Jive – 2002 – 48 minutes
There are two instant reactions to 'The Best of Both Worlds' concept. It's either a mouth-watering debut collaboration between two of the leading talents in contemporary music – or a sign that hip-hop has finally descended into nauseating show-biz duets.
The commercial logic behind 'The Best Of Both Worlds' cannot be faulted. The rapper/vocalist tag-team has already been fielded to great effect in hip-hop. Warren G's hook-up with Nate Dogg on 'Regulate', D'Angelo sparring with Method Man on 'Break Ups 2 Make Ups', and even one-offs like Luniz's 'I Got Five On It' were all classic tracks, dripping with cross-over appeal.
R Kelly has never released a good record to my knowledge, but his unadulterated saccharin tones occasionally turn sweet when mixed with Jay-Z's salty rhymes and the production from the ever-dependable Trackmasters teams fitfully delivers the goods.
Lil' Kim's guest appearance on 'Shake Ya Body' is the most immediate song: the god-like rhythm track and synth line will cause a storm on the floor at Voodoo. 'Get This Money' is equally irresistible, proving once again that the confluence of R'n'B and hip-hop is still producing gems, while the purist rap community lapses into introversion.
Lyrically the album is farcical. The two sleaziest figures in music will hardly impress the Dido fans in the audience with song titles like 'Body, Honey, Pussy and Naked'. The latter is the album's low point, unadulterated R Kelly at his seedy and shameless worst. But the dancefloor scorchers such as 'Shake Ya Body', and the title track, make 'The Best Of Both Worlds' a partial success.
Tracklisting: The Best of Both Worlds - Take You Home With Me A.K.A. Body - Break Up To Make Up - It Ain't Personal - The Streets - Green Light (feat. Beanie Sigel) – Naked - Shake Ya Body (feat. Lil' Kim) - Somebody's Girl - Get This Money – Shorty – Honey - P***y (feat. Devin the Dude)