The latest “Verzuz” Instagram Live battle on Saturday between Ludacris and Nelly, like its predecessors, was highly anticipated by music fans — particularly those who came of age during the late 90s and early 2000s.
Unfortunately, the friendly music battle between the hip-hop veterans was marred by the unpredictability of the internet. Early into the battle, Nelly’s WiFi was apparently in need of a modem reset as his feed repeatedly went in and out of sound and visuals while over 300,000 people awkwardly watched.
Even Ludacris himself pointed out the obvious as Nelly did his best to keep the show going.
Though the St. Louis rapper was eventually able to resolve the technical difficulties, it didn’t take long before Black Twitter made Nelly the butt of countless jokes and memes. Many quickly compared Nelly’s internet woes to Teddy Riley‘s sound issues during his “Verzuz” battle with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.
Some even pointed out the irony that Riley had apparently been laughing at Nelly during his live stream mishap.
— Rodney No King (@Rodbez1) May 16, 2020
— Okay D-book!™ 💥 (@iitsdbook) May 16, 2020
This nigga nelly WiFi got him looking like he went back in time pic.twitter.com/N2pIBLgHmm
— DisMizzinthisbich (@DisMizz_) May 17, 2020
Others on Twitter pointed out that of the “Verzuz” battles so far, the only successful one without any technical issues was last week’s matchup between Erykah Badu and Jill Scott — proving that women truly do it better.
“Everybody had technical difficulties in [their] verzuz but Erykah and Jill Scott. They [were] vibrating on a higher frequency u boys need to get ya chakras right. Nelly and Ludacris need some sage,” said Twitter user @iamphilhunt.
“No live battle was as calm and beautiful as Jill Scott’s & Erykah Badu’s. See why women are better,” someone else tweeted.
Everybody had technical difficulties in they verzuz but Erykah and Jill Scott. They was vibrating on a higher frequency u boys need to get ya chakras right. Nelly and Ludacris need some sage. pic.twitter.com/dfZXZwys2C
— TigerHoods (@iamphilhunt) May 16, 2020
“Erykah Badu and Jill Scott had more than double the viewers (in comparison to Luda and Nelly) on their Verzuz WITH over 1 billion impressions,” wrote Twitter user @WannasWorld. “Numbers aside, the energy was great, the storytelling was refreshing and all ego was left at the door. More women battling please.”
“Jill Scott & Erykah Badu had a verzuz without fail ….black women make everything better lol,” tweeted @askashleyp.
Thankfully, Nelly was able to resolve his WiFi issues and he and Ludacris went on to give music lovers the trip down memory lane they were hoping for, playing hits like Ludacris’ “What’s Your Fantasy” and “Southern Hospitality” to Nelly’s “Country Grammar” and “Hot In Herre.”
Naturally, the rappers’ musical catalog could not be complete without their collaborations with some of music’s leading ladies including Janet Jackson (“Call on Me”), Kelly Rowland (“Dilemma”), Mary J. Blige (“Runaway Love”), Ciara (“Oh”), Missy Elliott (One Minute Man), Nicki Minaj (“My Chick Bad”).
NELLY & KELLY! “Dilemma was a HIT!!!!🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/qBvj5538O9
— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) May 17, 2020
What’s more, some took to Twitter to acknowledge Ludacris and Nelly’s contributions to music that, in addition to collaborating with some of the best women in music to date, they also celebrated Black women and their many shades and shapes of beauty in their songs.
@Nelly_Mo and @Ludacris showing love and respect to black women and our natural beauty and curves after we experienced Goddesses@JillScottJS8 and @fatbellybella is pure Magic!! Black Woman are phenomenal. Black Men are phenomenal!No matter what Black People winning regardless
— Moving The Mountains (@MovingTheMtns) May 17, 2020