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Why 2018 is the year of the joint tour

Ralph Bristout

 // Jun 11, 2018

Artists // Live Nation

If 2017 was the year of the rap collab album, with a random lineup of superstars tag-teaming for quick pass-and-go projects, 2018 is shaping up to be the year of the joint tour. Drake and Migos are set to hit nationwide arenas this summer, as are J. Cole and Young Thug. Kendrick Lamar and TDE are already parading their championships around the country, while JAY-Z and Beyoncé are on the run (Part II). This sudden uptick in packaged tours has now culminated in Nicki Minaj and Future announcing plans for their own trek, fittingly called NickiHndrxx.

Arriving just one month after Nicki revealed a new arrival date for Queen (now August 10th), and days after the soundtrack for "Superfly," which Future serves as executive producer, the superstars have come together to reveal the 28-date tour that will begin September 21st in Baltimore and wrap around North America before closing shop November 24th in Las Vegas. Following the U.S. dates, Nicki and Future will then travel abroad in February with a two month trip through Europe.

With a slew of collaborations in their catalog, including "You da Baddest," the announcement of Nicki and Future joining forces should come as no surprise. After all, they once planned on dropping a joint mixtape. "I mean, I even at one point was about to do a mixtape with Future recently, [but] with me working on my album and with him doing other projects — and he thought we should be in the same place at one point to really vibe — it was hard," she revealed in an interview with Paper Magazine last year. "Because he was on tour and I was in the studio [and the timing didn't work]." But timing should be no issues when they hit the road this fall. Considering the fact that they'll be sharing the same schedule for nearly three months, a quick EP for the culture shouldn't be too much of an ask. Right? And besides, Future is a pro at getting these kind of things done. But back to all of this fueling an uptick in co-headlining tour announcements.

With rap being the Google of the pop culture world, and the collab album being its Gmail — ubiquitous and hard to escape — this is its YouTube, a far-reaching and, if well executed, effective tool that can work only if you've won the public's trust. Drake and Lil Wayne proved this so, back in 2014, as did A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator in 2015. Having two big superstars, who are opposite of each other's styles, paired together on the stage will always be a treat for fans, thus why a show like JAY-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne tour will forever live in glory.

As this summer welcomes in more shows, such as G-Eazy and Lil Uzi Vert's Endless Summer trek, while later this year opens up Childish Gambino and Rae Sremmurd's anticipated jaunt, and a (maybe) trip between Pusha-T and Nas, who is set to drop a new album on Friday (June 15), one can only hope that this sudden flood of co-headlining shows lead to larger moments (Migos & Rae Sremmurd perhaps? Travis Scott and Kid Cudi?) in the coming year. And with more albums on the way, expect that list to grow longer.

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