Jill Scott and Erykah Badu’s Verzuz showdown on Saturday night (May 9) was nothing short of an R&B love-fest. Scott and Badu, who have collaborated and performed together a handful of times, played their greatest hits to a virtual audience of over 700,000 viewers. The evening saw plays from “On & On,” “Getting in the Way,” “Back in the Day,” “Slowly, Surely,” “Next Lifetime,” “Honey Molasses” and more, while the two neo-soul queens traded stories and expressed their admiration for each other.
Speaking with Big Tigger of RADIO.com and V-103 a few days after the event, Scott explained why she wanted her Verzuz showdown with Badu to be a “celebration” of each other’s discography rather than a classic “battle.”
“I didn’t like the ‘battle’ energy of it, that kind turned me off. I don’t want fight. I didn’t like that ‘battle’ stuff, so I let it go,” she said. “Then, I get a call from Erykah. She was like, ‘Yo, they wanna do this battle, this Verzuz.’ Like, it sounds like it could be good, the energy just has to be right. She said, ‘What if we celebrate each other?’ I said, ‘That’s what I’m talking about!’ Celebrate each other.”
“You don’t last this long and want to destroy others,” Scott added.
The “A Long Walk” singer revealed that she had been inspired by the mutual respect shown in RZA and DJ Premier’s Verzuz event.
“Initially, I was nervous. That was my first time [going Live]. So, I didn’t really know what to expect from this thing. I hadn’t really watched many Lives. I did see RZA and DJ Premier. I thought that was really cool, I liked the way they handled it... mutual admiration and respect,” she said. “It was fun! I got a chance to share some stories with Erykah that she didn’t even know.”
The next Verzuz showdown is scheduled for this weekend between Nelly and Ludacris. Recently, Swizz Beatz confirmed that an upcoming piano-accompanied battle between Alicia Keys and John Legend is in the works, too.
Watch Scott’s full interview below.