Bilal, "Fast Lane" (2001)
This is one of Dr. Dre's most unexpected collaborations. A highly touted member of Questlove's Soulquarians movement, Philadelphia musician Bilal Oliver's excellent debut 1st Born Second anticipated the P-funk-meets-Prince inspired "nu-funk" trend that would define the soul underground for much of the decade. However, the Interscope album didn't quite catch on with the mainstream, despite Dr. Dre and Jadakiss' assist on "Fast Lane," which peaked just outside of the Top 40 of Billboard's R&B Singles chart. Dre's clean drums and eerie synths underlined Bilal's haunted vocal about depravation in the projects, while Jadakiss rhymed with panache, "I'm a left lane/My life is much faster than yours." Bilal would go on to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar, the Game and Solange – while being the best soul singer you've never heard of.