I am sitting on my bed with my legs crossed in front of my laptop and my cell phone tuned into the magnificent Verzuz with Erykah Badu and Jill Scott on Instagram Live. Jill started us on the journey with the words from Niki Giovani. Badu was sporting black and white Bruce Lee clips projected as her background.
I know this was marketed as a “battle.” However, in my humble opinion, this was not a battle. This was not a competition. This was far from a contest. This was two well-respected veterans in the music industry, coming together sharing their artistry. Sharing great conversation as good girlfriends do. Exchanging good vibes and good spirits. Giving compliments and love to each other and their fans (we, the family).
For me, it was needed. In the midst of the current pandemic life, atmosphere, and land, it can be and feel so heavy. It can feel like the weight of the world sitting on our shoulders collectively doing our best to keep it all lifted. Even when others are not doing their part. Especially when others aren’t doing their part, someone must pick up the slack.
So, while those are out protesting with signs stating they need a haircut, I would rather be home self-quarantining, breathing, protecting, creating, resting, teaching, and loving. Then something comes along like D-nice IG parties, live concerts, and interviews on social media platforms and now we have the sisterhood of Jill and Badu.
At its peak, 719 thousand people tuned in to join these lovely creatives have a good time. It was nice to bear witness to it all. It was like we were all peaking in to see our aunties, or in my case, titi’s have a lady’s night. What a privilege to be a part of.
Of course, there were some naysayers that I came across who posted they thought Jill and Badu were being too “nice” and even dared use the term boring. I don’t know what that means “too nice,” but I don’t share their sentiment. At one-point Jill read a “too nice” comment and Badu came to her defense. And when Ms. Badu’s phone died and dropped off the live, Ms. Jill stepped in singing her song, found “Tyrone” and played it for her.
These are the actions of a lady. It was important to experience. It was important for the family to see. Maybe some of us needed a reminder of what such an interaction should look like.
I love the love between them. It was nice to see two black women come together and just be free to do whatever positive beings want to be and wanted to do. It was beautiful to see two women be “nice” to each other. Nothing catty. Nothing petty. Nothing shady. Yet, all true and all genuine. We deal with the messiness enough. Tonight, we were given a pause from it all.
As I close this writing piece, I am reminded of the time we are in. I can see the lights of a silent ambulance parked across the street. It is an occurrence that happens far too often in my New York City neighborhood and so many other neighborhoods across the globe. Several times a week, the emergency vehicles drive silently, park, then pulls off into the lonely streets. With another ill person. Leaving the bright flashing lights to grow dim.
“I am proud of you black woman” Jill to Badu.
“I am proud of you too, Ms. Light Skinned black woman.” Badu to Jill.
I hope for you sake and sanity you were able to experience the light that shined between the two. I know some will harp on what songs were played and which songs were better than the other.
Before the “battle” ended there was already Verzuz playlist ready to be streamed. I personally don’t care either way. The whole night was a vibe. A good vibe. A sweet vibe. At times, it was sentimental. This is all I have to say about this. “The culture wins…”