When’s the last time you heard a good R&B / Hip-Hop collab recently? I'm not talking bout those tracks that have both a rapper and singer that leave you thinking is this Rap, is this R&B. I'm talking those tracks where the lines aren’t so blurred, where we actually get a distinction between the two genres that create somewhat of a new sound that meet in the middle where we can appreciate both genres as one. The 00’s captured this well, look at the amount of singles we had that where dominating the charts. We had artists like Ja Rule and J. Lo, Busta Rhymes and Mariah, Nelly and Jaheim, and Bow Wow and Omarion producing certified bangers. Artists toady are getting lazier, we have singers tryna rap and rappers tryna sing, now that’s not a bad thing, we’ve had some good songs but when everything mostly sounds like Hip-Hop all the time, it gets boring sometimes.
I feel like TWENTY88 - comprised of Big Sean and Jhené Aiko, is practically the only artists that are capturing this dynamic well and doing it effortlessly! Prior to teaming up, Sean and Jhené had a couple collabs like ‘Beware’ and ‘I Know’ which showed us they were heading in this direction, it was only a matter of time - we got a great album out of it. Sure, we’ve had a couple others put together great collabs, I’m not gonna act like there hasn’t been others to do it - SZA and Kendrick Lamar, Kehlani and Chance the Rapper and, Solange and Lil’ Wayne but a lot of these songs haven’t reached chart success reminiscent of the 00’s or like the tracks that sound more like a hybrid of Hip-Hop. We need more tracks that actually merge the two genres to be more evident.
If you haven't heard Sean and Jhené’s self-titled debut TWENTY88, watch the visual for ‘Selfish’ below to catch the two in action!