The Jill Scott Erykah Badu Battle was everything you would imagine. Erykah Badu and Jill Scott have been a part of important stages of my life. Jill Scott’s Vol. 1 was the first Valentine’s Day present I ever received from a girlfriend, my first R&B record, and my first record by a Black woman. Mama’s Gun kept me grounded when I studied abroad for the first time. I can’t count how many times I played Time’s A Wastin’ as I commuted and studied.
Jill Scott Erykah Badu Battle Video
Being in Asia, for most of my adult life, unfortunately I haven’t been as connected to the unique soulfulness, expression, and wisdom that only comes from Black women. Talking to my mother every week is often an oasis in a desert of metropolitan hustle and bustle. More than they know, sharing perspective and ideas with my female co-hosts on our podcasts is something I look forward to every time.
I have slept on most of the IG battles. I watched Premier vs. RZA on YouTube however. It was fun, but to be honest, I didn’t stay for the entire thing. However, when I heard about Erykah and Jill doing a show, I knew I had to be there.
When Jill went live, it felt like I had taken a portal to another place. Gospel and soul music were in the background as Black people commented in anticipation. As soon as Jill sat down and saluted with her glass of wine, I smiled with her. It was like seeing an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Her hair, skin, smile – her everything – was amazing.
As soon as Erykah joined, it only got better. The two legends exchanged love and affirmations to each other, and it was the most wholesome thing I’ve witnessed in a long time – and I teach kindergarten. Jill told Erykah that she was beautiful, and Badu replied with “Thank you. I feel beautiful”. As a man with depression and anxiety, I really struggle with that. But the queen did it effortlessly. It was truly inspiring to bask in her light.
Erykah declared that her first song would be “You Got Me” by The Roots. This puzzled me because it wasn’t a full length song by Badu – and Jill Scott wrote what she sang. Jill Scott even said that she was going to play it after her. That confused me further. This was a battle! The buzz around who was going to win was everywhere. Even Badu had Bruce Lee projected behind her!
However, after the two discussed the song, it hit me: this was not a real battle. The Jill Scott Erykah Badu Battle was just two old friends going through their favorite hits, the history around them, and what they meant to each other. Going through the comments, there was no competitive energy either. We were joined by a who’s who of celebrities from Rapsody to Michelle Obama to Syd to Nefessa Williams, and more. Everyone just wanted to forget the problems of the world, share love, and have a great time – and we did.
Hearing their classics lit up dusty parts of my brain. Jill said it best when she said “Some things hit you sometimes, like “Oooh”. The vibes and jewels of wisdom dropped by these legendary soul sisters hit me like a gatling gun.
Because of the time difference, I was fortunate to start my day with this experience. With it landing on a Sunday, this was like church service with one powerful sermon and hymn after another. I didn’t know that I needed this.
In praise of Badu’s concert performance, Jill said that when she leaves her shows, she smells different. When I logged off IG after the final goodbyes, I too felt different. I felt like I returned to a deeper sense of clarity and solidarity. In a devastating year that is sending the human race on an uncertain and terrifying path, Black history may look back on this moment more fondly than we are already are.
Thank you, Jill and Erykah. Thank you, Black women. The Jill Scott Erykah Badu Battle was absolutely amazing!
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