Voice-Off: Benedict vs. R.Kelly

What happens when a man with a deep voice and an “exotic” accent recites R. Kelly lyrics? Magic! Yup, I said it. Come on, we have two men with amazing voices. That’s more than a reason to celebrate. Even though this “voice-off” happened more than a year ago, it still makes me laugh. Here’s a clip of Benedict Cumberbatch reading R. Kelly’s “Genius”:

Let’s start with Benedict. Yes, he’s talented and apparently Hollywood loves him because he’s getting all these roles in major motion pictures and now that he’s got into the “Oscar nominee club”, I can almost say that Cumberbatch is here to stay. But let’s face it, there are many talented actors in Hollywood… What is Benedict’s X-Factor? In my opinion, his voice. Actors become famous for very different reasons. They either draw people’s attention by possessing great: looks, body or acting skills. Well, as I see it, Benedict doesn’t need to make use of the same weapons, he has something that is real a game-changer: his smooth baritone voice. He is not a bad looking fella, but his voice is the thing that makes him stand out from the “others”.

What about R.Kelly? “I believe I can fly” was one the first songs I ever heard from “Kells”. If you’re familiar with R. Kelly’s work, you’ll know that most of his songs are not exactly PG-13. There are many good R&B singers out there, but I think R.Kelly beats them all. He’s one of the few artists that can sing the most ridiculous lyrics and get away with it. My fascination with his music only started a few years ago, the turning point was the moment when I first started to actually listen to the lyrics. Let me tell you something: it’s so bad that’s good. Do you know what I mean? But I’ll leave that, for another post.

Who has a better voice? Apples and Oranges, baby. I can’t put them into the same category. Benedict is a baritone and has a better normal-speech/reading voice, whereas “Kells” is a lyrics tenor and has a better singing voice (personal guess).