Now that Erykah Badu and Jill Scott gave neosoul lovers what they craved last Saturday, John Legend wants to step into the Verzuz ring with Alicia Keys. Is it time for the two R&B legends to square up? We sure hope so.
During an interview on Power 106 last week, host Nick Cannon theorized that it was “only a matter of time” before the popular live music competition series tapped the EGOT winner to participate and suggested that Keys might make a worthy opponent. Legend said he was eager to battle with Keys given their mutual talent for tickling the ivories.
“I think that’d probably be the best thing. And honestly I think we would do it,” said the Grammy Award–winning singer, adding that they could even perform a “a dueling piano thing.”
Legend also expressed respect for the way the series has been able to highlight contributions of musicians who aren’t always able to get their fair share of the limelight.
“What I do love about the way [Verzuz] been going so far is we’re seeing producers and writers, more than just artists. Because the producers and writers, what’s so cool about it is, you didn’t maybe know they produced this song,” he said.
“For us—me and Alicia—you know it’s our songs because we are the front person for them,” Legend continued. “But for all of these producers like Teddy [Riley], and Babyface and all these other producers, you’re like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know they were behind that song…and that’s really part of the joy and the education of watching Verzuz, is you’re really learning music history.’ ”
Verzuz was created by superproducers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, Keys’s husband, in late March to provide entertainment people could enjoy from the comfort of their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then it has provided unforgettable moments, iconic memes and musical history lessons with battles including Babyface verzuz Teddy Riley and Lil Jon verzuz T Pain. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz just announced that Ludacris and Nelly will go head-to-head this weekend.