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Jill Scott says she’s excited for her Verzuz battle with Erykah Badu and humbled by fans’ response


Courtesy of Jill Scott

It’s safe to say neo-soul fans will be glued to their Instagram accounts on Saturday for the highly-anticipated Verzuz battle between Jill Scott and Erykah Badu. The two music stars, who are planning to “celebrate” each other during the battle, will be the first female acts to spar in the series.

Scott tells ABC Audio that when she was first pitched the opportunity by music producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, who created Verzuz, she was a little on the fence.

“My first response was, ‘Wait a minute.’ I didn’t want to battle,” she says. “That wasn’t something that I’m interested in.” 

“And she wasn’t really either,” Scott says, referring to Badu. “She’s like, ‘Let’s celebrate each other.’ And I thought, this is exactly what we should be doing, especially now. So, I got really excited, like, ‘Let’s do the damn thing.'”

The two talented singers, who won seven Grammys between them, have a long-standing relationship that includes touring together. According to Scott, this upcoming battle will honor their relationship.

“She’s an artist that I appreciate and respect so much,” Scott says. “It’s been 20 plus years for us. We’re still in the game. Still kicking.”

Still, Scott admits she does “feel pressure” to make sure it goes off without a hitch.

“I’m new to this. I still write on paper,” she jokes. “So, having interweb issues and sound things and all of that– it’s different for me.”

“But I’ve got help,” she promises, adding that a friend will assist her.

Technology aside, Jill says she’s extremely humbled by the overwhelming response to the battle.

“Just to have so many people appreciating what I do and respecting what I do. And for Erykah as well,” she says. “And for us to be together, like it’s just dope…It’s humbling.”

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