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5 Duets by Musicians Who Were Singing Different Songs

#2. Bobby Brown on Any Bobby Brown Song

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The marriage of rap and pop music wasn't always a perfect one. In the early days, the main problem was that everyone assumed they could rap as long as they could make words rhyme. This led to some of the most horrid music the '90s had to offer. Remember all those rap songs Prince released in the first half of that decade? Probably not, and I'm pretty sure the reason he had every video of him scrubbed from the Internet is so you never do.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
It will probably be these glasses that cost us our stock photo privileges someday.

He wasn't the only singer who assumed that ready access to a live microphone automatically translated to rap ability. Bobby Brown would break into rap verses all the goddamn time, and not once did they have a single thing to do with the subject of the song at hand. For example, the video version of "Every Little Step" featured an added rap verse all about how awesome he is at rapping ...

... which is weird, because it's a song about two people who are meant to be in love. Maybe singing Bobby Brown and rapping Bobby Brown are those two people? It's hard to know for sure. What I do know is that he's wrong about being good at that shit. Prince was a better rapper. That didn't stop Bobby Brown from trying, though. A lot. Like on this song from the Ghostbusters II soundtrack.

Not only does the rap in that song have nothing to do with the song itself, but it's clearly just been tagged on to the beginning to make everything seem Ghostbusters related. MC Hammer did Taco Bell commercials that were less of a sellout.

Weirdly, Bobby Brown kept his off-topic lyric-writing habit contained to his own catalog. Of course, that's because he likely didn't receive a ton of invites to rap on other artists' songs. You know, because he was terrible at it and all. There was one exception, though. As luck would have it, the sole hit by Glenn Medeiros featured guest rhymes from Bobby Brown.

Inexplicably, while every other Bobby Brown rap verse makes it seem like he's recording two different songs with two separate versions of himself, in the company of this stranger, he manages to deliver an entire verse that fits right in with the theme, which is about how that broad isn't worth it. You know the one.

Bobby Brown may have derailed his own songs on a regular basis with "rap" verses that didn't make any sense, but at least he was on his best behavior when asked to be a guest.

#1. Lady Gaga and R. Kelly -- "Do What U Want"

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

A few months back, Lady Gaga and R. Kelly made headlines for performing all of the sex acts two people possibly can while fully clothed, live on the nationally broadcast stage of Saturday Night Live.

While I will confess that seeing Lady Gaga pretend-sex R. Kelly was surprising, the song itself is the real story. If you listen to it as background music, it sounds like it's mostly about sex stuff, but seeing as how the first verse ends with a complaint about the media printing outrageous stories, everything from there (at least until R. Kelly shows up) sounds more like a song about how Lady Gaga doesn't care if people write stories about her maybe having a dick ...

... because at least they can't stop her from speaking her mind. That's a respectable message, but things get a lot less clear once R. Kelly brings his own unique flourishes to the party. For one thing, by law, R. Kelly shouldn't be allowed within 50 yards of a song about having your way with someone's body. We're talking about a guy who "allegedly" pissed on a teenage girl on video. A line like "I can be the drink in your cup" sounds dirty enough from any singer, but coming from R. Kelly, it sounds like a criminal threat.

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Relax, I only used this picture because how he's dressed makes him look like a criminal.

Speaking of that, shouldn't he be riding the "unfair media portrayal" train with his duet partner? He doesn't, but perhaps all of those lines he delivers about having a really busy schedule explain why he missed it? It's hard to say, but whatever the case, by the time he's done working his magic, this just sounds like the next in a long line of songs that have been written about R. Kelly urinating on people.

The next time we hear from Lady Gaga anywhere outside the chorus is when she drops back in with a few lines about how she's terrified of being let go by an unidentified individual. So, not only does the presence of R. Kelly make it sound like this song is about someone being peed on, but that gear change on Lady Gaga's part kind of implies she's being held captive in his golden shower dungeon somewhere.

In other words, this is the coolest fucking Lady Gaga song ever.


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