We were wowed last summer when Monica released her Ty Dolla $ign duet “Friends.” Not only was the song a return to form for the veteran songstress, but it also featured the songwriting skills of our friends Rob Milton and Kreion — perhaps better known as R&B duo Cousin. With the song seeing some chart success since its release, Cousin has decided to release their own version of the duet to show us what it sounds like in their hands.
Their take keeps the ballad acoustic guitar-driven as the duo expresses their undying love. However, Cousin’s take strips the drum machine and distorted echoes included in the original take. The biggest change, though, is that Kreion and Rob take over the leads.
Kreion almost mirrors Monica’s tone exactly on her verse, with only slight differences in inflection and vocal choices tipping us off that she isn’t the powerhouse hitmaking artist. Rob, meanwhile, steps in for the second verse, bringing his own unique vocal to the affair as he taps into the song’s sentimental vein in this more vulnerable arrangement.
If we’re being honest, this take on “Friends” might just edge out what Monica and Ty did. There’s an intimacy and warmth felt here that didn’t always come across on the original, which might be due to the absence of the drums and Ty Dolla $ign’s penchant for Auto-Tune. Either way, we love what Cousin has done here. Here’s hoping that we get to hear more from them as 2023 progresses.
Listen to Cousin’s version of “Friends” when you press play below.