"The Best Of Both Worlds" refers to the collaboration efforts of the top artists in hip hop and R&B, two men who need no introduction, Jay-Z and R.Kelly. I'll admit, these aren't the two choices I would have picked to represent the best of both worlds, but these two musicians already had a certain chemistry together that has been embraced by both rap and R&B fans alike.
This album starts off with a banging intro, with production that is insane. Since it is an intro, it's not quite as developed with concepts and lyrics, but it's still blazing. Jigga does sum up the whole project perfectly though, "this is bigger than an album". After I'd heard the intro, I thought this was a sure sign that this album was going to be off the charts, but
latter tracks don't seem to pack the impressiveness I was hoping.
I won't lie, there are a lot of really sick tracks on this album. "Break Up To Make Up" is a sweet song where R. Kelly and Jayhova basically speak on what the song title suggests. It's on songs like these where R. Kelly and Jay-Z can shine, because R.Kelly does a good job of singing on the sweeter tracks then steps back to let Jay-Z spit some creativeness to accompany him. Another hype song is "Green Light", where Jay-Z states "You have the green light to be as pimp as you want". R. Kelly even spits some R&B stylish flows
in this song, and Jigga just brings the flames to melt this song, but why on Earth did they add Beanie Sigel to the end of this song? His verse was really terrible, and it took away from the song in my opinion. The two deeper tracks, "It Ain't Personal" and "Streets", really shine over the rest of the tracks. "It Ain't Personal" basically is about loyalty and
friendships, with R. Kelly dropping some knowledge on the hook. "Streets" is the definitive Jigga song on this album, because he really spits some thought provoking lyricism in his two verses ("I knew what he'd do if I didn't draw first, and I couldn't stand the thought of my momma stepping foot inside a church"). My favorite track on the whole thing has to be "Pussy". This song is the straight truth... "For the power of the P U S S Y". Oh yeah, for all the players out there, you'll love the track "Naked" too. Only R.Kelly is on this joint, but with a hook that gets straight to the point ("Girl I want to see you naked") and a smooth beat, the women will melt for it.
For the most part, the production is pretty solid on this album. However, there are a few tracks that fail to keep my interest with the beats or with the lyrics. "Take You Home With Me" came off more on the boring side to me, and neither Jigga or R. Kelly could really say anything worth keeping this track from getting changed. "Shake Ya Body" is another oddball, it's not that it's a bad track, but compared to a lot of other songs it rarely gets play in my deck. Some songs make it seem like they both stop trying to say
anything interesting. "Somebody's Girl" and "Get This Money" both suffer from lacking production and lacking lyrics, while "Honey" bumps nicely but doesn't really make you think of anything else but keeping your head nodding.
To sum this album up, it failed to live up to the expectations that everyone branded to it. Half of this album is really creative and makes this a LP worth buying. Then the other half of the album doesn't suck, but fails to come close to the highlights some other songs give to "The Best Of Both Worlds." Like I said in the beginning of this review, Jay-Z and R. Kelly have a chemistry that's unique from any other hip-hop and R&B collaboration. One of the main reasons I liked this album were for Jigga and R. Kelly's
responses to things they've been going through this last year. R. Kelly takes several shots at Sisqo on three different tracks, and Jigga even gets at Nas once, talking about how he eats ether. I'd definitely check this album out... after all, it is and will always be a historical album.