Music is universal, in a sense that it works in numerous ways. There could be a mixture of genres, tones, lyrical flow and delivery, but ultimately it depends on the person who’s contributing their talents.
One way artist are allowed to create a distinction with their music, to make it stronger, differential and more memorable, is teaming up with another musician who can match their fly.
We’ve been grateful to receive some of the best collabs from some of our favorite artists in the industry, but specifically for this time around, Kontrol is giving props to some of the best Hip-Hop, R&B, and Soul duets, of our time.
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell- “You’re All I Need to Get By” (1968)
This smooth and rhythmic tune had all the lovers swooning, in the era of 60s soul. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, teamed up for what would be a five-week no.1 hit on Billboard Hot R&B/Soul singles, and the most successful duet recording of Gaye’s career. The record was also sampled on Method Man and Mary J.Blige’s “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need,” remix, rooted from the rapper’s original single “All I Need,” off of his 1994 debut album, “Tical.”
Peaches & Herb- “Reunited” (1978)
The multi-genre and talented duo, created this serenade to stepping out on your partner, to fulfill the love you truly can’t get enough of. Although the message was a bit weary, and it’s way easier to just end things than juggling two lovers, this iconic duo created one of the most popular duets of all time. From their fourth studio album “2 Hot,” Peaches & Herb’s “Reunited” single went on to secure the no.1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks straight, while selling over 2 million copies.
Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway- “The Closer I Get to You” (1978)
For your wedding dance consideration. “The Closer I Get to You,” performed by jazz and soul singer/songwriter Roberta Flack and notable soul musician, Donny Hathaway, was released as a single from Flack’s 1977 “Blue Lights in the Basement” album. The ballad, written by Miles Davis’ band members, James Mtume and Reggie Lucas, was a major crossover hit throughout the world, and became certified gold in the United States in 78′.
Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn- “If This World Were Mine” (1982)
You may remember this melodic piece of music from the 1999 film, “The Wood.” For those of you living under a rock, in the film, it was the protagonist’s Mike’s crush Alicia’s favorite song, and what got him an inch out of the friend zone when he asked her to dance to it, at the fall formal.
But going way back before the movie was made, this duet was sung by Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn, who revamped it from the 15 years earlier version, originally performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terell.
Released off of Lynn’s 1982 “Instant Love,” album, the song peaked at number four on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart.
Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson- “Scream” (1995)
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the cleanest choreography/dance break and videography of the 90s and to this day: Michael Jackson and Janet’s Jackson’s “Scream.”
As the lead single, along with “Childhood,” from Michael Jackson’s ninth studio album, “HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book 1,” the track was a response to the controversial tabloid and media coverage of Jackson’s career.
Accompanied by his as legendary sister Janet Jackson, the song was certified platinum by the RIAA and sold over 700,000 copies.
Brandy and Monica- “The Boy is Mine” (1998)
This Grammy award-winning track, from 90s queens Brandy and Monica, was released as the lead single of both singtress second studio albums, “Never Say Never,” and “The Boy is Mine.”
“The Boy is Mine,” became the best selling song of 98′ with 2.6 million copies sold, and sat pretty at no.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks.
The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn and starring both singers featuring actor, Mekhi Phifer, was as remarkable, receiving two MTV Video Music Award nominations for, Video of the Year and Best R&B Video.
Usher and Alicia Keys- “My Boo” (2004)
In 2004, Usher released one of his best albums to date, “Confessions.”
In this album, was a duet with our favorite piano playing, singer/songwriter, Alicia Keys, who carried the hip-hop and R&B inspired record with Usher, and created one of our favorite early 2000s ballads.
The single, telling the story of eventually moving on from your first, but ultimately never really forgetting their love, stayed on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks.
Bow Wow-“Like You” ft.Ciara (2005)
I ain’t never had nobody show me all the things that you can show me in a special way I feel when you hold me we gone always be together baby that’s what you told me and I believe it cuz I ain’t never had nobody do me like you
If you could successfully say this chorus in one breath back in 2005, you were definitely winning at life.
Bow Wow and Ciara teamed up for this down to ride duet, which was released as the second single from Bow Wow’s fourth studio album, “Wanted.” It reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and no.1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Justin Timberlake -“Until the End of Time” ft. Beyoncé (2006 Remix)
Let’s be real, this version of “Until the End of Time,” is the only version we actually acknowledge.
Beyoncé jumping on the remix of the second single from Timberlake’s sophomore album, “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” was the icing on the cake, to a song that was already deemed a hit.
Both singer’s voices blended perfectly together, and the last minute or so of the two musicians harmonies, is what makes the song one for the books.
Drake- “Take Care” ft. Rihanna (2012)
Drake’s “Take Care” project, was one of his most memorable of his career so far. The turn of producing a completely R&B driven album, while being on the hottest rappers out, was a risk, but nothing new to the artist who uses his voice and lyricism, in more ways than one.
The first single, matching the title of the album itself, featured Rihanna, who previously teamed up with Drake on “What’s My Name,” a track from her fun and bop-filled fifth studio album, “Loud.”
The duo’s undeniable chemistry and versatile tones, went well together on this soothing record that went on to peak at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, but more importantly, was a part of one of the best albums released in 2011.