R&B veteran R. Kelly may not be crafting another Best of Both Worlds album alongside Jay Z but that’s not stopping him from considering a possible reunion with his estranged collaborator.
Although brief with his words, Kells said the music industry and business, in particular, has a way of reuniting entertainers.
While he and Jay Z had a fallout after their Best of Both Worlds albums, he is not ruling out another collaboration. “In this business, man, you just never know,” he said. “It happened once, it happened again. You just never know.” One thing that is certain are more “Trapped in the Closet” episodes. “I got 50-something chapters in the studio just waiting to be shot and then there’s more to come. It’s just one of those forever things, man.” (Rap-Up)
Although they clashed nearly a decade ago, Kells said he was most concerned with working alongside positive people last year.
When it comes to high-profile collaboration projects, Kelly and Jay were trendsetters. “We walked on the moon first, right?” he asked rhetorically. In 2004 the pair went on the road to support their 2002 LP and its follow-up, Unfinished Business, but ever since Kelly pulled out of an October 2004 show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, he and Hov have been on a rocky road. Despite their differences, Kelly has no regrets. “I love a good marriage — I love love. Anything that works for me, anything that feels good to my soul, that feels like this is what I should do, I’m gonna do it,” he said of his collaborations with Jay and others. “I don’t care what it is, who it’s with. As long as it’s positive and it works for both parties, I’m with it.” (MTV)
Kelly previously admitted the late Tupac Shakur was his initial pick for a Best of Both Worlds-type effort.
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 initial 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)
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