Teddy Riley and Babyface set an IG Live record. Then their music battle was postponed, again
More than 400,000 viewers tuned in to the legendary music battle Saturday night, but the record-breaking audience heard more silence than songs
One of the bright spots during the coronavirus quarantine has been the “Verzuz” music battles on Instagram Live.
When Teddy Riley announced he would go song for song with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, anticipation was high, but, sadly, fans will have to keep waiting.
This proved disappointing since the battle generated a record-breaking viewership on the social media app.
The legendary producers were scheduled to share the digital stage Saturday night and spin hits in their discographies. More than 400,000 viewers tuned in to the session, however, they heard more silence than melodies. The recording artists played just a handful of songs as the event was marred by technical difficulties on Riley’s end, CNN reported. There was too much audio feedback, causing echoes and muffled sounds from his feed.
Scheduled to start at 9 p.m. EST, the two went offline to rectify the situation, telling fans to tune back in at 10:30 p.m. Unfortunately, shortly after 10:30 p.m., Babyface posted a video stating that they chose to postpone the IG battle for another time. A new date is to be determined.
“I think that it’s only right that we postpone this thing and do it at a time when there aren’t any technical difficulties and everybody can hear the music the way it needs to be heard,” Babyface, an 11-time Grammy winner, said in an Instagram video.
Before things shut down, Riley played Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show,” Guy’s “Groove Me,” and Hi-Five’s “I Like The Way (The Kissing).” Babyface played The Deele’s “Two Occasions,” and two Bobby Brown hits “Don’t Be Cruel,” and “Every Little Step.”
This will be the second time this IG battle has been postponed after it was initially penciled in for April 5th. It was later revealed that Babyface had tested positive for coronavirus and was still recovering at the time.
Many followers channeled their disappointment with funny commentary on social media, which spilled over into the following day.
Grammy-nominated singer Tamar Braxton was among them.
LMFAO @ Tamar talking about Teddy Riley and Babyface’s battle djxjxjjzjxjx pic.twitter.com/S0r2kDj4hD
— LC (@KrishaaMariah) April 19, 2020
Some fans joked about Riley and Edmonds’ age, 52 and 62 respectively, being a factor in challenges to troubleshoot the technical difficulties.
Teddy and Babyface telling their side of the battle pic.twitter.com/YOFYQyymus
— Kar (@karlogan_) April 19, 2020
Others poked fun at Riley for having multiple people with him during the event:
HES THE REASON WHY THE AUDIO DONT WORK. I BET MONEY 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/rv0xIRfsU4
— moe✨ (@priM0E) April 19, 2020
Being that technical issues on Riley’s end marred the event for an hour, one Twitter user tried to channel Babyface’s thoughts following the whole ordeal after Riley’s campaign suggested taking a 30-minute intermission to fix the issues.
"Yall, just sign back on in 30 minutes"
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 19, 2020
Verzuz was created by music producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. Over the past month, they’ve curated eight live IG beat battles, including one that pit the two producers against one another, Ne-Yo against Johnta Austin, T-Pain vs. Lil Jon and RZA vs. DJ Premier.
The battle between Babyface and Riley, two fixtures in the R&B and new jack swing genres, is expected to be full of mega-hits from the 1980s and 1990s.