If you’re anything like us, you’re glued to the internet to your much-anticipated VERZUZ party between R&B legends Brandy and Monica.
At one corner, you have The Vocal Bible Brandy, that started her powerful music career in 1994 with her self-titled debut record. As a focused young woman using a relatable voice, her eponymous LP turned into a relevant soundtrack for the everyday issues that were affecting other girls her age.
All it took was a staggering 1.2 million viewers on Instagram alone throughout Brandy and Monica’s Verzuz struggle Monday night (Aug. 31) to remind the world how next-level their individual catalogs are.
In tonight’s conflict between Brandy and Monica, a surprise guest appeared: Kamala Harris. (Her running mate Joe Biden also looked, in the conversation, with a clapping emoji.) Brandy and Monica’s Verzuz had profits visiting Michelle Obama’s non-profit When We All Vote, which Harris thanked them for encouraging. “It’s so important, our voice is our vote, correct?” Harris said, before adding:”I am just such a huge fan of both of you… I will be singing and dancing all night with you “
After being pitted against each other for at least two decades following their classic 1998 duet”The Boy Is Mine,” the reverence shared between two of contemporary R&B’s most renowned stars proved to be a joy to see. Not only were lovers able to watch the singers celebrate each other’s successes — just under a few moments of slightly unavoidable tension — but they also received a message from Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who called in with a live video message for the two stars, thanking them for their contributions to the civilization and using the platform to encourage voters to hit the polls this upcoming November.
Kamala Harris Crashes Brandy & Monica’s’Verzuz’ Battle:’You Queens, You Stars!’
Not Kamala (and Biden in the chat) showing up for Verzuz between Monica and Brandy ? pic.twitter.com/KJ8DRb1wRS— bishop ? (@imightbestoopid) September 1, 2020
Following Harris spoke, the battle has been underway, providing a dazzling 20-round exhibition of Black Girl Magic. See Billboard’s official scorecard for your record-setting occasion below. vs. Monica’s “Everything to Me”
Brandy walks off the R&B jam fest with her Darkchild-produced 2002 Full Moon banger”What About Us?” In return, Monica serves an equally unshakable listing in her 2010 ballad”Everything to Me” Monica’s resounding vocals shake the room but are not sufficient to clinch the opening around.
Round 2: Brandy’s”He’s” vs. Monica’s”A Dozen Roses”
Dubbed a”fan favorite,” Brandy slows down the tempo after her fiery entrance with her spellbinding deep cut from Full Moon. She ruminates about how her 2002 effort did not pack as many singles as she might’ve liked, but unearths a dazzling cut . Monica effusively praises Brandy for her”unmatched” tone, before getting back into the match her dulcet track”A Dozen Roses.” Together with Missy in tow, Monica proves why she and the hip-hop luminary were such a great tandem in the 2000s.
Brandy won’t hit tug on her Full Moon record and opts to play with its savory single with its title-track single. Swaying back and forth, both Brandy and Monica dance in unison into the instantaneous classic. ‘Full Moon’ is indeed serious,” gushes Monica following the song’s end. Mo issues an impressive comeback with her 2000s scorcher”So yeah,” which she reveals found her at a crossroads in her life . “I’m done kicking in doors,” she quips.
Round 4: Brandy’s”I Wanna Be Down” vs. Monica’s”Don’t Take It Personal”
Debut single showdown. Lately, Brandy recalls first meeting Tupac in the’90s and loops at a soundbite in the rapper’s 1996 tune”Me & My Girlfriend,” that name-dropped her 1994 single, to kick this off round — and dips into the star-studded”Down” remix before handing over the controls. Monica storms back with her swaggering 1995 opener”Do not Take It Personal,” but we have to applaud Brandy to your sweet presentation with this one.
Brandy is officially in her element. Sprinkling a bevy of ad-libs during the performance of her 1994 single”Baby,” Brandy keeps us engaged with her entrancing falsettos. Meanwhile Monica powers her way through a crowd-pleasing rendition of”Like That and This,” that she says she listed at 12.
