Jay-Z and R. Kelly team-up far from “Best of Both Worlds”

Mike Vincenti

Collaborations are nothing new in music today. R. Kelly and Jay-Z recently released “The Best of Both Worlds.” The record features guest vocals by Lil’ Kim, Beanie Sigel and Devin the Dude.
Between them, R. Kelly and Jay-Z have sold over 30 million albums and have also received ten platinum awards.
R. Kelly and Jay-Z have two different labels and this caused a problem when the time came to decide who would release the record. Ultimately it came down to a coin toss.
Representatives of the labels Jive and Def Jam tossed a coin to determine who would release and distribute the record. Def Jam won the toss.
According to Jay-Z, “We’re trying to show the younger generation that you don’t have to be stuck doing this one way.” But on “Both Worlds” that’s exactly what they do.
Once again, they follow the cookie-cutter mold to platinum success. “Both Worlds” has no depth whatsoever in the lyrics that Jay-Z lazily lays down. R. Kelly gets in touch with his thug side while crooning to heavy bass lines and Spanish-style guitar riffs.
Throughout the album they follow the same structure that made their first collaborations “Fiesta” and “Not Guilty” so popular. This album has more than just smooth beats and lazy lyrics. From beginning to end the two brag, boast and flaunt their money, cars, women and status.
Just one listen to the title track, “The Best of Both Worlds” and you will already realize they are not lacking in self-esteem. It becomes apparent that they are without a doubt the best of both worlds in their own minds.
Also known as Jigga, Jay-Z says, “I pull up with the big boy truck/N***a big boy drop/We be the only big boys that the big boys watch.”
Almost all rappers and R&B artists brag about cars, money, status, etc. But Jay-Z and R. Kelly take it a step further. They compare themselves to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
The only song on the album with any significance is “It Ain’t Personal.” It’s a song about what happens to relationships between friends when one makes it big and the other does not.
Jigga raps, “Now when we see each other it’s so strange/I don’t know whether to hug him or slug him/I don’t know whether to cap him or dap him/I don’t know what to think of him, I don’t know what’s happening.”
The duo said they wanted to do something different. This CD is anything but that. The content of the songs is no different than anything out there right now.
One redeeming quality of the CD is the production quality. TrackMasters Charlemagne, Poke, Tone, Megahertz and R.Kelly have again outdone themselves. Every song is smooth and crisp, with quality that is unmatched among other production teams.