R.Kelly autobiography, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, is out July 28, and Rolling Stone got its hands on some interesting excerpts from the book, where R.Kelly reveals that Jay-Z wasn’t his original choice for the ‘The Best Of Both Worlds’ album. The Chicago crooner says that the rapper that originally sparked the idea for him was Tupac Shakur.
In the book, Kelly recalls a 1996 chance meeting with ‘Pac in front of a hotel. He says they planned to release a collaborative album at that meeting, but the idea came to a tragic end after Shakur was murdered later that year.
“Come September, and it looked like my schedule was opening up just before the holidays. I set up a meeting with Pac for us to plot our strategy, get firm dates and make the musical bomb that we both know would explode all around the world,” Kelly wrote. “But another bomb exploded that no one saw coming.”
The story is all detailed in the book’s chapter titled “Yo Pac! Yo Biggie!” In that same chapter, Kelly also recalls a moment when he made Biggie Smalls cry after he played him a few notes from a song that would become “I Believe I Can Fly”. Check out the except below:
“One time, we were on tour together and we were staying at the same hotel in Detroit. It was late and the after-party was over. The hotel-lobby party was over. The hotel-room party was over. There were still people hanging out in the lobby. And I was back in the lobby where they had this piano. I had just recalled that childhood dream with the cartoon characters chasing me. I remember the melody from that dream and was trying to figure out the rest of the lyrics, working on what would become “I Believe I Can Believe Fly.” Biggie and his crew came in the lobby about four in the morning.
“What’s up, baby! Great show, baby! What you doing?
“He came over to the piano, and I started to play it for him: “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky . . .” but so far that’s all I had.
“I’m gonna tell you right now, B, that’s a smash. That’s a big hit right there. That’s a Grammy winner, Rob.”
When I was playing it for him, I was thinking – he’s a hardcore rapper; this is gonna be too soft for him – but when I got through and looked up, his face was wet with tears.
“My brother,” he said, “they gonna be playing that when you and I have moved on to the other side of time.”
It sounds like R.Kelly has a lot of great stories to tell. Imagine how different the Best Of Both Worlds‘ album would have been if it was ‘Pac instead of Jay-Z?
The singer’s new album, Write Me Back, is out now.