Brandy & Monica’Verzuz’ Merch Has Arrived, With Proceeds Going to Michelle Obama’s When We Vote
Dating back to her 1998 sophomore effort Never Say Never, Brandy reflects sampling Joe for the criminally underrated track”Angel in Disguise,” before delving into her decision to remain unmarried. Monica matches Brandy’s heartbreak using all the depression”U Should’ve Known Better,” and sings a cappella to generate the tearful anthem that much stronger for R&B purists.
Brandy’s showmanship proceeds to shine during this matchup early on. She pays homage to fallen figures in the Black community such as Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston before playing with the loaded Set It Off soundtrack cut”Missing You,” recorded alongside Chaka Khan, Tamia and Gladys Knight. Monica also reveals love to the Bryant family by speaking on how”For You I Will” stays an insatiable song for Kobe’s wife Vanessa. “That song I was just 17, and that was for Space Jam,” says Monica. “Films and soundtracks just hit different back then.”
Round 8: Brandy’s “Almost Doesn’t Count” vs. Monica’s “Why I Love You So Much”
Journeying back to Never Say Never, Brandy recounts the strain of love before earning applause from Monica to get”Almost Doesn’t Count” Monica skillfully keeps the train of adoration working with”Why I Love You So Much,” before receiving a sea of”Ayes” because of her sonorous vocals at the album’s tail-end.
Round 9: Brandy’s “Brokenhearted” vs. Monica’s “Love All Over Me”
After knowing that they reached an unfathomable 1.2 million viewpoints in their matchup, Brandy chooses to have a petition from her opponent. The result turns out to be golden, as she plays with the inevitable 1994 jam”Brokenhearted” featuring Wanya Morris. The’90s break-up anthem immediately has the remark segment in shambles. “Clouds don’t remain, and the sun always shines ,” says the positive Monica, before introducing her delirious 2010 cut”Love All Over Me.” Sorry Mo, heartbreak wins this round.
Round 10: Monica feat. Rick Ross & Lil Kim’s”Anything (To Find You)” vs. Brandy feat.
Following a short intermission and an order reversal, Monica emerges with the bombastic club starter”Anything (To Find You), that faked Biggie’s”Who Shot Ya.” Brandy attracts the heavy artillery, touting the’90s bop”Top of the World.” Ma$e’s silky opener is still a showstopper whatever the decade. What a way to begin the second half.
Round 11: Monica feat.
Acknowledging her abrasive manners, Monica possesses her past missteps about the 2008 record”Still Standing” with Ludacris. “To place him with this song, he really got it,” Monica says of her cousin, who penned a poignant verse. On her attempt, Brandy fast forwards to her brand new record B7, and speaks on her personal connection with a few of the set’s highlights,”Borderline.” Unfortunately, might be too premature to dish out the newest documents.
Round 12: Monica’s “Commitment” vs. Brandy feat. Daniel Caesar’s “Love Again”
Monica touches about the need to move independent, and the way that liberating experience carved her out 2019 single”Commitment,” which soared to No. 1 on the Billboard’s Adult Songs Airplay chart. To counteract Monica’s effort, Brandy revs up her Grammy-nominated duet”Love Again” with R&B crooner Daniel Caesar, and dashes across the end line this round. Monica’s “Slow Jam” vs. Brandy feat. Usher’s”Put It Down”
Monica moonwalks back into the’90s with a distinctive cheat code by unwrapping her”Slow Jam” collaboration with Usher. “Our voices turn into one,” reflects Monica. “He’s the consummate professional.” Brandy’s slinky CB collab sounds great but has a difficult time burying Usher and Mo this round.
Round 14: Monica’s “The First Night”vs. Brandy’s “Who Is She 2 U”
Remaining in her’90s pocket, Monica unleashes her Jermaine Dupri-produced album”The First Night” because she shuns the idea of being sensual from the beginning. Brandy leaps back together with momentum by reeling in Verzuz co-founder Timbaland for the syrupy Afrodisiac single”Who Is She 2 U.”
Round 15: Monica’s “Knock Knock” vs. Brandy’s “Best Friend “
Monica and Missy strike again with another magical heater in After the Storm’s”Knock Knock,” solidifying their presence among R&B’s top tandem. Brandy’s debut album comes back into the fold with”Best Friend,” before immediately blending within her theme song for her’90s sitcom Moesha. Sadly, we only get a five-second teaser of this classic theme, because Brandy did not want to get sued for playing the song in full.
