Best Of Me

Album: Keys (2021)
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  • This is a romantic song where Alicia Keys sings of her exclusive love for her husband, rapper and producer Swizz Beatz. Because he makes her "come alive" and brings out the "best of me," she deems him to be her soulmate. Alicia wants no one else and will devote the rest of her life to Swizz.
  • The singer recorded "Best Of Me" for Keys, her eighth studio album, releasing it as the second single on October 28, 2021. Most of the tracks are love songs that center on Alicia's conviction Swizz Beatz is indeed The One.
  • Keys produced the song and co-wrote it with R&B songwriter Raphael Saadiq. It is one of four tracks on the record Saadiq co-penned.
  • Raphael Saadiq started out as a bass guitarist and it is that instrument he is best known for. When Keys contacted him, suggesting they "should rock," the songwriter surprised her by saying lately he'd only been playing piano. That didn't stop them from producing material that Keys told Apple Music oozed "fireworks, energy, amazing vibes."
  • This mesmerizing slow burner samples Sade's 1992 song "Cherish the Day."
  • Keys is a double album. The first half, dubbed "Originals," functions as a throwback to the singer's classic piano-based sounds. The second half, "Unlocked," features more experimental reworkings where producer Mike WiLL Made-It took the "Original" tracks and added bigger beats.

    "It's two albums, the original is broken down, keys blues, jazz songs and then the other side, my brother [Mike Will] made it and I sampled the originals for the 'Unlocked' version and has a whole different perspective and creates a whole other energy," she told UK newspaper The Daily Star. "It's kind of like a Sunday and a Saturday, I feel like people really love the piano side of me. I can never express in myself in one style. The other side of it allows me to go a little crazy."
  • For the unlocked version of this song, Keys and Mike WiLL Made-It interpolated "Strange Games & Things" by Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra. Other tunes that borrow from the much-sampled 1976 track include Destiny's Child's "No, No, No" and Pete Rock's "Rock Steady Part II."
  • Both versions have a similar hypnotic vibe. "It's true they have a similar energy, 'Best of Me (Original)' and 'Best of Me (Unlocked),' but when you really get into it, you start to hear the nuances in how they are different," Keys told Entertainment Weekly. "And how there's maybe a little more gentleness in the 'Original' one, and a little more 'Grrr' in the "Unlocked" one."


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