Even if we’ll always prefer Kelly Rowland when she’s turning out big, floorfilling dance anthems like “Commander,” we certainly aren’t mad at her new spot in the industry as the slow-burning R&B queen du jour. Her latest contribution comes courtesy of Outkast rapper Big Boi, who features Rowland on his newest single, “Mama Told Me,” a smooth and jazzy ride with definite urban radio hit potential.
“Living legend, rap scholar, art major,” Big Boi says by way of introduction. Meanwhile, the bright sparkly beat sets up Rowland’s infectious chorus: “Be careful how you play your cards, that’s what Mama told me.” Boi’s witty, erudite raps and Rowland’s silky vocals go so well together, we’re only left wondering why they didn’t collaborate sooner. Watch the lyric video — which has the retro flavor of a mid-century circus — up top.