Early into the quarantine, realizing people at home were starving for entertainment, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz took to Instagram Live for a livestream beat battle that captivated hip-hop lovers from all over. That tussle would soon give way to Verzuz, a beat battle series that has included everyone Babyface and Teddy Riley, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, Ludacris and Nelly, and many more. After a short break, Verzuz has returned with an announcement for their next battle.
The latest one will address the Black Lives Matter protests currently taking place all over the country (and the world), with John Legend and Alicia Keys announced to take part in a duel meant to ring in the Juneteenth holiday. The battle had been rumored to be in the works for quite some time, as fans have called for the two to go head-to-head. Legend himself even requested a piano battle between him and Keys back in May, calling it “the best thing.”
News of the battle arrives as both artists are readying their latest albums. Legend will release his sixth LP Bigger Love on the same day of the battle. Meanwhile, Alicia Keys was slated to release her seventh record ALICIA last month, but delayed it due to the pandemic. Legend and Keys’ battle will also serve as the follow-up to Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond’s battle at the end of May.
You can watch John Legend and Alicia Keys face off on Fri., June 19, at 8pm EST / 5pm EST.