R. Kelly’s Best Collaborations With Rappers
R. Kelly may very well be the greatest R&B artist of our generation. With three Grammy Awards to his name, over 54 million albums sold worldwide, numerous accolades, and a Trapped In The Closet video with more chapters than a J.K Rowling novel, it's safe to say that Kells has done well for himself over the course of more than two decades. With such longevity in the music industry, comes a plethora of collaborations, including some of the game’s top rappers. In honor of the release of his Black Panties album this past week, here is a compilation of R. Kelly's best collabs with rappers.—Marvin Jules
"My Story" featuring 2 Chainz
For the first song on this list, we'll start off with one of his more recent collabs. R. Kelly hops on a trap-style beat for "My Story," à la Future, and it actually doesn't sound half bad. 2 Chainz adds energy to an already hype track.
"F*****g You Tonight" - The Notorious B.I.G. featuring R. Kelly
I know how much we all love Biggie, but let's make one thing clear: R. Kelly makes this song. Point blank. It isn't anywhere near the baby makin' music it's intended to be without Kelly's crooning on the hook.
"Hotel"- Cassidy featuring R. Kelly
Is that R. Kelly or Zorro singing the hook? I still can't tell after watching the video for "Hotel." In all seriousness though, R. Kelly helped Cassidy deliver the biggest hit of his career on this one, all while having people at after-parties around the world checkin' out at "6 in the morning."
"That's That S**t"- Snoop Dogg featuring R. Kelly
This was everybody's s**t when it dropped back in 2006. With thumping production from Nottz and Dr. Dre, and buttery rhymes from Snoop, R. Kelly's catchy hook was just the icing on the cake.
"Thoia Thoing" (Remix) featuring Birdman and Busta Rhymes
The remix to an already dope song, R. Kelly shows off his skills on the mic, Birdman spits one of the best verses he's ever done, and Busta Rhymes does what Busta does. This remix is fire. End of story.
"Fiesta (Remix)" featuring Jay Z and Boo & Gotti
One of the first of many R. Kelly/Jay Z collabs, "Fiesta" features Jay setting it off with lines like: "Bullets will chase you like Moët Mimosas." The Spanish guitar loop adds a great accent to a very laid back song.
"Playas Only" featuring Game
Many people may forget, but Scott Storch was the man in the mid-2000s, producing for a who's who in the hip-hop and R&B genres. He doesn't disappoint on "Playas Only," with his signature sweeping flute and string combinations accompanying Kells and Game well on this carefree track.
"Burn It Up" featuring Winsin Y Yandel
English isn't the only language they rap in. When R. Kelly decided to give Reggaeton a try, he commissioned two of the biggest names in the genre; super production duo Luny Tunes, and Reggaeton superstars Winsin Y Yandel, to make this infectious jam. I don't think anyone would have minded if Kells decided to make an entire Reggaeton album if they were filled with bangers like this song.
"I'm A Flirt" (Remix) featuring T.I. and T-Pain
I don't think Mr. Kelly thought that we understood how much of a flirt he was on the original, so he decided to invite a couple of his friends on the "I'm A Flirt (Remix)" to really help him get his point across. T.I.'s multi-syllabic delivery is a great change of pace on a song where he gives all guys with girlfriends a few words of advice: "Well if ya love ya girl and wanna keep ya girl, don't be walkin' up and askin' me to meet ya girl." You've been warned. Oh, and T-Pain is also on the remix, doing, well, T-Pain things.
"Take You Home With Me" With Jay Z
Here's yet another awesome R. Kelly/Jay Z collaboration. This track finds The Pied Piper not only singing the hook, but also rapping (well, sing-rapping) a majority of Jay's first verse from "Ain't No N***a". This club banger was a track off of R. Kelly and Jay Z's otherwise lukewarm Best of Both Worlds album.
"Street Dreams (Remix)" Nas featuring R. Kelly
Nas lets us into his panoramic view of the world around him through his verses, while rapping over a vintage Trackmasters production. R Kelly's smooth singing brings the entire song together, making for a remix that improves upon an already great song.
"Go Getta" Jeezy featuring R. Kelly
From the murdered out theme of the video, to the anthem style hook, the Snowman and Kells struck gold with this one. Platinum, actually. R. Kelly helped Jeezy deliver his third platinum single with this track.
"Wonderful"- Ja Rule featuring R. Kelly and Ashanti
Ja Rule and Ashanti, known for their numerous duets, allowed R. Kelly to join the party on "Wonderful." Ja Rule's roughneck rap style, juxtaposed with R. Kelly and Ashanti's smooth vocals, works out on this often forgotten track.
"To The World"- Kanye West featuring R. Kelly
Two of Chi-Town's finest got together to make the opening track of Cruel Summer, one of the most anticipated releases of 2012. And its okay, don't feel guilty if you found yourself thinking: "Okay R. Kelly, STOP SINGING!" when you first heard the song, for the self-proclaimed "God of Rap" himself doesn't start rapping until around the two-minute mark. Overall, it was a great opening to an otherwise anticlimactic album.
"So Sexy" - Twista featuring R. Kelly
What happens when you take Twista's lightning quick delivery, and pair it with the hit-making abilities of R. Kelly? A summertime jam. Thumbs up for those guys from the Chi.
Bonus: "Make It Rain" Remix - Fat Joe featuring R. Kelly, T.I., Lil Wayne, Birdman, Rick Ross, and Ace Mac
Let's get one thing straight: Though many people might doubt what Khaled actually does other than yell on tracks, he knows how to bring together people for a remix. R. Kelly gets the party started by delivering a solid verse that lets everyone know how much he makes it rain before handing the mic over to Wayne and friends.