Merging the sounds of hip-hop and R&B started as early as the late 80’s/early 90’s. As hip-hop and R&B collaborations have become more mainstream, the last two decades have been blazing with hot tracks featuring our favorite singers and rappers artist. Here are our top 10 favorite R&B/Hip-Hop collaborations within the past two decades.
1. Puff Daddy ft. Faith Evans and 112 – “I’ll Be Missing You”
The year 1997 was heart-wrenching time for the music industry. Musical peers and fans across the world mourned the loss of The Notorious B.I.G. His music family and close friends Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy), Faith Evans and 112 collaborated for a heartfelt rap ballad to celebrate his legacy. The emotional record contained samples from “Every Breath You Take” by The Police and became the first rap song to debut No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
2. Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z – “Crazy in Love”
Destiny’s Child front-woman, Beyoncé stepped out on her own and enlisted Jay-Z for her breakout hit “Crazy in Love.” The two lovers stormed the airwaves in 2003, eventually earning Bey two Grammy Awards including Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
3. The Fugees – “Ready or Not”
“Ready Or Not, Here I Come, You Can’t Hide Gonna Find You and Take it Slowly.” Hip-hop trio The Fugees took the world by storm with their multi-platinum album “The Score.” The album’s third single “Ready or Not” is one hip-hop/R&B collaboration for the books. The track evoked striking lyrically content by Wyclef Jean and Pras while showcasing Lauryn Hill’s versatility as a singer and MC.
4. Usher ft. Lil’Jon & Ludacris – “Yeah”
Usher’s 2004 hit single “Yeah” featuring Ludacris and Lil’Jon became one of first mainstream tracks to combine the elements of southern crunk music & R&B. The Lil Jon produced song had everyone across the world screaming, “Yeah,” and earning the trio the longest running number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2004. It also won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 47th Grammy Awards.
5. Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland – “Dilemma”
Riding off the success of his 2002 club banger “Hot in Herre,” Nelly slowed things down with his follow-up single, “Dilemma,”which featured Kelly Rowland. On the song, the two exchanged their passion for each other The song sampled, Patti’s Labelle’s classic hit “Love, Need and Want You.” “Dilemma” became one of Nelly’s and Kelly’s biggest hits of their careers to date.