Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly is not holding back in his upcoming Soulacoster: The Diary of Me book with an excerpt surfacing online today (June 27) where he explains plans to hook up with the late 2Pac for a Best of Both Worlds-esque album.
In the excerpt, Kells recalls a 1996 informal meeting with Pac outside of a hotel where he pitched the idea.
“Yo Pac!” I yelled at the top of my voice. He made a U-turn and jumped out of the car. “What up, baby?” he asked. “Just wanted to holla at you,” I said. “Just had to tell you that I love everything you do.” “Hey, man,” said Pac, “coming from you that’s a helluva compliment.” “Lots of cats say rap and R&B live in different parts of the planet, but I don’t see it that way, Pac. I see us all coming together. You feel me?” “Been feeling the same way. It’s all the same thing. Beats, words, stories.” “Man, we need to do an album.” “Would love it.” “I’m talkin’ about a whole album. A whole concept. A big game-changing record.” “You got it, Kells. Tell me what studio and when to be there.” “Gonna send you some tracks,” I said. “Don’t need no tracks. Just need to know you wanna work with me. That’s enough. We’ll just let it do what it do.” “God is good.” “All the time,” said Pac. We hugged and Pac went on his way. (Rolling Stone)
The platinum-selling singer said time conflicts and Pac’s fatal shooting kept their collaborative album from hitting shelves.
As the year went on, we made tentative plans to meet, but the plans got messed up when his schedule or mine suddenly changed. That didn’t change our hearts, though. Every time we talked, we talked about how this marriage of rap and R&B had to happen in a big way. We figured we were the two artists to pull it off. Pac understood that we came from the same ‘hood. We had mutual respect and mutual love. I’d go around saying, “No one is better at the rap game than Pac.” And Pac went around saying, “Kells is the most serious R&B thug out there.” Come September, and it looked like my schedule was opening up just before the holidays. I set up a meeting with Pac for us to plot our strategy, get firm dates, and make the musical bomb that we both know would explode all around the world. But another bomb exploded that no one saw coming. I woke up on Sunday, September 8th, to the news that Pac had been shot in Vegas the Night before. He’d been rushed to the hospital. It didn’t look good. (Rolling Stone)
The Best of Both Worlds album dropped in 2002 and debuted at No. 2 on the Top 200 chart.
The Best of Both Worlds falls terribly short of both artists’ high standards, unfortunately, sounding as if the vocals were phoned in, which in the case of Jay-Z they probably were, for his contributions (interjections and verses, mainly) sound like filler here. Kelly fares better throughout The Best of Both Worlds, supplying some potent hooks and co-producing the tracks with the Trackmasters (i.e., Poke and Tone), but not even he can carry an album this uninspired. Still, there are some moments where the collaborations click, particularly on the album’s singles, “Get This Money” and “Take You Home with Me.” Overall, though, The Best of Both Worlds rates among the poorest efforts — arguably the poorest — in either Kelly’s or Jay-Z’s catalog to date. (All Music)
Prior to a falling out, Cash Money Records’ Baby planned to drop a Best of Both Worlds 2 album alongside R. Kelly.
Bryan “Baby” Williams is collaborating with R&B star R. Kelly to produce Best of Both Worlds 2, which the rapper said will feature an all star line up. “It’s still early in the recording process,” Baby says. “It’s gonna come out on Cash Money and his label, Rockland. So far it’s just his folks and our folks.” The album will be Kelly’s second attempt to record a collaboration with a rapper. His first attempt was with Jay-Z, but the album was marred by allegations that he had sex with an underage girl and taped it. (All Hip Hop)
R. Kelly’s Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me is slated to drop June 28th.
Check out some past R. Kelly footage below: