On Saturday night (May 9), fans were in for a treat as they witnessed the first “Verzuz” battle that recruited two female powerhouses – Jill Scott and Erykah Badu.
Throughout the night, both singers played some of their greatest hits including “On & On,” “Getting in the Way,” “Back in the Day,” “Slowly, Surely,” “Next Lifetime,” “Honey Molasses” and more. The audience, which consisted of over 700,000 viewers, held on to their seats as they anxiously waited to see what timeless banger the two musicians would play next.
On May 1, Swizz Beatz announced the battle in a post to Instagram. “It’s time for the Queens to represent,” Swizz wrote. “[Erykah Badu] vs [Jill Scott]. The paperwork is in, [Timbaland]. Shout out [Femme It Forward]. Let’s go May 9th, the day before Mother’s Day.” The battle was also in partnership with “Femme It Forward,” which is an event series aimed at highlighting women in the music industry. “Women have always played a pivotal role in the entertainment industry, whether we’re behind the scenes or center stage; but it’s rare that those stories make it to the forefront,” Lil’ Kim said in a press release, back in February 2020.
Since launching “VERZUZ,” fans have witnessed battles between Teddy Riley and Babyface, The-Dream and Sean Garrett and more.
During a conversation with “TMZ Live,” Timbaland shared that the live-streamed event has also caught the attention of major TV networks. “I mean, you know a lot of people contacted me and Swizz you know on a lot of things, but right now we just wanna keep it for the culture because it’s so organic,” he stated.
He continued, “We don’t wanna bring that part of the element in right away. We just wanna keep it where people are entertained because we living in a world where 16 million people lost jobs. We don’t wanna get into the politics of it. We wanna keep it natural and fun.”
Take a look at a few moments from the battle below.