The last few Verzuz battles have featured some of the iconic brothers in Hip Hop and R&B. But now, it’s the ladies’ turn again, and we love to see it. On Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday at 8 pm EST, two legendary groups from the 90s, SWV and Xscape, will go hit for hit, song for song in a duel between two of the top acts from that time.
They’ll be performing the tracks that packed the dance floor, helped us through heartbreak, and got us in the mood for love.
Debuting in 1992, SWV (Sisters With Voices) featuring Cheryl "Coko" Gamble, Leanne "Lelee" Lyons, Tamara "Taj" Johnson, came on the scene with a New Jack Swing inspired sound that shot them to the top of the charts with hits like “Weak” and “Right Here.”
Comprised of Kandi Burruss, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, and sisters LaTocha Scott and Tamika Scott-Byas, and discovered by super-producer Jermaine Dupri in the ATL, Xscape with hits like "Just Kickin' It" and "Understanding."
To get you ready for the latest installment of Verzuz on Saturday, we at BET.com have come up with 10 things we'd like to see during the SWV/Xscape battle.
When To Watch?
SWV and Xscape will battle on the day before Mother's Day, Saturday, May 8 at 8 pm ET.
How To Watch?
Who Will Win?
We're pleading the fifth on this one, but we know for sure this will be an epic showdown.
SWV's Cheryl "Coko" Gamble and Xscape's LaTocha Scott were two of the best vocalists to emerge in the 90s. They both can do trills, runs, hit high and low notes with the best of them. As lead singers for their respective groups, they held it down on each track. We would love to see these two legends have a riff-off because they both know how to "sing down." It would be incredible if Coko and LaTocha would perform some of their best vocal acrobatics like they displayed on "Rain" and "Who Can I Run Too?"
Besides her singing ability, Coko was known for her long nails. At their peak, she let her nails grow to several inches. Her nails took on a life of their own. Growing up in a religious household, Coko grew her nails as an act of rebellion, and they became a part of her signature look. While Coko may have cut her nails down, this Verzuz is for all the ladies with the long nails in the spirit of Coko.
Military Style Boots With Skirts
In the 90s, there were many fashion trends that you could use to express your individuality. Out of the R&B girl groups of the 90s, nobody donned the boots and skirt combo quite like SWV. They had that uptown, New York City look that inspired a legion of sisters to put together the same ensemble just like they wore in the “Anything” video. At this Verzuz, bring out those Dr. Martens boots and style with a skirt to get that 90s mood in full effect.
Flannel Shirts and Baggy Jeans
Although Xscape had angelic voices, they wore serious gear that let the world know that they had arrived and were ready. So, dust off those flannel shirts and baggy jeans and wear them like how Xscape did on “Understanding.”
They Have Love For Each Other
Although the goal is to win the Verzuz, there is also respect for the artistry of your opponent. The love that artists show for one another is always amazing to see. Besides being two of the top R&B groups of the 90s, they were fans of each other’s music. We would love to know the songs that SWV loves from Xscape and vice-versa.
One of the best aspects of the new Verzuz format is that the artists can invite guests who they've collaborated with in the past. This takes the performances up to another level. We're hoping that Method Man and U-God will show up for the "Anything Remix" or that MC Lyte might swing by to drop her verses on "Keep On, Keeping On."
Stories Behind The Songs
What makes Verzuz so unique is the stories that we get to hear from artists. They give hilarious and never-heard-before details about how their classics came together during the creative process. Whether on tour or in the studio, we know that SWV and Xscape have many stories to tell. We would love to know how SWV felt singing “Downtown” for the first time or the vibes Xscape’s got from “You’re My Little Secret.” We want some good singing and tea spilling.
Backwards Hats and Big Earrings
The fellas weren't the only ones wearing their hats to the back in the 90s. The ladies rocked them that way too but added some door knocker or hoop earrings to set it off like SWV did in "I'm So Into You" and Xscape in "I Got Love On My Mind." So ladies, dig into your jewelry box, get your big earrings, go in the closet, and grab the hat. Just be sure to throw it on backward.
An Acapella Moment
One of the tests of any great singer is how well they can sing without accompaniment. An acapella rendition of any of their songs would make the virtual crowd go wild. When it comes to vocal groups, those harmonies and "blends" are crucial to the overall sound. Can you imagine a live, acapella version of "Use Your Heart" or "The Softest Place On Earth" at the Verzuz? Now that would be epic.
While die-hard fans can not wait to sing along to the classic songs from both groups, Verzuz is always a great time to drop some new music. With hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions watching on various platforms, introducing some new music would be great. We're hoping that either SWV or Xscape will drop some brand new music on the Verzuz audience.