They may be the closest friends under the Young Money umbrella but it is a battle on Spotify for Nicki Minaj and Drake. They are two of the most sought-after collaborators in pop but the music streaming service reveals which artist has the biggest draw as a guest feature.
Although Canadian rapper Drake is officially Spotify's most-streamed artist of 2015 and Trinidad-born US star Minaj holds the title as the service's top female artist of the year in America, it is a completely different case in terms of their appeal as collaborators. Data obtained from Spotify by website FiveThirtyEight, shows a guest verse from Minaj, 33, is actually more powerful than that of her fellow YMCMB star.
Figures collated between January and October indicate a song featuring a guest verse from Drake, 29, was streamed on average 126% more often than any other track on the album of the artist he collaborated with – more than twice as much as the other album songs. However, a song boasting a guest verse from Minaj was played an average of 172% more.
Spotify data analyst Jomar Perez also pulled statistics for Young Money star Lil Wayne, however his focus on collaborations has diminished over recent years thus any comparison to Minaj and Drake is mostly redundant.
Perhaps the most feasible explanation for the difference is that, for all his star-studded collaborations with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Future, Drake also likes to team up with lesser-known artists, giving them a platform to market their brand. The Weeknd, Fetty Wap, ILoveMakonnen, PartyNextDoor and Migos are just some of the previously up-and-coming musicians whose star power has been given a boost after working with Drake.
Elaborating on this notion, Hot 97 DJ Miss Info said: "A Drake feature is still one of the most powerful and valuable things that you can have in terms of that first look. Nicki is engineering all of her collaborations to be successes, and Drake is engineering his to be successes in less quantifiable ways. Her operating principle is 'is this going to be a smash?'"
Fans patiently await the release of Drake's fourth studio album, Views From The 6, but he has whetted their appetite with two mixtapes, the chart-topping If You're Reading This It's Too Late and his collaborative record with Future, What A Time To Be Alive. Minaj has kept herself busy since the release of her third album, The Pinkprint, by embarking on a tour across North America and Europe.