“Verzuz,” the popular musical competition created by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, shocked R&B fans everywhere on Tuesday, June 29, after announcing on the brand’s Instagram page that Keith Sweat and Bobby Brown would be the following line-up of artists set to take the stage. This initial announcement comes after rappers Soulja Boy and Bow Wow battled it out on the Instagram live streaming event this past weekend.
Sweat and Brown’s night of celebration is slated to air on July 1 in New Orleans as part of the Essence Festival of Culture. The official announcement from “Verzuz” read, with both singers gracing the cover of Essence magazine, “SURPRISE CELEBRATION!! See y’all THURSDAY!! @KeithSweat vs @KingBobbyBrown.We’re honored to partner with ESSENCE to bring you this special #VERZUZ THURSDAY, July 1st, 5PM PT / 8PM ET.”
Upon the “Verzuz” line-up revelation, a handful of fans expressed their excitement for this match-up while others couldn’t understand it. One Instagram user even suggested that Sweat would have been a better match-up with R. Kelly.
“New Jack era music is phenomenal! These two are legends! Grown folk music!! I can’t wait ❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
“Totally here for this! Keith’s whining and Bobby’s grinding! Yasssssss 🔥.”
“Now this is the type Verzuz I wanna see.”
“THIS IS NOT A MATCH.”
“No this is not a good match up it should be Keith sweat and R. Kelly.”
While Instagram users expressed their reactions to the news, a couple of people questioned why “Verzuz” waited two days before the competition to announce what they considered a huge line-up. One wrote, “👀👀👀👀 Y’all wrong for this!! You cannot tell people this two days away from a performance with two legends like Bobby Brown & Keith!! Smh 🤦🏽♀️!! What happened to a week or two notice!! I’ll be there!! 🙌🙌🙌.” Another said, “They deserve more than 2 days of advertisement.”
Despite the debacle surrounding Brown and Sweat’s match-up, both artists share a similar musical history. Both men had massive careers in the 1980s and 1990s. They were also once members of a group. Brown was a founding member of New Edition from the late 1970s till his departure in 1986 to pursue a solo career. Brown was ultimately replaced by Johnny Gill in 1987. Sweat was a part of the group LSG in 1997 alongside Gill and Gerald Levert until 2003.
Brown and Sweat’s “Verzuz” battle is scheduled for Thursday, July 1, at 8 p.m. EST on the respective Instagram accounts for “Verzuz” and Essence.