The Record Is Mine: Brandy and Monica Make Verzuz History With 1.2 Million Viewers on IG

Brandy Verzuz Monica
Brandy Verzuz Monica
Photo: Tonja Stidhum/Instagram

It happened, y’all. Brandy and Monica congregated at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta and went hit-for-hit in the highly popular nostalgic music event we now know as Verzuz. Miracles happen every day!

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If you missed it or you want to relive the highlights, I’m here with the recap. A lot happened so no need to further delay this. Let’s get to it.

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‘Before You Walk Out of My Life’...Let’s Get Political and Drop Some Merch

Prior to the jam session, the audience got treated to a surprise guest and that guest was none other than Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris! Knowing that the voting bloc of women would show up and show out at this particular Verzuz, Harris took advantage of the moment and reminded folks of the importance of voting in this presidential election.

Plus, like a true concert, there’s merch, which was also linked to the importance of voting. Multitasking!

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The merch is an exclusive partnership with experiential retail site NTWRK, benefitting Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote initiative. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward the organization, whose mission is to make voting more accessible during the pandemic.

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The two ladies also said a few words to honor the late Chadwick Boseman.

Things Got Awkward and Shady...and ‘I Put That on Everything’

I can’t lie, the energy was a bit bizarre at first. The tension was thicker than a cold pot of grits and at one point, I was begging them to open up the sponsored Ciroc bottles and take a shot so that they could loosen up.

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Things actually livened up a bit once folks started to realize the shade was coming from both sides. Whether it was the “is this new?” from Brandy (who fans lovingly call “The Vocal Bible”) every time Monica played a years-old song or the “We are not a group” from Monica (who fans lovingly call “Goonica”), the shade was all over the place. It’s messy, but it’s true.

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Hell, the long-awaited “Boy Is Mine” moment was tense, too. Either these two are the best actors ever and played up the drama that the viewers were expecting or...yikes.

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Also, is there a tour coming? Brandy seemed to think so, but Monica wasn’t so much on board...at least she gave no direct indication of agreeing to it.

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But don’t fret, the vibes actually turned out to be cool at the end of the day.

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‘Sittin’ Up in My Room,’ All Nostalgic

As we all know, the allure of Verzuz is centered around nostalgia. This night didn’t disappoint.

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Black Twitter was virtually hand-dancing with each other during the “I Wanna Be Down” remix and leaning into the “royyyyyoight” (instead of just saying, “right”) in Monica’s “Before You Walk Out of My Life.”

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And yes, we all collectively cried when the ladies dropped “Missing You” and “For You I Will” back-to-back. We’re already too far on the emotional edge for this, y’all! *sniffles*

Plus, the fun-facts sprinkled throughout were fascinating. Brandy fully embraced her adorable corniness when she told the story of how she met Tupac and awkwardly yelled “Westside!” right before dropping a snippet of Tupac referencing her (“Seventeen like Brandy you just wanna be down…”) in his song, “Me and My Girlfriend.”

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Imagine all of our collective faces when Monica said she was all of 12 years old when she recorded “Like This and Like That.” I’m sorry, what?! That voice came out of someone who had only lived for 12 years?!

‘Don’t Take It Personal’ Other Verzuz Events, but It’s Just One of Them (Record-Breaking) Days

Every time there’s a Verzuz, our eyes are typically watching that viewership counter to see just how packed the night will be—and well, Brandy and Monica’s was officially the hottest ticket in town. The Verzuz stream on Monday night topped at 1.2 million viewers on Instagram. And that’s not even counting the folks tuning in via Apple Music. Damn!

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‘Knock Knock’? Who’s There? Jokes and Fun Times, ‘Best Friend!’

Initial awkwardness aside, the jokes and fun vibes were top-tier. First of all, Ray J’s energy was unmatched, as viewers heard him routinely screaming in support of his sister. Hell, I was expecting him to ride out on a Scoot-E Bike wearing his Unbreakable Breakable Eyeglasses at the end.

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The hilarious commentary had me cry-laughing.

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Whether it was Brandy giving us Maya-Moesha energy with her “Dear Diary” poems or Monica’s “bewtpants” (like Miss Celie’s “folkspants” in The Color Purple!), there was no shortage of funny.

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Did y’all see the various analyses on the respective target demos for Monica music and Brandy music? *Chef’s Kiss*

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Overall, this was more fun because of y’all. Watching this event with Black Twitter’s live commentary is a whole experience and y’all made this a moment.

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As always, TIDAL came through with the official playlist, in case you want to reminisce about the reminiscing.

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And if you didn’t catch the happenings, you can watch the full event on IG or YouTube:

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‘Til next Verzuz! Let’s see if they can top this in terms of magnitude.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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DISCUSSION

This Versuz was like a conversation between an AKA & a Delta that didn’t get along during undergrad, hated each other and ran into each other at homecoming.