozy banger named after scholarly grants. The 6 God even smoothly slides in a reference to his love for the University of Kentucky’s basketball team.
1. “Where Ya At” (2015)
This important collab came during a crucial time period in Future’s career, appearing on his magnum opus project DS2. Its irresistible, sparkling beat paired with the duo’s catchy bars for a surefire hit that paved the way for What a Time to Be Alive a couple months later.