Renowned R&B singer R. Kelly has revealed Jay-Z was not his original pick for the 2002 collaboration studio album.
Kells claims the late Tupac Shakur was initially slated to represent the album’s hip-hop aspect.
“Well ‘I Wish’ was basically about Tupac at first. I met Tupac in L.A.- the [Hotel Nikko], and he was rolling by in his drop-top whatever hot car. I seen him, and I yelled out, “‘Pac! ‘Pac!” He was driving by, rolling by himself. I’m like, ‘This nigga got a lot of balls to be rolling by hisself!” So we kicked it for a minute, I said “Dude, we need to do an album.” See, The Best Of Both Worlds was for me and Pac at first. “I Wish” was gonna be the first song we were gonna do.” (2 Dope Boyz)
Around 2003, Cash Money Records’ Baby was expected to drop a Best of Both Worlds 2 album with 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)
Baby later put Kells on blast for their failed project never hitting store shelves.
“Probably the worst investment I did was f*ckin’ with R. Kelly,” Baby said in a February 2010 interview. “That was a waste of my time. I could’ve made money if I wasn’t f*ckin’ with that clown-a** n*gga.” (Ozone Magazine)
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)