Excitement was at an all-time high as Mother’s Day weekend arrived where two of the greatest girl groups meet to face off; SWV and Xscape. Similar in musical sound but different careers, the versus battle took place the day before Mother’s Day between SWV and Xscape with all original members participating in the battle that was hosted in Atlanta, Georgia. The highly anticipated Verzuz was announced 2 months prior, but speculation occurred when the lead singer of SWV, posted to her Instagram singing the Xscape song “Who Can I Run To” responding to singer Latocha Scott singing her cover of “Weak“.
The stage was set with surprises such as guest appearances from the Xscape side like them bringing Da Brat and Jermaine Dupri. Before the show started, for about 40 minutes there was an unofficial Verzuz battle between DJ Spinderella and DJ AOne entertaining fans with throwbacks and current hits until the two groups hit the stage.
The battle started with a few technical difficulties and audio issues but even that didn’t stop the show. About 400K people tuned in on various streaming services to watch the two groups battle hit after hit. Once the groups arrived at stage, Xscape decided to keep the energy in good spirits and began with a prayer. Heightening off the prayer, the ladies of Xscape started the battle with a Clark sister cover song from their debut album, Hummin’ Comin’ At Ya, “Is my living in vain”. In retaliation, SWV started with Coko’s 2006 gospel rendition of another Clark sisters song, endow me.
After the opening round, Xscape shifted the mood to a more grown & sexy side with feels so good, the first single off their second album Off the hook. SWV matched the energy and played “Can we” ft Missy Elliot from their 1997 album Release Some Tension.
There were also a lot of stories told from both sides about working in the studio with heavy stars in the music industry like Pharrell, the Neptunes, Mariah Carey, P. Diddy, Lil Kim, Jermaine Dupri and so many more.
Even some nostalgic moments when both groups realized they’re on the same soundtrack for above the rim. Fans also found out new musical facts like Coko’s singing background vocals in the song men in black theme song for the movie or Joe accompanying background vocals for Use your heart on SWV album New beginnings. As the stories were being told and the reminiscing began, the ladies started to get more comfortable and give a performance showing the vocal skills are still as soulful as they were on the 90s.
Coko (the lead singer of SWV) began to relax more after many viewers in a couple of minutes felt she seemed to be distant from her group and interaction from Xscape. Coko posted after that the Verzuz that it wasn’t an attitude, but she was traumatized from an unexpected disturbance. On her Instagram page, she posted a photo with a caption saying that something occurred as she was getting ready where someone was shot outside her hotel room window. The caption reads “Yeah y’all saw me looking uncomfortable & irritated during the first half but, if it wasn’t for my son @jayyemichael @ynottamiya & @mrljb I probably wouldn’t have been out there at all,” she continued. “Thank you for calming me down & understanding my mental. I love y’all to the fullest!! I always say most won’t care to understand but when you get those that do cherish them!!”
In the first half, Xscape played their chart-topping hits like just kicking it, keep on keeping on with MC Lyte, The Arms of the One Who Loves You, what’s up, am I dreaming.. The list goes on for the groups’ musical compositions.
Outside Xscape, Kandi Burruss decided to let the viewers know her pen game has gone beyond the group and she has written some groundbreaking 90s staple songs like Destiny child’s bill, bills, bills, or TLC no scrubs. She also reminds people about her rapping skills playing her collab with E-40 and T-Pain “U And Dat.”
Coko is known as the lead singer who went on when SWV Split up to have her successful career. One of her biggest hits was sunshine off of her 1999 album, Hot Coko. Coko has always mentioned this song was written for her oldest son, Lil Tracey. The highlight of the night was Coko performing that song with her youngest son Jalen who earlier had posted a video of him and his mother singing a duet piece entitled you’re always on my mind that originally was sung by SWV and Brian Alexander Morgan.
Though Verzuz is meant as a battle of a hit for hit, it’s more of a celebration of music. Spectacular performances were happening like Xscape singing tonight acapella or SWV singing a melodic version of rain. All 460k + viewers couldn’t wait to see SWV perform the platinum-certified the biggest hit of their career,weak. They started with the acoustic guitarist version showing off their tight harmonies and the unison of their smash hit. They then performed the song giving what seemed to be a traditional concert version rendition o with small two steps, crowd participation, and taking a bow towards the end of their round. Thinking it was over, Xscape turned around and performed understanding which seemed to be lackluster to fans but Kandis’s famous falsetto note became a memorable moment to cap the night of Verzuz TV.