Quarantining during the coronavirus outbreak has produced at least one good thing: our favorite musicians going head-to-head with their hits in VERZUZ battles organized by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.
From DJ Premier vs. RZA to Teddy Riley vs. Babyface, Instagram Live has become a time machine to go back to the heydays of hip-hop and R&B. Fans have been petitioning for these battles and now, they’ve set their sights on another matchup: Brandy vs. Monica.
Initially, it was Ray J, Brandy’s brother, who initially pondered about a Verzuz bout between his sister and her “The Boy is Mine” collaborator. While speaking with Wendy Williams earlier this week, he admitted he couldn’t do a battle with anyone since his catalog is too thin, however he thought his sister going up against Monica would be something to see.
“Brandy, she could battle,” he said. “A good Brandy and Monica battle? Ooooooh.”
When the idea was brought to Monica during an interview with V-103, she said she wouldn’t be interested in a “Verzuz” against Brandy, for a very good reason:
“I guess I kind of feel like, I understand the idea of it and I think it’s really, really entertaining and an incredible idea,” she said. “What I do like is it’s kind of turning into a celebration. I can handle a celebration. I think battles, one thing that has happened to me my whole career, is being put against someone else that I’m not even remotely similar to. I think the reality is, us being polar opposites makes it dope. And I tell people all the time, because the only battle or Verzuz they want to see with me is me against Brandy, and the reality is, people have put us against each other for twenty something years.
She continued: “The reality is, I think ‘Boy Is Mine’ is such a phenomenal record because we’re polar opposites. And I think that’s dope. And she’s one of the greatest artists of our time as well, so could we do a celebration or something of that sort? That would be the only thing that makes sense to me. Because I’ve been trying to tell people for about 25 years, you can like both! You’re going to turn this into 1998 all over again and I have no interest in that.”
Monica also said she understands the positive aspect of the battles as well as the negative and she has no desire to experience the latter.
“If there’s a way to do a real celebration then that would be dope, because Teddy and Babyface were really celebrating each other. They knew each other’s records, they gave each other love the whole time and I think that’s what made it so dope,” she said. “After a while, I was a little scared watching Sean [Garrett] and The-Dream. Like, hey fellas, are we serious here? [laughs] It just got a little bit intense, and those are two producers that I absolutely adore. So for me, it would have to be a celebratory form of it. It would just have to be. I just don’t see it any other way.”
Brandy seems to be a bit more open to the idea of a battle, however she says she hasn’t thought about it much. “I’m open to it but I haven’t really thought about it,” she said during a Facebook Live chat with Essence. “I don’t know. I’m open. I’m open for sure. I’m not closed-minded.”
Photo: Prince Williams/Wireimage