On Monday (Apr. 20), as promised, the rescheduled “Verzuz” battle between Babyface and Teddy Riley took place. The battle was originally scheduled for Saturday (Apr. 18), but there were technical difficulties on Riley’s end, as we previously reported.
Riley had previously sat out to perform live, which was unusual for the battle series that simply consists of songwriters and producers playing their hit singles song for song.
On Monday the two legends kept it simple playing track for track, although Riley’s keyboard and Babyface’s guitar both made guest appearances later on during the battle segment.
Here’s what we learned from the Babyface vs. Teddy Riley “Verzuz” battle.
- Less is more. When there isn’t fancy equipment involved there will be fewer technical issues.
- The rescheduled battle still had a few technical difficulties. However, the show was still able to go on.
- Babyface and Teddy Riley’s “Verzuz” rescheduled battle attracted over 400k viewers.
- The battle also attracted many celebrities, including Michelle Obama, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson, and Tamar Braxton.
- It’s almost impossible for two legends to play not even a fraction of their catalog within an hour.
- Both Babyface and Teddy Riley played their classics and biggest hits proving why they’re both legends.
- Babyface is a subtle shade thrower. “I didn’t know remixes counted in this,” Babyface said during the battle. “I thought you knew,” Riley replied. “That’s fine, I don’t do remixes anyway, but that’s fine,” Babyface said, throwing the most subtle shade ever.
- Teddy Riley likes to show out. After Instagram ended the Instagram Live session due to too many viewers on the server, Riley re-launched his Instagram Live and showed up in a new room, playing his keyboard while various fans alerted him that Babyface was attempting to join his live again. However, Riley continued to play and didn’t let Babyface re-enter, ultimately ending the battle.
- Babyface and Riley’s battle lasted for several hours, and technically they weren’t even finished.
- Both Babyface and Teddy Riley have a myriad of bangers they didn’t even have a chance to play.
- Toni Braxton was “jealous” when Babyface played “I’m Ready” for her but yet gave the track to Tevin Campbell. Ironically, Tevin Campbell wanted to sing “Another Sad Love Song,” but it was instead given to Toni Braxton (both artists stated this in the comment section).
- Hits including SWV’s “Right Here,” Toni Braxton’s “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” “Piece of My Love” by Guy, “Ready or Not” by After 7, “Superwoman” by Karyn White, “Jam” by Michael Jackson, “Count on Me” by Whitney Houston, and “No Diggity” by Blackstreet were played, among others.
Babyface & Teddy Riley Over the Years
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.