While the country is at civil unrest due to the current social climate, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are back with their next #Verzuz Battle series, this time it’s a battle of the keys.
“Let’s celebrate Juneteenth with a special edition #Verzuz! @AliciaKeys vs @JohnLegend on the [piano keys].”
While the matchup itself seemed like a match made in Heaven, many fans were questioning the timing of the soulful showdown noting that this year’s Juneteenth needed to go just a little harder.
While some fans had reservations about the timing, other fans shared their excitement offering up words of wisdom and tech support for the upcoming battle, to which Alicia Keys assured fans she’s technically ready.
John Legend‘s participation announcement came shortly after he took to Twitter to announce the release of his upcoming album, Bigger Love, set to drop on the same day.
“This project has been a labor of love for me, something I’ve spent over a year conceiving and creating. I poured my heart and soul into these songs and collaborated with some incredibly gifted co-writers, producers, and musicians,” John Legend tweeted. “The songs are inspired by the loves of my life: my wife, my family, and the rich tradition of black music that has made me the artist I am. All of these songs were created prior to the world being rocked by a pandemic, prior to the latest police killings in the U.S. that sent so many to the streets in protest. During these painful times, some of us may wonder if it’s ok to laugh or dance or be romantic.”
In regards to those questioning why he would drop an R&B album during a time when the world is facing a pandemic and fighting for social justice, John Legend adds that it’s important to take a mental health break from all of the negative and troublesome images to stay healthy mentally.
“Lately, the images of black people in the media have been showing us with knees on our necks, in mourning, or expressing our collective outrage. We feel all those emotions,” John Legend continued. “But It’s important for us to continue to show the world the fullness of what it is to be black & human. Through our art, we are able to do that. This album is a celebration of love, joy, sensuality, hope, & resilience, the things that make our culture so beautiful & influential. I’m under no illusion that music can save the world or solve the world’s problems, but I’ve always turned to music to help me through tough times and I know many of you have done the same. That’s why I couldn’t wait to release this album to the world. I debuted in 2004 with an album called Get Lifted. And now, as we enter the summer of 2020, I hope this new album can get you lifted again, fill your hearts with love and inspiration, give you something to dance to, something to hold hands to, something to make love to. A week from today, on June 19, I invite you to experience a #BiggerLove.”
All in all given the catalogs of the two powerhouses, even in the midst of jokes Black Twitter had to give the two artists their flowers for their musical contributions and talent.
Check out a few of Black Twitter’s jokes below and catch the special Juneteenth edition of #Verzuz on Friday, June 19 at 8PM EST.