Last night, one of hip-hops most enduring duos added a new song to their oeuvre. Drake and Rick Ross have been appearing on songs together since 2009 and making one-on-one collabs since 2011, and they bring something special out of each other—all of these songs would be counted among their best by fans. As Drake put it on The Rap Radar Podcast, they’re always on the same, unspoken wavelength—he can send Ross something soulful like “Gold Roses” or upbeat like “Money in the Grave” and get the complimentary feature he’s looking for without any direction.
Their chemistry stems from the extensive time Drake spent in Ross’ native Florida, back when he lived in Miami for a spell in the early aughts. With Drake entering his imperial phase working on his critically acclaimed Take Care, and Ross in the midst of his own Teflon Don, the two were on similar creative peaks that yielded a lot of studio time and winning collaborations. “Whenever we get in the booth, I always play the big brother role. And he always be the young fly brother,” Ross once told me. “From day one, when I met him, he was just one of them people that I really fuck with. He knew I would’ve gotten my shoes muddy for him. We all became family and it just continued to be that way.”
There was even talk of a proper joint album, which Ross tentatively dubbed The YOLO Tape at the time. Obviously that never materialized, but short of a brief spell in the late 2010s when Drake was beefing with Ross protege Meek Mill, the two have never failed to deliver heaters that run the gamut from bodying Chicago drill beats to imploring women to get their names tattooed as the ultimate sign of devotion.
That run continues with Drake’s new song “Lemon Pepper Freestyle,” and if you believe Chad Ochocinco, just might lead to the elusive tape we’ve been waiting for. Until then, they already have enough to fill a playlist: here’s every song they appear on together, ranked.
17. “Fed Up” (2009)
DJ Khaled has an ear for connecting a range of artists on his collaborations. On 2010’s Victory, Khaled gets Jeezy, Rick Ross, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Usher for an all-star anthem about being tired of being tired. Renzel shouts out Khaled saying he’s got him for life; Drizzy raps about Weezy telling him not to retire on ‘em. Some bonds are forever, however this song pales in comparison to what these two and Khaled would do together and apart in the years following.