Neo-soul sistahs Erykah Badu and Jill Scott’s Verzuz match Saturday was a legendary moment for the culture.
After two months of Verzuz battles exclusively featuring iconic male producers, writers and artists, Verzuz creators Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, in partnership with Live Nation’s Femme It Forward, made good on their promise to bring two Queens to the forefront.
What was supposed to be a battle naturally turned into a vibe session and masterclass on artistry, humility, sistahood, womanhood and thriving in the beauty of Blackness.
Fittingly starting a few minutes after 7:00 pm EST, viewers were welcomed into Scott’s live with lines from the prolific Nikki Giovanni who Scott later revealed inspired her to write.
Although it was a virtual experience, you could smell the cocoa butter and taste the wine.
When Badu joined Scott, the icons caught up in front of 700K+ viewers instead of jumping right into the music. The vibe was reminiscent of sitting at your grandma’s house between your two favorite aunts – soothing synergy, welcoming wit and grown sh*t.
The Grammy winners spoke about the beauty in being home, homeschooling and praised each other’s gifts. There were minor issues with sound, but they breezed through fixing their Teddy Riley echo.
When it was time for the music, Badu kicked it off with The Roots “You Got Me” for which she’s a featured artist. Badu relished in the fact that Scott wrote her part to which Scott responded with gratitude for her singing it.
Jilly from Philly then dropped one of the first gems of the night. Scott revealed it was the first song she’d written and the only song Badu sang she hadn’t.
Scott encouraged everyone watching to seize the opportunities that come our way even when we feel like the task is too big for us. And as if the moment couldn’t get any better, Scott then followed Badu’s version of the song up with her live version that she was able to record because Badu was stuck in traffic.
The rest of the evening followed in suit. Badu and Scott weaved backstories, revelations, wisdom and more into their 3-hour jam session. They encouraged entertainers to create, writers to write and lovers to love… responsibly.
One of the more memorable moments from the live occurred when Badu began playing “Tyrone” and was immediately disconnected.
Instead of fumbling through the motions as others previously have done, Scott played Badu’s hit track and successfully added her back to the live. File that under things we love to see.
Scott’s last song “Cross My Mind” was played in honor of Andre Harrell, the founder of Uptown Records, who passed over the weekend. It was a song he was looking forward to hearing during the Verzuz match.
The dynamic women closed the evening with more praise and gratitude including Badu thanking her baby daddies.
Erykah Badu and Jill Scott’s highest-rated Verzuz “battle” was really a celebration of culture and our strength. From Michelle Obama to Rihanna, Black folk were blessed with their music. The winner was us.
Thank you Queens.