Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Ciara, Chris Brown, And Pretty Much Every Other R & B Star Out There Mix It Up

noah | January 15, 2009 11:00 am

Just crossing the transom this morning: Big Mike and DJ Neptune’s new mixtape R & B Kings 2009, which apparently came out last week and bubbled its way to various pop-leak blogs today. It has new tracks by—count ’em—Chris Brown and Rihanna and Justin Timberlake and Usher. (Also 50 Cent, but he sucks.) A rundown of the best brand-new tracks (with probably-not-long-for-this-world YouTube links) after the jump!

Usher, “First Class Flight (To The Moon)”: Usher rewrites Ne-Yo’s “Closer.” It sounds better than anything on Here I Stand, but you have to admit that’s a pretty low bar.

Justin Timberlake, “Bigger Than The World”: A Timbaland-produced midtempo joint that has JT singing in a fairly restrained falsetto. The beat is what’s front-and-center here; I can’t quite figure out if it’s fashioned from beatboxing, which makes the song even more intriguing. I expect this to get a lot of play over the coming weeks, mainly because I’ve already listened to it five times in the past hour.

Chris Brown, “Comeback (Such A Lie)”: What if “Cry Me A River” was wound around a flute sample? It would sound like this.

Rihanna, “How I Like It”: Rihanna’s transformation into a new-wave throwback continues with this sinewy, grinding track that’s sorta reminiscent of “Disturbia.”

Bobby Valentino feat. Ludacris, “Me & You”: My favorite track on the mix, a straight-up old-school confessional ballad with a fantastic, drowsy horn break. Even Ludacris’ verse is really sweet and romantic.

There’s also Ciara’s reworking of Beyonce’s “Diva,” which is OK if a bit predictable in both concept and execution. But overall, this mix has made me pretty excited!

R & B Kings 2009: Includes New Rihanna and Justin Timberlake Tracks [New Music Freak]