The much-anticipated Instagram battle titled ‘Verzuz’ between ’90s R&B heavyweight produces and recording artistes Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and Teddy Riley was an epic night of nostalgia when it all went down 48 hours later than the original Monday night it was slated for. These men partly ruled the RnB music scene in the 80s/90s/2000s. It was an all-star event, everybody was online to watch, all the greats; Diddy, Timberland, Snoop, Busta, Pharell, Missy Elliot, Usher, Tyrese, Mariah, Toni, Ashanti, Keyshia Cole, Fat Joe, Tamar as well as film stars like Gabrielle Union, Anthony Anderson and Chris Tucker. And then ‘Flotus’ (Michelle Obama) joined in! Even our ‘Naija celebs’ weren’t left out in the star-Studded ‘House Party’. Nollywood actress Chioma Akpotha knew every song from the first beat, which was quite impressive, and also Banky W, SoundSoultan, Toolz, Adekunle Gold.
Babyface was looking all cool, calm and collected decked out in a maroon velvet blazer, while Teddy Riley, looking fresh and clean with his signature sharp beard, had a towel wrapped around his neck like a boxing champ. Both men have resumes a foot long; Riley was the architect of the ‘new jack swing’ sound in the ’90s, produced hits for Mary. J. Blige, Blackstreet and even Lady Gaga. While Babyface, with and without his producing partner L.A. Reid — built hits for everyone from Whitney Houston, Brandy, Boys IIMen to Madonna.
And the Hits started coming to the delight of RnB fans worldwide all on ‘lockdown’ at home. Teddy Reilly kicked it off with the remix of SWV’s ‘Right Here’, and Babyface gave us Toni Braxton’s ‘Love Should have Brought you Home’ and the hits went on and on. An hour wasn’t enough (of course not) and these ‘giants’ did struggle a little with technology, like we all do from time to time. They went on to a ‘Part 2’ (another hour) of the show and Babyface held all the aces giving us Bobby Browns ‘On our Own’ (from Ghostbusters Soundtrack), Johnny Gill’s ‘My My My’, TLC’s ‘Red Light Special’, Toni Braxton’s ‘I get So High’, Karyn Whites ‘Superwoman’ was a ‘killller tune’ and he closed it out with ‘I’ll make Love to you’ – that sort of sealed his win. Teddy in this round gave us some ‘jams’ but few touched like Babyface’s hits. Even Micheal Jackson’s ‘Jam’ and ‘Keep it in the Closet’ didn’t give him a lead. Then Teddy had phone issues. They both tried to get back… and Babyface, ever being a gentleman, closed the evening (after many tries to get back on Teddy’s IG page) with a message of HOPE and telling us all we’ll get through this (Coronavirus Pandemic). With ‘Count on Me’ (Whitney & Cece Houston) and ‘When you Believe’ (Whitney & Mariah from The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack)… it was an Epic!! I forgot to add… Babyface gave us a live rendition of ‘When Can I see you Again’ with his guitar. It was a night (here in Nigeria) we will not be forgetting in a hurry and it was worth waiting up till 3am local Nigerian time (we aren’t going anywhere anyway!).
With over 500k viewers watching the ‘battle’ live, it was a night to remember.
#Legends #Babyface #Teddy Reilly
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