Why Jill Scott And Erykah Badu Wanted Their Verzuz Battle To Be A Celebration

The Philly native shared that she was initially against doing the battle until a phone call changed her mind.

Jill Scott and Erykah Badu’s epic Verzuz battle blessed our ears as they played a chart-topping roster of tracks from their respective catalogs last Saturday (May 9).

Many of the more than 700,000 viewers who tuned in found themselves immersed in good vibes as the two award-winning singers faced off. 

  • The Philly native recently did an interview with Big Tigger for RADIO.COM and V-103 Atlanta where she spoke about how she and Erkyah’s battle first took shape.

    When the match was first suggested to her, Jill said she was initially turned off from accepting because she didn’t like the “battle energy of it.” 

    But a phone call from Erykah Badu changed her mind. 

    “I got a call from Erykah and she was like, ‘yo, they wanna do this battle, this Verzuz.’ And I was like ‘it sounds like it could be good. The energy just has to be right.’ She said ‘what if we celebrate each other?’ I said, ‘that’s what I’m talking about. Let’s celebrate each other. Let’s go for it.'” 

    Scott added, “You don’t last this long and want to destroy others.”

  • Ahead of their match, Jill admits she was “nervous” because it was her first time to go on IG live. “I didn’t know what to expect from this thing,” the “Golden” singer said. Although, she did catch RZA and DJ Premier’s Verzuz battle. She noticed the way they approached each other with “mutual admiration and respect,” and wanted the showcase with Erykah to come across the same way. 

  • As for her mindset going into the match, Jill shared that she didn’t just want to just play the songs people expected her to present. Instead, she wanted to showcase some of her deeper cuts to expand her audience. Her hope was that it would inspire listeners not familiar with her work to look further into discography after the match, which she said is currently happening. 

    “I’m reading everybody’s comments. I’m looking at their comments [and] they’re like, you didn’t play [this]. Hopefully, you will and tell somebody, and talk about this music to keep it alive.”

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive newsletters, marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. For more information about our data practices, consult our Privacy Policy.