R. Kelly Remixes Phoenix in Very R. Kelly Fashion

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 14 2013 4:49 PM

R. Kelly Remixes Phoenix in Very R. Kelly Fashion

R. Kelly sings with Phoenix's Thomas Mars at Coachella 2013.
R. Kelly sings with Phoenix's Thomas Mars at Coachella 2013.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella

After R. Kelly and Phoenix just about stole this year’s Coachella by joining up for a live mashup of “Ignition (Remix)” and “1901,” R. Kelly came off stage to say “We gotta do something else!” He wasn’t kidding about collaborating again, and four months later we have Kelly remixing the French indie rock foursome.

Specifically, Kelly takes on “Trying to Be Cool,” from Phoenix’s latest album Bankrupt!, which a pretty great song already. But Kells more than leaves his signature on the track, singing “This is the remix” (among other interjections) just like he did on “Ignition (Remix)” and adding some nice falsetto harmonies. He even seamlessly cuts in a new second verse, with a brand new melody, swapping out Phoenix’s original lyrics (which are mostly nonsense anyway) for a few lines about going to the club.

No one could have predicted it, but the unlikely pairing have made the rare remix that rivals the original.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer.