DIRTY R&B: The Best of R. Kelly

Last year after me and DJ Eleven came out with our blockbusting, much-loved mix, Dirty Raps: The Best of Too $hort, my friend Hayden insisted that I had to make a sequel, Dirty R&B: The Best of R. Kelly.

Kells front

I was kind of meh about it at first, thinking Kells was a little mainstream and that there probably wasn't much I could do that hadn't been done. Anyhow, months passed and the idea continued to rattle around in the back of my head until a particularly alcoholic birthday celebration for my friend Brianna convinced me that, yes, the world needed this mix. Badly.

Making the mix was a crazy process. Kells just has waaaay too many songs and it took me weeks to track down all of his cameos and one-offs and then really immerse myself in his catalog. Early on it became clear to me that there was no way to do Kells's music justice with a single CD and, besides, the mix would be a better listen plus a whole lot more functional if it was split between party music and slow jams.

Even after I felt I had a good grasp of Kells's music, putting the track list together was a really consuming process. Parts of it were easy to assemble-- for example, the stepping songs ("Step In the Name of Love", "Happy People", etc.) have a very distinct feel but flow naturally together. Other parts of it were incredibly daunting because I was trying to fit together songs that were thematically very similar, but musically diverse enough that they did not lend themselves to mixing (e.g., the run of songs on disc 2 from "Best Friend" to "Don't Put Me Out").

I feel like it all came together really well-- I think it really is the best of R. Kelly. Here's what's on it:

Disc 1 - Stuntin' with Kells

1. Bump n' Grind
2. I'm a Flirt feat. T-Pain
3. Feelin' On Yo Booty (Dirty South Mix)
4. Make It Rain feat. Fat Joe
5. Same Girl RMX
6. This Is Why I'm Kells
7. That's That Shit feat. Snoop Dogg
8. Go Getta feat. Young Jeezy
9. Hell Yeah (Remix) feat. Ginuwine & Baby
10. Thoia Thoing
11. Snake
12. Hotel feat. Cassidy
13. Fiesta
14. Fiesta (Remix) feat. Jay-Z
15. Wonderful feat. Ashanti
16. Did You Ever Think feat. Diddy
17. Gigolo feat. Nick Cannon
18. Playa's Only feat. the Game
19. In Da Club feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris
20. Freaky in the Club (Vans remix)
21. Somebody's Girl feat. Jay-Z
22. Slow Wind (Remix) feat. Sean Paul
23. I Like the Crotch On You
24. Guilty Until Proven Innocent feat. Jay-Z
25. The Best of Both Worlds feat. Jay-Z
26. The Return feat. Jay-Z & Doug E. Fresh
27. Big Chips feat. Jay-Z
28. Spendin’ Money
29. Love Street
30. Happy People
31. Step in the Name of Love RMX
32. Ladies Night (Treat Her Like Heaven)
33. (You to Be) Be Happy feat. The Notorious B.I.G.
34. Fucking You Tonight feat. The Notorious B.I.G.
35. Your Body's Callin'
36. Heaven I Need a Hug
37. I Wish

Disc 2 - Fucking, Fighting and Making Up

1. Ignition
2. Ignition (Remix)
3. Bump N' Grind (Old School Mix)
4. Honey Love
5. The Zoo
6. R&B Thug
7. I'm In Love With A Stripper Remix
8. Strip for You
9. Kickin' It with Your Girlfriend
10. Same Girl Feat. Usher
11. Best Friend feat. Keyshia Cole & Polow Da Don
12. Down Low (Nobody Has to Know) feat. Ronald Isley
13. Down Low Double Life
14. Trapped in the Closet (Chapter 1)
15. Contagious
16. Real Talk
17. A Woman's Threat
18. When a Woman's Fed Up
19. Don't Put Me Out
20. I Don't Mean It
21. Imagine That
22. Promise feat. Ciara
23. V.I.P.
24. Sex Me (Part ?)
25. Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)
26. Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby...
27. Half on a Baby
28. You Remind Me of Something
29. Sex Planet
30. (Sex) Love Is What We Makin'
31. In the Kitchen
32. Feelin' on Yo Booty

The 2-CD mixis currently (or should soon be) available at the following spots: Amoeba (Berkeley), B-Sides and Rasputin (Berkeley and elsewhere). Folks passing through any of my various jammie-jams can cop copies hand-to-hand at a player price. You can also order the CDs via Paypal to matthewafrica [at] hotmail [dot] com. Prices (including shipping) are: $12 in the U.S.; $14 to Canada; $15 to Europe; and $16 to Asia or down under.


