Fresh off their collaborative single, “Sprinter,” UK rappers Dave and Central Cee released a surprise collaborative EP, Split Decision. The four-song project features the aforementioned “Sprinter” as well as “Our 25th Birthday,” which continues Dave’s “birthday” song series. Central Cee is one of the most notable rising artists in the UK Drill scene, while Dave has established himself as one of the UK’s biggest rap superstars. With two critically acclaimed studio albums under his belt, he has earned the Mercury Prize and multiple BRIT Awards. Highly regarded as one of the best rappers in the UK, Dave has a knack for collaboration, of which this new Split Decision EP is a prime example. He has worked with some of the biggest UK and Afrobeats artists and has worked with Drake.
This is a list of Dave’s best collaborations, including his own songs with other artists and tracks on which he is featured. Many of these consist of Dave and other rappers from the UK. Others include songs with famous Afrobeats artists. Take a look at the list below, ranked from least to greatest.
7. Avelino feat. Dave – “Cassius Clay” (2019)
Before working together on “Cassius Clay,” Dave and Avelino previously teamed up in 2017 for “U Can Stand Up / Royal.” The two acclaimed lyricists have mutual respect, as Dave once called Avelino “one of the best rappers [he’s] ever seen.” Over the captivating yet intense instrumental, Avelino sets the bar incredibly high by spitting one of his all-time best verses.
With immaculate wordplay, compelling metaphors, and various flows, following a verse as impressive as Avelino’s is hard. Immediately after the two-minute verse, Dave’s approach is more relaxed but still lyrically potent. He raps, “Lately I see a lot of man tryna play me / I ain’t an escort but it’s f*ck you, pay me.” Each verse is of the highest quality, making “Cassius Clay” one of Dave’s best collaborations with another rapper.
6. Dave & AJ Tracey – “Thiago Silva” (2016)
Before Dave and AJ Tracey would become two of the UK’s biggest rappers, they teamed up for “Thiago Silva,” which is historic for several reasons. Dave and AJ Tracey make UK hip hop, but “Thiago Silva” is a grime song, sampling Ruff Sqwad’s classic “Pied Piper” riddim. The two were part of a new generation of up-and-coming UK artists that made a classic grime track.
Dave and AJ Tracey trade verses back and forth on the song, showing their undeniable chemistry. Though the two moved away from making grime music, “Thiago Silva” is still historic. The song is well-known for its role in Dave’s live performances, where he invites fans, including me, onstage to perform AJ’s lyrics with him. The song notably went viral after Dave’s 2019 Glastonbury performance after he pulled a fan onstage.
5. Dave feat. Wizkid – “System” (2021)
In addition to his collaborations with other rappers, some of Dave’s best and biggest songs are collaborations with Afrobeats artists. “System” from his second album, 2021’s We’re All Alone In This Together, features Wizkid. The song’s festive production from P2J and melodic vocals from Wizkid make for a perfect summer song. In a verse, rhyming letters can often be too basic, but Dave utilizes abbreviations to make some killer punchlines. He raps, “She wanna do SMS / Not save my soul, that’s spend my savings.”
4. Dave feat. Burna Boy – “Location” (2019)
Before teaming up with Wizkid for “System,” Dave and Burna Boy created magic with “Location.” The Fraser T. Smith and Jae5-produced single is both Dave and Burna Boy’s biggest song to date. It currently sits at 4x Platinum status in the UK. The song sees the two reveling in their successes, making for a triumphant hit.
3. Giggs feat. Dave – “Straight Murder (Giggs & David)” (2020)
In 2017, Giggs’s song “Peligro” featured a show-stealing verse from Dave. Three years later, the two teamed up once again for another hook-less track. In comparison to “Peligro,” “Straight Murder (Giggs & David)” surpasses it in every way. The track is even stronger than their first collaboration as Dave spits his greatest guest verse.
While not outshining Dave, Giggs does not slouch, as his verse on “Straight Murder” is one of his best. Over a menacing instrumental, Dave raps for almost three minutes, firing some of his toughest punchlines. One of his coldest lines on the song is when he raps, “Mice, talking heavy, I’ll do my man like George and Lennie.” Giggs’s verse also almost reaches the three-minute mark, delivering his signature pause-and-resume flow with humorous pop culture references.
2. Dave feat. Stormzy – “Clash” (2021)
“Clash” is an all-star collaboration between Dave and Stormzy, two of the UK’s biggest names. Over a fiery UK drill instrumental, Dave floats over the beat with a laidback flow, while Stormzy’s verse is extremely animated. The song gets exciting when the beat suddenly changes during Stormzy’s verse, leading to a back-and-forth between the two. During this trade-off, Dave raps one of his most famous lines: “Don’t get caught for pus, don’t die for nyash.” “Clash” marks the meeting of two of the UK’s most prominent rappers and is also one of Dave’s biggest hits.
1. Dave feat. Fredo, Meekz, Ghetts & Giggs – “In The Fire” (2021)
“In The Fire” is an unprecedented posse cut between newcomers and legends alike. The song’s gospel-sampling instrumental is so gorgeous that it might give the listener chills. The beat is a highlight, but Dave recruits young talent and respected legends in the UK scene. In all five verses, each rapper takes a unique approach to being “tried in the fire,” rapping about how they overcame their respective struggles. The song is full of lyrical gems.
Frequent Dave collaborator Fredo ends the first verse rapping about escaping through the fire escape right before Meekz raps, “Before my entrance, I took the fire exit.” The song gets even more exciting when the beat changes percussion for UK legend Ghetts’s stunning verse. He continues with the theme of making it through the fire, rapping, “So accustomed to the fire, I get shivers when I’m naked in the sauna.” Giggs joins the track for another highlight right before Dave closes the song.
The four features set the standard for Dave, but he keeps up with ease. He raps, “You can hide or glide, I could’ve been deported / That’s the definition of a ‘Fight-or-flight.’” There have not been many posse cuts of multiple generations of UK rappers, making Dave’s “In The Fire” so historic.