Holiday season is here and Verzuz is still cranking out the legendary mashups with a special presentation of the music tribute series. The aunties, cougars and classic soul lovers gathered to enjoy an evening with R&B royalty. Queens Chaka Khan and Stephanie Mills went hit for hit Thursday night (Nov. 18) at The Theater at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The night, presented by Mahogany from Hallmark, celebrated culture, positivity and harmony amongst music’s living legends. Drinks by Ciroc were flowing and the vibes were just right.
In true diva fashion, the show started promptly with a set from DJ Beverly Bond. The founder of Black Girls Rock! spun records like “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson, “All I Need by Method Man,” “Award Tour” by Tribe Called Quest and “Lost Ones” by Lauryn Hill. Once DJ Scratch took the stage, he announced a battle that he hosted between DJ Ease and DJ Ash B mashed tracks like “Something Bout the Way You Make Me Feel” by Stephanie Mills with “Ain’t No Fun” by the Dogg Pound among other hits.
Check out the top moments of Khan and Mills’ Verzuz battle below!
1. The Cameraman
Aside from being confused by the hip hop tribute during the classic Soul Verzuz, commenters like Tony Baker asked for a closer look at the stage. The cameraman must’ve gotten the memo as the shot began to gradually zoom in and out for 15 minutes straight. Even Missy Elliott — playing creative director — commented on Instagram that the operator must’ve been on that good Za because she was getting a little dizzy. She later said, “At this point, call Hype Williams, throw the fish eyed lens on the camera from “The Rain” video.” Swizz Beatz also popped off from the comments to say “Stop that damn zooming out shit!”
2. The Divas Grand Entrance
3. Live Vocals
Mills first song didn’t play, but the show must go on! The queen let us know that with or without the track she could still hold down the vocals from the lead track from The Wiz “Ease on Down the Road.” She did not disappoint one bit. The queens held down the stage and made sure we got an amazing show.
4. Here’s Teddy!
Mills held down both vocals to her duet with Teddy Pendergrass “Two Hearts” complete with the light footwork to remind us that she’s still got it. She also showed great support and sisterhood by hyping up Khan on her classic hits.
5. Diva Behavior
Every time Khan finished a song, she took a bow and said “thank you” to her adoring fans. True diva behavior. Likewise, Mills kicked those gold pumps up high and shimmied those hips left to right in unison with her sister.
6. Mama Moment
Mills brought out her son to dance to “Never Knew Love Like This Before.” She dedicated the performance of the 1980 dance record to Farad Mills, 20, who was born with Down Syndrome.
Meanwhile, Chaka Khan’s daughter Milini accompanied her on “Sweet Thing.” The 48-year-old pretty much held down the entire track hitting the famous ad libs and high notes her mother is best known for.
7. Something We Didn’t Know
During Khan’s performance of “Tell Me Something Good,” super-producer and early Verzuz participant Johnta Austin said, “It’s Stevie doing the ‘tell me tell me tell me’ on the vocoder” for a little history lesson. Songstress Ari Lennox replied to him letting us all know she appreciated that gem.
8. Chaka Khan with the Megan Knees
During the performance of “Ain’t Nobody,” Khan dropped it low and picked it up slow about six times in a row before her knees said no more. Accepting defeat she said, “I ain’t doing that shit” with a chuckle. But, it was still an impressive feat for the 68-year-old superstar.
9. Freestyle Flow
Mills busted out the bars when the break from “Something In The Way (You Make Me Feel)” cut to Jeff Lorber Fusion’s “Rain Dance.” It was then when she tapped into her inner Lil’ Kim to cover “Crush on You” with her own lyrical spin. The soul singer spit the bars:
“I know you seen me on Broadway. I know you heard my records play. I know you seen me on TV. I’m the original Queen B. I’m from Brooklyn, just a girl from around the way. I work hard everyday. That’s why I am here to stay!”