The folks at the Fader recently invited me to write an installment of their Vinyl Archeology column, a regular feature dedicated to unearthing and spotlighting neglected music. I wrote about Twee Funk—roughly speaking, 70s soul and funk releases that followed in the wake of the Jackson 5’s success.

In part, I chose this style because I love the way kids sing. There’s a sweetness, purity and exuberance in their voices that you really don't hear from grown folks. But I also chose Twee Funk as my subject because it gave me a reason to prepare a mix of a lot of great music I don’t otherwise get to play.

So here’s a free, 69-minute mix of 28 songs. It's encoded low-res (128 kbps), but it's still kinda huge (64 MB!):

Twee Funk Mix

(note to Mac users: to download the mix—as opposed to just opening it in a media player—hold down the "Option" key while clicking the link)

(and if the above link doesn't work, please try:

Jackson 5: “2, 4, 6, 8”
Promise: “I’m Not Ready for Love”
The Voices of East Harlem: “Can You Feel It”
Starborn: “Funky Piper”
The Young Gents: “Big Things Come in Small Packages”
Starborn: “Real Real Thing”
The Nation Survivers (sic): “Get Down”
The Posse: “Come Out and Play”
Wee Three: “Get on Board”
Jackson Sisters: “I Believe in Miracles”
Family Plann: “Come On Let’s Do the Breakdown”
Greer Bros.: “We Don’t Dig No Busing”
Reginald Milton & the Soul Jets: “Clap Your Hands”
The Eight Minutes: “I Can’t Get No Higher”
The Voices of East Harlem: “So Rare”
The Sylvers: “We Can Make It”
The Sylvers: “I Don’t Need to Prove Myself”
Foster Sylvers: “Misdemeanor”
The Sylvers: “Don’t Give Up the Good Life”
The Sylvers: “I Aim to Please”
The Sylvers: “Stay Away from Me”
The Sylvers: “Fool’s Paradise”
The Sylvers: “I Know Myself”
The Sylvers: “Only One Can Win”
Foster Sylvers: “Big Things Come In Small Packages”
The Eight Minutes: “Find the One Who Loves You”
Ponderosa Twins Plus One: “Bound”
Family Circle: “It Doesn’t Make Sense”

A few of my choices are questionable, either because I know for a fact the acts included some grown singers (e.g., the Voices of East Harlem, whose members ranged from teens to twenty-somethings) or because I have no biographical information about them whatsoever (e.g., the Posse, who were apparently protégés of Eddie Kendricks of Temptations fame, or Starborn). Others aren’t “funk”, such as the ballads that conclude the mix.

If you enjoy the mix, holler at me about your favorites or for a higher-res CD-R copy—get [at] matthewafrica [dot] com.

DIRTY RAPS: THE BEST OF TOO $HORT is a salute from me and the big homie, DJ Eleven, to the Godfather of Bay Area rap.

Dirty Raps front cover

Here's a low-res (128 kbps) clip of some snippets from the mix-- the real thing sounds a lot better:

Dirty Raps clip (11 MB)

(note to Mac users: to download the clip, hold down the "Option" key while clicking the link)

Below is a not-all-that-legible but nonetheless complete track listing.

Dirty Raps back cover

The CD is currently (or should soon be) available at the following spots: Turntable Lab, Amoeba (Berkeley), B-Sides and Rasputin (Berkeley and elsewhere). Folks passing through any of my various jammie-jams can cop copies hand-to-hand at a player price. You can also order the CD via Paypal to matthewafrica [at] hotmail [dot] com. Prices (including shipping) are: $10 in the U.S.; $11 to Canada; $14 to Europe; and $15 to Asia or down under.

Here’s a taste of SOUL BOULDERS, a dynamite 70+ minute mix of slow, funky soul put together by me and my homie DJ B.Cause:

Soul Boulders clip (11.7 MB)

Soul BouldersSOUL BOULDERS is available online at Turntable Lab, SoulStrut and Groundlift and in the following retail stores: Amoeba Music (Berkeley and SF), B-Side Records (Berkeley), Groove Merchant (SF), Rasputin (Berkeley and perhaps elsewhere), Good Records (NYC) and Turntable Lab (NYC). You can also order it directly by sending payment by paypal to matthewafrica [at] hotmail [dot] com. The price (including shipping) is $10 in the US/$11 in Canada/$14 in Europe and $15 in Japan/down under kinda out of print right now. [I may get some more copies if my shady-ass distributor ever gets back to me, and B.Cause and I may repress in connection with a sequel (much discussed, might happen), but for now, all I have are some janky-looking homemade copies.]

If you really need it in your life, order something else, specify you also want some rocks and I'll include a bootleg copy with the package.

Check back on the regular for more mixes.