A feature throughout the history of Hip-Hop & R&B, we’ve seen specific artists capitalize on the success of a song based on a collaboration for who is on the hook and who it’s featuring. Arguably there are artists who’ve appeared on the remix or original song version of a song to which it impacted more than the main artists.
With that being said, let’s pay respect to those who play the supporting roles of a song and have bested, outdone, or even carried the lead artist with their talents.
OPINION-BASED DISCLAIMER. This list reflects relevant artists of right now that could secure someone a hit based on having them as a feature, not a whose better than who as an artist in terms of ranking. If you don’t like the list the good news is you can make your own or argue about it in the comments below.
10. Andre 3000 (“Sixteen” by Rick Ross, “Sorry” by T.I. “Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)” by Lloyd, “Come Home” by Anderson .Paak)
Before the comments section begins to riot Andre 3000 is undoubtedly someone to be debated as one of the greatest of all time to ever have on a song. With that being said, it’s rare for an artist to obtain that credit. Based on his sporadic appearances on artists’ songs and choosiness on collaborating we’ve seen him only appear as a feature more than once for Frank Ocean, Goodie Mob, Beyonce, and Kid CuDi.
A feature verse from Andre 3000 is legendary but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll lead to a mainstream hit with his biggest being back in 2008 on John Legend’s “Green Light” charting at #24. Overall, as iconic as it is to see featuring Andre 3000 the flex doesn’t come with much success to which is to be respected as 3 Stacks is more about the art than the success.
9. Megan Thee Stallion (“WAP” By Cardi B, “Nasty” By DaBaby, “Big Booty” By Gucci Mane)
Megan Thee Stallion is not only the best female but one of the best rappers alive. Producing hits consistently with her infectious ad-libs, dominant as well as seductive approach, and ear captivating charisma on each track. It’s unlikely to skip past but skip to Megan Thee Stallion’s verse when she’s featuring on a track.
With that being said, she’s ranked #9 due to the minimal features she’s on isn’t many compared to the other. However, she’s collaborated with prominent artists such as Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, and Cardi B showcasing its only the beginning for Hot Girl Meg.
8. Roddy Ricch (“Gifted” by Cordae, “Rockstar” by DaBaby, “Racks In The Middle” by Nipsey Hussle)
Coming straight outta Compton and at number 8, Roddy Ricch has developed into one of today’s biggest artists. Since his first release in 2017, with his blend between west coast hip-hop, southern trap elements, and Chicago drill vibes.
His versatile style earned him feature credits on artists who’ve produced a range of styles such as Cordae, Meek Mill, NLE Choppa, and the late Nipsey Hussle and Pop Smoke. At just 22, Roddy Ricch has proven to be a certified hitmaker with an infusion of genres from other areas. Having the ability to collaborate and correlate with other artists makes why he’s ranked in this list.
7. Tyga (“Celebration” by The Game, “Ayy Ladies” by Travis Porter, “Broke Leg” by Tory Lanez
Allegedly going from Travie McCoy’s so-called cousin, Lil Wayne’s protege, to then being a frequent collaborator of Chris Brown, to then cementing his career as solo artists to being referred to not as Kylie Jenner’s ex but as Tyga. The west-coast emcee not only reinvigorated his career as a soloist but as a feature. As well as he could arguably be recognized as one of the game’s best features to have on club anthems.
From Chris Brown’s “Loyal”, Travis Porter’s “Ayy Ladies”, Tory Lanez, “Broke Leg”, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s “Startender”. As for whatever Tyga releases or appears on, his ability to draw attention to his music despite past controversies has solidified him as a must-have and worthy feature.
6. DaBaby (Cry Baby” by Megan Thee Stallion, “Panini” by Lil Nas X, Hot Shower by Chance The Rapper)
Love or hate him for the controversial quotes, legal issues, or consistent yet similar pace in his flow, delivery, and releases. Ranking at number 6, DaBaby is a proven factor to make a song a success with his style of rap and lyrical magnetism that he delivers on a record. From his infectious ad-libs and flow that listeners may claim to be repetitive.
