VERZUZ IG Battle: Music Quarantine

In my previous blog, I promised to update you on what I’ve been doing lately during lockdown. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions with going out, keeping myself entertained indoors is more important now than ever. If you’re bored and eager to have something to look forward to at least for the duration of the pandemic, music is here to save the day.

To the Hip-Hop and R&B lovers out there, if you don’t know by now VERZUZ created by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, has been bringing fans performances from the who’s who in Hip-Hop & R&B. While I’ve dragged myself out of what feels like quarantine, I’m a week into VERZUZ leaving me inspired and completely entertained. The super producers teamed up creating the online battle, initially going head to head. Gaining so much popularity, it’s become the biggest in music celebration.

The biggest names in music from T-pain and Lil Jon, NeYo and Johnta Austin to Scott Storch and Mannie Fresh, “battle” to see who’s got the greatest hits/good with the pen.

All in the name of fun, of course… bragging rights are left to the fans.


Regardless of who wins, it’s great for the culture and as a fan, I get to relive my favourite all-time hits and witness history. However, the 90s/early 2000’s R&B lover in me, roots for the throwback tune. Still, there are songs from the late 2000s that I love too so music is music. There’s no perfect time than for music lovers to go down memory lane, and sing their favourite song from the radio watching the music come alive.

Here’s the megastar list of those who have performed so far:

Timbaland and Swizz
Scott Storch Vs Mannie Fresh
Hit-Boi Vs Boi- 1da
Ne-Yo Vs Johnta Austin
DJ Premier VS RZA
T-Pain and Lil Jon
The Dream and Sean Garrett
while Pop made an appearance with Ryan Tedder (One Republic) Vs Benny Blanco
and what many thought they’d never see:
Teddy Riley Vs Babyface.

Yes, we have Swizz Beatz and Timbaland to thank for these mini-concerts!

Teddy Riley Vs Babyface semi performed, live on IG on Saturday. If you know you know but for those that don’t…

To summarise, I’m young enough to not know all of Teddy Riley’s hits, catalogue and the whole 9, but old enough to know he was in Blackstreet and the sound of 90’s R&B. Babyface is just Babyface, so the name alone should ring bells if were talking music. From Mariah Carey to Usher, to Babyface himself, the term Singer-Songwriter and producer wouldn’t be what it is today if not for him. However, R&B would not be what it is (Singing/Song-writing & Producing) or have inspired artists that came after yet alone evolved into what R&B is today, if not for Teddy Riley.

Still, I was awake and ready to go, with the first half of my blog complete waiting to give a stellar review of the R&B legends. It aired on Instagram Live on Saturday night.

Photo by Inga Seliverstova on

On behalf of anyone who missed, caught or endured the agony of MR Riley not fulfilling our expectations – I’m sorry. Yeah, I felt bad, and I’m way before his time and Babyface but that’s beside the point. I’m a fan of Teddy for the songs I’ve heard and what I have yet to find out he produced. More than 400k people were tuned in, and as if we needed reminding that the most celebrated turned least popular (that night) were who celebs (at one point) were gonna throw under the bus. It was funny in a sense – as the same people who swear… back to the review.

Based on the audio feedback, and lateness of Teddy not picking up on what fans were trying to tell him on live, Babyface won. The hype-man on Teddy’s side didn’t help matters, though I loved his enthusiasm to dance. Sadly, he didn’t make sure the engineering/audio was good although apparently, they rehearsed. To Teddy’s credit, a lot of his team got the blame. They were both professional imo but Teddy’s sound, unfortunately, was off.

Photo by Marc Schulte on

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the dream battle between Diddy, VS Jermaine Dupri or Dr Dre. After Saturday night, it’ll probably take an army to convince Diddy to do anything. However, there’s hope as the rematch airs tonight at 8 pm, est. Overall, Teddy Riley is too much the legend with his body of work, for anyone to dismiss because of technical difficulties. Therefore, I’m rooting for him, Babyface too who knows which way it will go!

As it stands, T-Pain & Lil Jon lead with their performance (the majority vote) which I thought was great. Though in my opinion, it was a slight tie with Johnta Austin & Neyo’s classy performance which we need to see tonight.

Let’s hope R&B can reclaim its throne.

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