Jay-Z, R. Kelly join
forces; compilation includes nine hits
Cougar Entertainment Services
Sex scandals, beef with fellow rappers
and countless bootlegging did not stop the debut of the long awaited hip-hop/r&b
The Best of Both Worlds. This album features
the two most popular artists from both hip-hop and r&b, Roc-A-Fella's
Jay-Z and Jive's
Both names are synonymous with chart-topping,
Grammy-winning hits and the two make an effort to continue their reign
as rap and
r&b kings with their new release.
The Track Master, Tone, who plays referee
between the two artists and accomplishes diversity with his mixture of
Motown flavor and up-tempo beats, produces
The album welcomes you to The Best of Both
Worlds with its title track that knocks out competition with its Rocky-inspired
inspirational lyrics. The song allows
both artists to display impressive performances, but Kelly shines when
he takes a break from
the common love song to sing thuggish
Round two comes hard with "Take You Home
with Me a.k.a. Body," a tribute to the female anatomy with an up-tempo
beat sure to
keep your head bobbin'.
The party-type beats are continuous throughout
The Best of Both Worlds until the album takes a break to slow down in "It
Personal" and "The Streets," displaying
classic Jay-Z lyrics.
"It Ain't Personal" is an emotional tune
directed to all the haters we used to call friends and "The Streets" uses
a spiritual and
inspirational method to guide endangered
youth to a better way.
R. Kelly's classic sound takes over in
"Naked," a solo depicting Kelly's legal sexual fantasies. It works to show
thugs need love too,
but seems out of place on this album.
Lil' Kim makes an appearance on "Shake
Ya Body," a club tune encouraging everyone to dance. Jay-Z's label mate
collaborates on "Green Light," a mixture
of hardcore lyrics with a rock 'n' roll beat.
The only downside of this album comes when
R. Kelly tries to battle Sisqo through his songs; it seems petty because
differences in their style and cheapens
R. Kelly's talent.
You definitely won't skip any songs; the
beats and lyrics will keep you listening. Unfortunately, none of the songs
will make you say,
"Damn, that's the jam!" But as a whole,
The Best of Both Worlds is jamming.
Both artists fit well together and produce
an impressive album of both hip-hop and r&b. With a little improvement,
the next one will be
Jay-Z and R. Kelly
The Best of Both Worlds
Jive Records/Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella
— Becky Proctor
Daily Cougar Staff
The Grammys has one; now Soul Train has
jumped on board.
MCA Records has released a compilation
of Soul Train-nominated artists including Alicia Keys, Usher and Missy
Elliot. The CD itself
is nothing special — lacking any original
material — but it does bring together nine of the hottest, baddest tracks
engineered by Don Cornelius. The remix
of Alicia Keys' earth-shattering hit "Fallin'" gets things started with
Busta Rhymes lending
his trademark growl to formulate a flowing
hip-hop version of an already masterful song. "Fallin'" is nominated for
including Best R&B/Soul Single, Female.
Angie Stone's "Brotha," nominated for the
same award, is an ode to strong African-American males.
Usher, who was nominated for two awards,
contributed "You Remind Me" and Jagged Edge and Nelly's "Where The Party
At" adds a
dash of urban funk to the compilation.
Throw in Fabolous with Nate Dogg's "Can't Deny It" and Elliot's smash success
"Get Ur Freak
On" and you've got a rather enjoyable
The only missteps of the compilation are
the last two — The O'Jays' "Let's Ride" and Donnie McClurkin's "That's
What I Believe." The
two tracks were obviously included to
provide a break from the overplayed radio material.
For a first-time compilation, Soul Train
did a decent job of giving audiences a taste of what the Soul Train Music
Awards show is all
about. But the anemic nine tracks of this
year's album doesn't give music buyers their money's worth.
Soul Train 2002 Music Awards
— Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff