If there’s one thing that we can say boosted the collective morale in the busted simulation of a year called 2020, it has been the Verzuz live-streamed music series on Instagram and YouTube.
A celebration of humanity, culture, and unity, Verzuz has made an appeal to a plethora of music demographics featuring battles between: New Jack Swing luminaries Teddy Riley and Babyface, Gospel giants Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond; Hip-Hop’s favorite coastal canines, Snoop Dogg and DMX; Neo-Soul queens, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott; Dance Hall legends Beenie Man and Bounty Killer; and most recently former teen R&B rivals Brandy and Monica.
ICYMI, Monica Denise and Brandy Norwood were at each other’s throats like BadBoy and Death Row, like Jay-Z vs. Nas, like Steve Rogers vs. Tony Stark, like Daenerys vs. Cersi…I digress, but you get the picture.
Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, a fan rumor of drama and mutual disdain eventually materialized shortly after the release of 1998’s smash-hit duet, “The Boy is Mine.” The collaboration was the first time the pair of divas met and was made in part to dispel the notion that they held animosity toward each other.
The major takeaway is that seeing the two songstresses side-by-side after decades of a storied tit-for-tat drama was quiet an event to behold. To the relief of 1.2 million fans and spectators on both sides, the stream was a fun-filled, mutual-musical love affair as the proverbial hatchet was publically laid to rest with Brandy and Monica.
Like all things, the process began before it became public. In an interview with New York’s Hot97, she retells it as, “In this one phase of my life, I just felt like I had this voice, and I need to use my voice I need to start clapping back I need to start saying what’s on my mind and I never should have done that. That’s just not even in my spirit, but I did do that and I felt like I needed to address her about those things, apologize about those things that I said in the media.”Ms. Norwood added, “And then also just things that I felt like that we never talked about. I felt that I needed to just say all of that and just to let her know that she was safe and that she didn’t have anything to worry about going on this platform with me. I would never disrespect her in any kind of way. I wanted her to know that.”
. @4everBrandy breaks down the making of her classic single ‘The Boy Is Mine’ & the origins of her ‘feud’ w/ Monica— HOT 97 (@HOT97) September 5, 2020
Watch the full conversation w/ @EBROINTHEAM: https://t.co/EPjkEdYRPj pic.twitter.com/UwtmvpSAGO
Monica added reconciliatory words of her own. In an Instagram post featuring a backstage photo of the two after the event, she commented, “My Prayers have been said as well as Many of them answered! Communication & Compassion bridged a gap that not many will understand! I celebrate you @brandy … Your legacy, Music & Catalogue are undeniable!! #B7Available NOW…..”
Decades of hit songs, a shared 1999 Grammy award for their earth-shattering collaboration, and legions of fans everywhere…seeing these talented women celebrate each other’s greatness and move the culture forward was a gift for all.