The method that DaBaby utilizes in his own music, as well as others, have made a significant impact on an artist’s song to which’s led him to be the opening or final verse on notable songs such as Dreamville’s “Under The Sun”, Chance The Rapper’s “Hot Shower,” and Dua Lipa’s “Levitating”. DaBaby has found his success from a commercial and mainstream perspective with his style and sound.
5. Lil Wayne (2008-2013) (“What’s Poppin (Remix) by Jack Harlow”, “No Problem” by Chance The Rapper, “Smuckers by Tyler, The Creator)
Tracing back to 2008-2011, Lil Wayne had the Midas touch as solo and feature artists. The 5-Time Grammy-award-winner has been an advantage for artists’ tracks since his brief yet iconic verse on Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up” in 99.
From his ability to body songs such as “Down” by Jay Sean to traditional rap songs such as Rick Ross’s Thug Cry. Apart from helping launch the careers of Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga. Wayne‘s proven to be a must-have feature as he delivers not only for the benefit of his legacy but for the lead artist as well.
4. Big Sean (“Big Bank” by YG, “All Me” by Drake, “Mercy” by G.O.O.D Music)
At Number 4 we have Big Sean. Aside from his popular ad-libs such as, “Oh God”, “Swerve”, and “Boi”. Ad-libs were some of Big Sean’s most notable traits musically. The Detroit native consistently raises the bar on mainstream singles with Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber as well as rappers from Nas to Benny The Butcher.
Proving to be one of the most consistent features in terms of working relationships as he’s made numerous chart-toppers with artists such as Jhene Aiko, Ty Dolla $ign, and Chris Brown. For every verse, it’s common to see him hold his own whether or not he’s a feature, he’s more than capable of never being outdone by other artists as he’s proven on “Clique” with Jay-Z & Kanye West or “White Sand” with Migos, Travis Scott, & Ty Dolla $ign.
3. J. Cole (“No Sleeep” by Janet Jackson, “Pretty Little Fears” by 6LACK, “The London” by Young Thug)
Aside from his work on Dreamville’s “Revenge of The Dreamers III” album, J. Cole’s announced that his last feature would be on Gang Starr’s track “Family and Loyalty” which released back in 2019. Featuring Cole remains a major draw for artists based on his competitiveness to never be outperformed whether he’s featuring or leading the song.
With that being said, with his variety of styles on how he approaches songs, we’ve been able to witness J. Cole take a poetic direction on songs such as “No Sleeep, “Black Heaven” and “Purple Emoji”. As well as organic rap elements on songs such as “Just Made Bail, “Say Na”, and “Off Deez”. Cole as a featured artist is ceased, but his catalog of hits proves his legacy is one to be recognized.
2. Kendrick Lamar (“Dedication” by Nipsey Hussle, “F**kin Problems” by A$AP Rocky, Wow by Jay Rock)
After his dropping the verse that shocked the world on Big Sean’s “Control”, Compton’s very own not only delivers range when collaborating with others but dominance as well as you can see him appearing on a diverse amount of acts songs such as The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, U2, Beyonce, and Eminem among others. Rightfully so a Kendrick Lamar verse not only draws a listener’s attention but arguably can be their favorite part of the song with his vocal pitches, tempo variations in his pace of flows, and harmonious overdubs.
By providing features outside of Hip-Hop, Kendrick Lamar proves that the self-proclaimed “King Of New York” can show off his abilities regardless of the genre.
1. Drake (Work by Rihanna, SICKO MODE by Travis Scott, Stay Schemin by Rick Ross)
At #1 We Have Champagne Papi himself, Drake, Despite the shadow of fame that Drake’s name can cast on upcoming artists, we’ve seen the positives and negatives of the Drake effect help upstart careers from Migos and Blocboy JB, Fetty Wap among others. As well as those who’ve signed to OVO Sound such as Makonnen’s “Tuesday Remix”, Roy Woods “Drama”, and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Recognize.
With that being said, it’s unlikely for a song to say featuring Drake and not result in charting on the Billboard 100, as he has the most top 10 hits as a solo and feature artist, as well as the most entries, most top 40 singles.
At most times, a Drake feature will earn an artist a high charting billboard entry or Grammy Nomination. This is why not having Drake at #1 would be a crime as he’s the most impactful artist of our generation.