Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

R. Kelly and Jay-Z 

Best of Both Worlds: Unfinished Business (Jive/Roc-A-Fella)

75226.0.jpeg
It's certainly not the best release of 2004, but Unfinished Business is easily the most confusing. Why would R. Kelly fans want another of his discs just two months after he dropped a pair of mediocre ones? Why would Jay-Z agree to a joint album and tour when he obviously believes his accused pedophile of a partner remains professionally toxic? And most important, why would Jigga end his retirement for a project he sounds so ambivalent about?

If you guessed "For the loot," is there a better explanation? At least the duo's first collaboration, which celebrated their worst impulses (blinging, misogyny), had a sense of naughty glee, as well as the unerring popcraft Kelly brings to R&B and which infuses Jay's hip-hop. But hooks, chemistry, and joy are all in short supply here; at one point, Kelly lamely ends an ad-lib by asking "What you drinkin', Jay?" There's no response, which sums up too much of the disc. When Jigga seems involved, he still spits memorable lines ("Sex is always better/Right off a vendetta"), Kelly spreads on the soul, and this actually does sound like the best of both participants' worlds. The rest isn't even the best of one.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Andrea Bocelli @ Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

    • Thu., Dec. 2
  • Kellen Erskine @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Dec. 2
  • Louis C.K. @ Agora Theatre

    • Thu., Dec. 2

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation