Best R&B and House Team Collaborations | Features | MN2S

R&B and House are a match made in music heaven, so here are four of the best R&B and House music team-ups of all time.

 
In 2010, Quentin Harris and Ultra Nate released ‘Give It 2 U’. Ultra Nate and Quentin Harris had dabbled in both House and R&B in their time, but this collaboration was a pure distillation of everything great about the two genres colliding.

The duo have teamed up again, this time for a full-length album. Ultra Nate & Quentin Harris Present: Black Stereo Faith is out now, and it includes a nine minute version of ‘Give It 2 Me’ in all its glory.

R&B and House are close cousins anyway, with ‘Soulful House’ itself drawing on elements of both genres (though it edges more towards House than Soul). That’s why collaborations between artists from both genres are often so successful, artistically and commercially. Here are some of the best examples of R&B and House team-ups that hit the mark.

1. Jill Scott & Terry Hunter – The Remixes
 

 
Chicago House veteran Terry Hunter has taken House remixes of R&B tunes to a new level during his career. He has worked with the likes of Avery Sunshine, Chantay Savage, and many others. Last year, The Remixes was released on his own T’s Box records label. The EP includes four remixes of tracks from Jill Scott’s R&B album Woman, each one now complete with dancefloor ready beats and Soulful House flourishes.

The best part about this collaboration is that the songs sound like they were made to sound like this. ‘Can’t Wait’ in particular is completely transformed from its Isaac Hayes-sampling original, but it sounds completely natural as a chilled out, smooth House track.

2. Ultra Nate & Quentin Harris – Black Stereo Faith
 

 
The original team-up in 2010 was so successful, the two artists just had to get back together. Luckily, they found time in their busy schedules to work together on an entire studio album. Released this year, Ultra Nate & Quentin Harris Present: Black Stereo Faith picks up where ‘Give It 2 U’ left off, with 12 tracks of House/R&B goodness.

3. Jennifer Hudson, R Kelly & Terry Hunter – ‘It’s Your World’
 

 
Three Chicago giants collide on this Grammy-nominated hit single. R Kelly and Jennifer Hudson worked together on the track at first, but they felt it was the perfect track for Jennifer Hudson’s powerful pipes. Hudson has since performed the track on several high profile US TV shows, and she described the song on Twitter as a “vocal marathon”.

The track truly straddled genres, being House enough for the clubs, but R&B enough to be nominated in the R&B category at the Grammys. It’s a strong enough song to be at the top of both genres.

4. Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder & Patrick Cowley – ‘I Feel Love’
 

 
This song is such a classic that choosing it is almost cheating. Donna Summer was a successful R&B/Disco singer already, but ‘I Feel Love’ took her to the next level, largely thanks to the fact that it helped invent the brand new genre of House.

Giorgio Moroder’s four-to-the-floor beats and synth sequencer patterns were truly pioneering at the time of the song’s release, and Patrick Cowley’s quarter of an hour remix added the kind of electronic flourishes we would come to expect from House music a few years later when the movement really took off in Chicago.

What ‘I Feel Love’ shows us is that one of the earliest proto-House tracks was in fact an R&B collaboration. This in turn proves that R&B and House crossovers have been delighting music fans worldwide since the very beginning.

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