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Brandy & Monica’s Verzuz Battle: A Shared Moment for the [Black] Community

Two legends, Brandy and Monica, widely known for their 1998 collaboration, “The Boy Is Mine,” came together for a ‘Verzuz’ battle for the community. Nostalgia was the feeling of the night, going back to a time with Sony Walkmans, butterfly clips, and cubed television sets. The two managed to break many records and settle out some things, but most importantly provide the community with a sense of relief and a positive transition to the month of September.

Over some 20 years later, Brandy and Monica reunited for a Verzuz, a web series where many well-known artists face off in the realm of musical dominance. The battle occurred on August 31st, being promoted a week prior, as many fans looked forward to the impactful experience. Everyone was able to share their happiness during the event of the two collaborating and running down their music catalog.

Brandy’s classics consisted of, “When You Touch Me,” “Put it Down” featuring Chris Brown, “Best Friend,” and many more. Monica’s classics consisted of “So Gone,” Don’t Take It Personal,” and “Like This and Like That.” Everyone on the Verzuz live were vibing, as Black Twitter came together and expressed their joy in memes. One moment during the live show Brandy  readout of her journal in relation to her feelings about Chadwick Boseman, Gianna, and Kobe Bryant, and Nipsey Hustle, before dedicating it to her hit song “Missing You.” It gave viewers a sense of familiarity given that the show she starred in, “Moesha” would journal out loud as well, making some light out of the situation.

Vice President nominee, Kamala Harris joined in on the live virtual show and shared a message about the importance of using one’s voice during this election. Harris referred to both women as, “ queens, stars, and icons” upon joining the live virtual show. Kamala Harris stated, “As an extension of our voices, we are to vote.” A powerful message shared between all three Black women in the context of how vital our voices are, especially at a time like this. Kamala also shared that she was a fan of both artists’ work and how much she admired the both of them.

Both Brandy and Monica were able to settle some of their differences throughout the years and grew professionally and personally as women. It was a learning experience for both and viewers at home. Monica saying, “I really do admire what you’ve done musically and what you had to endure personally.” Adding on “You really are a student of the arts.” Brandy returned the gratitude by saying, “I really have the utmost love and respect for you as well.”

This was a moment the Black community needed in regards to feeling some relief between two artists that impact so many lives and childhoods throughout the decades. It was a moment of shedding old conflicts because we really do not know how long we have in this world, especially given that the world is experiencing a pandemic right now. We want to reimagine the possibility of civility and respect amongst all. Having the ability to live together in communities and collectively come together and vibing with songs is just one example that takes us back to a happier time. Something that we all need right now. The album b7  by Brandy is her newest work and is available on most streaming platforms as well as Monica’s new single, “Trenches,” which came out earlier this week.



Aquil Starks Jr

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