Change Your Lane: R&B and Rap

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Change Your Lane: R&B and Rap

Miguel Wilson

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We meet again! This week I would like to expand upon one of music‰’s most wonderful pairings: R&B and rap. Many of the songs that fall under this category are so good at morphing together that you don‰’t even notice they‰’re two separate entities. Together they make beautiful babies, and I would like to take a look at why.

Exhibit A: Breakdown by Mariah Carey featuring Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone

Widely regarded as one of Carey‰’s more obscure hits, Breakdown serves as a perfect example of what can come from genre pairing. Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone, of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, lay down some of the softest, smoothest verses in music history. If you‰’re trying to get all up in your feels this is the tune.

Exhibit B: Doo Woop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill

Ms. Hill was well ahead of her time in that she found a way to combine these two genres all by herself. She ebbs and flows effortlessly from one to the next, all while “breaking it down‰” for her audience. She may be crazy but you can‰’t but love her.

Exhibit C: Puff Daddy/Faith Evans/112 – I’ll Be Missing You

No matter where you fall on the conspiracy theory spectrum (Was it P. Diddy‰’s fault–probaby.) one cannot deny the fact that this track was a wonderful tribute to B.I.G.‰’s life.

Exhibit D: Nelly – Dilemma ft. Kelly Rowland

Iconic. There are very few songs that age this well. We still have plenty of questions about the music video. What‰’s with the bandaid on Nelly‰’s face? How is Kelly messaging him on an Excel spreadsheet? We will never know.

Exhibit E: Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J – All I Have ft. LL Cool J

Despite the messiness of appropriating Debra Laws‰’ “Very Special‰” (amazing song), this ballad still bops.

Exhibit F: Got It by Goapele Feat E-40

Goapele is like a cool breeze personified. E-40 is known for being a little more edgy. Alternatively, compared to other examples, this track does not attempt to meld the two musically styles together. No, it puts them almost at odds.

Exhibit G: Always On Time by Ashanti and Ja Rule

I feel like I saw on MTV that they were related in some way–which leaves me with plenty of questions. Nonetheless, I am always on time for this track!

Exhibit H: R. Kelly – Bump n‰’ Grind

I know, I know, he‰’s messy. I‰’ll just leave this here for you all.

Overall, the world is simply better when these two co-parents are reunited to make more babies. It‰’s important in not only music, but also in life that we don‰’t limit ourselves. We’re told by so many to “stay in our lane‰” when in reality that next exit might have some bangin‰’ fried chicken! Thankfully, someone turned the wheel and found this match: R&B and Rap.