Babyface and Riley were originally supposed to face-off against one another a few weeks back. Unfortunately, the battle was postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. Swizz Beats, who has been co-organizing the Instagram Live ”Verzuz” battles with Timbaland, assured fans that neither Riley nor Babyface had backed out though.
Afterward, Riley appeared on IG Live with Charlamagne Tha God where he disclosed that Babyface had been feeling “sick” so they opted to push back their match and use the extra time to figure out a set-up that delivers the experience they feel their fans deserve. Spectators took it that he was trying to push viewers toward his platform of choice so he could profit off it.
Last Friday (April 10), Babyface revealed that the actual cause of the delay was because he and his family recently tested positive for the coronavirus in an update published on Instagram. The legendary singer-songwriter and producer informed fans that they “are on our way back to full health” following their bout with the infectious respiratory illness.
With that said, Babyface notified fans that the “celebration of Black Music Excellence” was back on.
In light of Babyface’s revelation, some fans pointed out the flack that Riley caught online when people blamed him for the match’s delay. On Instagram, he directly addressed this backlash in a post, wishing his “big brother” Babyface a blessed birthday and speedy recovery. He added that it wasn’t his place to disclose his medical condition and willingly pinned himself as the “fall guy” amid the criticism.
“I appreciate you knowing the truth. I was just trying to protect my brother from disclosing what is going on with him,” Riley expressed. “Can’t wait for you all to see this show happen. I don’t mind taking the fall [for] what is saving our people.”
See his comments below:
(Photos from left: Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images for BET, John Atashian/Getty Images)