On this date in 2002, Hip-Hop billionaire and troubled R&B legend R. Kelly released their highly anticipated joint album Best Of Both Worlds on the Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam imprint.
One of the most controversial albums and tours in the history of Hip Hop, Best Of Both Worlds fused Hip Hop and the already present element of R&B from two of the most prolific artists of the time. Kells and Hov created a synergy that could only be wrapped in a package with artistry from these two notable entertainers. Songs like “Shake Your Body” featuring Lil’ Kim, “Get This Money” and “Somebody’s Girl” embodied the concept of this project. The title track, in which Jay proclaims, “A combination of Pappy Mason and Larry Davis/ Martin and Malcolm, this is bigger than the album..” explained in subtle detail the importance of this collabo project for the fans as well as the two artists.
Nevermind the fact that Jay had just completed his probation for the stabbing of a former friend and associate Lance “Un” Rivera and Kells was facing then his first child sex case. Forget the fact that Jay’s longtime confidant pepper-sprayed Kelly in Madison Square Garden backstage, prompting the singer to drop out of the tour. It safe to say that the anticipation of the album was just as exciting as the drama that surrounded the album and the tour.
Salute to Jay and R. Kelly for delivering such an unforgettable piece of Hip-Hop history!