Neo-Soul icons Erykah Badu and Jill Scott came together for the most legendary Instagram Live Battle on Saturday (May 9).
If you’ve been tuned into artists Instagram Live sessions since the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine then you’ve most likely come across a plethora of jam sessions, song battles, talent shows and more. However, I can guarantee you that you’ve never stumbled upon one quite like this. After almost two months of battles between regional producers, legacy producers, legendary rap producers, R&B and pop producers and writers, the Verzuz series of IG Live record battles still lacked a very important set of participants…women.
The omission of women in the Verzuz series speaks volumes in regards to the lack of women behind the boards in music creation and production. It is no mystery that this is a long-time industry issue since at an executive level music is heavily influenced, and controlled by men. But, Verzuz creators and battle curators Swizz Beats and Timbaland wanted to shift this dynamic and therefore informed fans that they would bring women into the fold soon.
Well, both their promise and the desire of many hopeful fans came true in perhaps the most iconic way. On Saturday Scott and Badu completely changed what it means to battle. Ranging in almost 20 rounds of songs, the versus felt like a collaboration. We got to witness two (must I repeat legendary) friends trading songs and vibing with each other.
Nearly 700,000 viewers tuned in to watch the highly anticipated performance and amongst them were a number of high profile celebrities. It is safe to say that everyone greatly admired, and appreciated the spirit of love and respect between the two artists.
“The joy of blackness was deeply felt today and I needed that light, that love, that community the way only we do it,” wrote Ava DuVernay on Twitter. “Blessings and beauty to the Queens Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. The harmony, hope and humanity you shared tonight was simply exquisite.” At one point, Michelle Obama even tuned in and left comments on the stream as well, requesting Badu’s hit “Green Eyes” and tagging her husband, Barack Obama, to join into the Live.
If you missed the Live stream, theres no need to panic! You can watch it here.