The world’s of Hip-Hop and R&B music have joined forces to bring us some of the best music on the planet! The question I want to answer is: Which Hip Hop x R&B collabo will go down as The Greatest Of All Time?!?!
Before I write these, I often ask a few other well versed music aficionados for their opinions. It gives me a chance to get some feedback, see if I’ve forgotten any big ones…and most importantly…find out if the one I’ve chosen, clearly pops up on all lists. Some are DJ’s, collectors, and others are just people who never turn their radios off and never forget a song! When this topic came up, it was clear that there was one song that stood out among the rest. For the sake of argument, let me tell you what didn’t make the cut: The R.Kelly x Jay-Z Collection. Too much drama and not enough head noddin’ involved. One of the ‘Close But No Cigar Awards’ went to:
The song was H-O-T! The video was H-O-T…and star-studded! Nelly was on top of his game, the radio play was phenomenal, and Kelly Rowland looked good enough to eat in the video. As a matter of fact, if we go by record spins alone…it may end up on top…but that’s not how the G.O.A.T. works. Truth be told, it’s radio friendly nature may have been its undoing. A true Hip Hop joint has to have edge. Nelly and Kelly made me wanna dance, made me want a woman in stiletto snake-skin boots with a laced up leather vest; but it didn’t make me roll the windows down, turn the music up and step outside of my self for 3 and 1/2 solid minutes. It didn’t rep both genres. It wasn’t the G.O.A.T.
The last Runner-Up had something that the first didn’t have. You can call it a secret weapon, or maybe even flat out cheating…depends on your perspective. This joint had Mary J…the Undisputed Queen of Hip-Hop-Soul. When the Title was first given to her, I paid it no mind. I thought it more of a handle to help with her brand recognition than a legitimate “Reign of Genre”. But no…clearly it’s real. No female artist has consistently weaved in and out of the World’s of Hip Hop and R&B as successfully, or as often as Queen Mary. The title didn’t make her…she made the Title. When they threw her in with an up and coming rapper on his debut album…nobody knew that rapper would become That Rapper. The Jigga Man’s freshman album, Reasonable Doubt, is one of the top ten Hip-Hop solo albums of all time in my book…and well, my opinion’s as valid as anybody else’s The song was…
Again, the song was H-O-T! The flow was classic Jay, the hook was classic Mary, but something was missing. Maybe it was out of balance; not enough Mary. Whatever it was…it wasn’t the G.O.A.T.
There was one though. It rolled off of everybody’s lips. When I played it to remind them how fresh it was…it caused uncontrollable movements; arm wavin’, eyes closed, unconscious head noddin’! It had a great MC that at one time was arguably the poster child for Hip Hop. His voice, delivery, and flow… are still legendary…and he hasn’t dropped a hot joint in years. Oh yeah…and it had Mary. The album version had cats open. We knew it was legendary. Then they re-mixed…and it gave you chills…wide open…
Undisputed…unarguably…The Greatest Of All Time!