Round 16: Monica”Before You Walk Out Of My Life” vs. Brandy’s”Sitting In My Room”
It is all about the shoes that are white. Monica breaks down the videos taken in Los Angeles when pressing “Before You Walk Out of My Life” from Ms. Thang — a song she deems as”among her favorites to sing to the day.” Brandy’s narrative of”Sitting Up in My Room” speaks to linking up with one of her favorites in Babyface (plus a Verzuz alum) for the first time, while boasting about an on-record shout-out, this time from Biggie via Life After Death’s”Another.” Great bend by Brandy.
Round 17: Monica feat. Dem Franchize Boyz’s “Everytime Tha Beat Drop” vs. Brandy feat. Kanye West’s “Talk About Love”
Monica requires a visit to the A-Town in Round 17 with another Jermaine Dupri-produced hit. The street symphony showcases Mo’s flexibility after coming with a solid showing of ballads during the battle. Before diving right into her album, Brandy sings Sam Cooke’s”A Change Is Gont Come” to speak to the significance of voting and staying positive during this dark time. Her impromptu solo plus her Kanye-featuring record gives her the stage .
Brandy Vs. Monica: Before The Verzuz Battle, Assess Their Chart Battle
Round 18: Monica’s “Sideline Ho” vs. Brandy’s “Put That on Everything”
Channeling her inner City Girl, Monica peels back into her 2007 single”Sideline Ho” and axes the thought of enjoying the second option in relationships. Monica edges Brandy’s Never Say Never track by peppering the ad-libs with the term”ho” and providing comical banter throughout.
Round 19: Brandy’s”When You Touch Me” vs. Keyshia Cole’s”Trust” containing Monica
“Them harmonies in there were crazy,” says Brandy while listening to Keyshia and Monica’s duet. The Moesha singer revisits Full Moon to cradle fans with her baby-making album”When You Touch Me” which elicits a slew of”Yasssss” responses. The fans have spoken.
Round 20: Monica accomplishment. Lil Wayne’s”Just Right For Me” vs. Brandy’s”Have You Ever”
Do not think Monica was attentive to the tune count here, rescuing her 1999 Hot 100 No. 1 hit”Angel of Mine” for just after the 20-song buzzer sounded. Rather, Brandy gets the bucket here with a chart-topping’99 ballad of her very own.
Greatest”Boy Is Mine” Performance: Brandy
The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Interestingly enough, Monica does not seem excited to perform along with her counterpart, but the tune’s magnitude and moment is sufficient to overlook this moment. They hugged it out at the end and mimicked an upcoming tour too!
Greatest Banter: Tie
Both girls were outfitted with jokes and stingers throughout the evening. It ended up being a blessing to see them exchange stories about their come-ups from the’90s and compliments one another’s catalog.
Biggest K.O.: Brandy
Unaware of the moment, Brandy slipped in a wonderful K.O. at the final buzzer with”Have You Ever,” and Monica opting to proceed with”Just Right For Me” versus her classic record”Angel of Mine.”
People’s Champ: Tie
By Brandy earning Kamala Harris to Monica pulling the harmonies on”Sideline Ho,” this hall-of-fame twosome deserved the unbelievable 1.2 million IG views they got tonight.
FINAL SCORE: Brandy, 12-7-5
She and Brandy shut out the three-hour occasion with”The Boy Is Mine” before hugging and walking off together.
Meanwhile, over two decades after”The Boy Is Mine,” actor Mekhi Phifer reprised his role as”the boy” from the song’s video, to get a teaser for the Verzuz battle. He also reflected on his part in the movie in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, noting there was”some stress” on place.
“I think Brandy and her camp were used to having all of the focus on her, in some respects,” he explained. “At this time, Brandy had played Moesha and had hit singles and had released an album. And Monica was up-and-coming and doing her thing. So, there might have been some anxiety there however I didn’t see it there before a bit later.”
Monica recently told ET that she hoped the Verzuz battle would lay to rest ongoing talk of play between the group, who collaborated on 2012 song,”It Belongs to Me”
“We’ve long removed ourselves from the dramatics of this, but we are gont possess a very in-depth conversation that could be shared with the crowd because there’s a lot that occurs — that the fans don’t have any idea what really took place, what really led to the initial rust,” she explained.