BLOODAS (Tee Grizzley & Lil Durk)

Tee Grizzley & Lil Durk’s Bloodas lacks a singular identity.

Collaborative albums shouldn’t just merge the styles of the participants. Trying to do so results in the sort of confused fusion heard on Bloodas, obscuring the strengths of each’s individual vibes.

The gold standard for these sorts of dual enterprises is probably Watch the Throne, which feels like neither a Jay-Z album nor a Kanye album, but rather entirely its own sufficiently differentiated entity. 1 + 1 should not just equal 1 + 1; when two artists come together, they need to create a new number.

Actually, I don’t even need to go back that far, nor set the bar that high, to find another example: Fabolous & Jadakiss’ few-weeks-old Friday on Elm Street has a distinct Halloween vibe. Though its rapping pales in comparison to Bloodas’ — largely thanks to Tee Grizzley’s involvement, whose relentless barrage of intense lyrics sets him apart from most — it’s still a superior album because it actually works as a coherent whole.

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