Decades after dropping their hit collaboration “The Boy Is Mine,” R&B icons Brand and Monica have once again given the world something to talk about for another century with their August 31st Brandy v. Monica Verzuz battle.
The two stars both began their careers before they could even celebrate their sweet sixteens, and they can be credited for creating the blueprint many of our R&B faves follow today. It was no surprise when 1.2 million viewers, including celebs like Lenny Kravitz, Erykah Badu and Jhene Aiko, tuned into the record-breaking Instagram live battle that saw the music veterans play some of their greatest hits from their classic catalogues.
Twenty-five years after dropping their record-setting collaboration “The Boy Is Mine,” it is no secret the women have had a turbulent relationship, even getting into a physical altercation once in 1999. While Brandy admitted during the livestream the two have “so much to give” together, the songbirds revealed it had been eight years since they had been in a room together, triggering fans to wonder why. Without going into further detail, Monica did mention Missy Elliott was very adamant about getting the women in the same room. “She wanted us to see each other, like seriously. Everyday! For like three days! Every day!” Monica emphasized.
Surprised by the producer’s urgency to get the women together the “I Wanna Be Down” singer politely shaded Monica saying Missy was the “probably the reason” she agreed to the Verzuz. Laughing off the comment Monica did confess a lot of factors went into her partaking in the match.
“I wanted to speak to you face to face, the “So Gone” artist expressed. “I feel like the more we’re talked about the more it led it to be difficult, unnecessarily. I really do admire what you’ve done musically and what you have also had to endure personally, I don’t know all of it, but I know some of it. And then at the same time you are a real student of the arts, acting. Everything happening at once, being a mom and everything else, it’s the real deal so it was time for us to have the conversation that was had earlier. Period.”
Before letting the sweet moment pass Brandy also expressed her own sentiments. “I just need you to know I have the utmost love and respect for you as well,” she said. No matter the times where it seemed like I didn’t.” And it wouldn’t be the last time the ladies had a touching moment.
Putting their platform to good use the ladies sold merchandise for the face-off where 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to When We All Vote, Michelle Obama’s non-profit organization created to increase voter turnout. Taking it a step further, the women surprised their fans with Senator Kamala Harris. Repping her alma mater, Howard University, the 2020 Democratic vice-presidential nominee expressed her gratitude to the musicians and encouraged viewers to vote.
“I just wanted to thank you ladies, just you queens, you star, your icons,” Harris gushed. “Thank you for doing this for When We All Vote. It’s so important! You both have used your voice in a powerful way!” The VP nominee wasn’t the only politician to visit the live either. Former First Lady Michelle Obama stopped and also encouraged the audience to vote. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were also spotted commenting on the live.
After playing fans their 20 greatest songs, the women closed out the monumental Instagram battle, —created by producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland as a way to entertain fans during quarantine, —with their famous duet “The Boy Is Mine.” Taking many backs to nostalgic times the ladies gave the culture a much-needed break from the real world. Be sure to check out the lady’s full track-list below so you can decide for yourself which R&B Diva won the Verzuz crown.
Main Image: BBC