Ashanti & Keyshia Cole: Who Won the R&B Verzuz Battle?
On Thursday, Jan. 21, the legendary ladies went head-to-head showcasing their discography to an online audience. At its peak, over 1 million people were tuned in to the highly anticipated showing.
In December 2020, the music world celebrated as the popular webcast series Verzuz announced their next battle with the two singers. This performance marked the fourth time a battle took place with only women.
Just as fans hooked up their IG live and prepared to pull out their 2000s finest, Ashanti revealed that she had tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before the show. The second postponement was planned for Saturday, Jan. 9. However, with the rise of cases, the group decided to push the show to the 21st. Marketed as the first Verzuz of 2021, fans were conflicted on being either excited or over the event.
Starting on a rocky note, the livestream was scheduled for 5 pm PST but nearly started a whole hour after. After an awkward acknowledgment of each other’s tardiness, the two songstresses delivered a 20-round showdown. See the lineup and our version of the scorecard below.
Keyshia Cole: I Changed My Mind
Ashanti: Happy W
Keyshia Cole: I Should Have Cheated W
Ashanti: The Way That I Love You
Keyshia Cole: Enough of No Love (with Lil Wayne) W
Ashanti: Don’t Leave Me Alone
Keyshia Cole: Shoulda Let You Go (with Amin)
Ashanti: Rock Wit U W
Keyshia Cole: I Remember W
Ashanti Southside (with Loyd)
Keyshia Cole: Last Night W
Jennifer Lopez: Ain’t It Funny Remix (with Ja Rule & co-written by Ashanti)
Keyshia Cole: Playa Cardz Right (with Tupac Shakur)
Ashanti, T.I. & Tupac Shakur: Pac’s Life W
Keyshia Cole: Love W
Ashanti: Rain on Me
Keyshia Cole: Trust and Believe
Ashanti, Charli Baltimore, Ja Rule, Vita: Down 4 You W
Keyshia Cole: You’ve Changed
Ashanti: Runaway W
Keyshia Cole: Heaven Sent W
Ashanti: Only U W
Keyshia Cole: Brand New
Ashanti: What’s Luv? (with Fat Joe & Ja Rule) W
Keyshia Cole: Trust (with Monica)
Round 14: Featured Round
Fabolous: Into You (with Ashanti) W
Jaheim: I’ve Changed (with Keyshia Cole)
Ashanti: Girl in the Movies
Keyshia Cole: Give It Up 2 Me (with Sean Paul) W
Ashanti: Mesmerize (with Ja Rule)
Keyshia Cole: Let It Go (with Missy Elliott & Lil’ Kim) W
Ashanti: Foolish/Unfoolish W
Keyshia Cole: Never (with Eve)
Ashanti: The Way That I Love You TIE
Keyshia Cole: You Complete Me
Ashanti: Don’t Let Them W
Keyshia Cole: You (with Remy Ma & French Montana)
Ashanti: Always on Time (with Ja Rule) W
Keyshia Cole: I Don’t Wanna Be
11-9- 1, Ashanti
In true Libra fashion, both women showed up late, showed out and displayed their wide catalogs. While Keyshia Cole kept us entertained performing classic heartbreak tracks that would make our inner teenager sing loudly in the rain, Ashanti proved that her career had more range, hits and better collaborations.
Even though we award this battle’s prize to New York’s own, Ashanti, we have to acknowledge Keyshia for keeping her on her toes. Both women brought us back to our childhoods and were able to promote their new music. Overall, the audience were the real winners and we were FINALLY able to see these two women face off.
Who would you like to see battle next? Let us know below.
Autumn Simon is a music and cultural journalist based in Los Angeles, Ca. She graduated from the University of La Verne, where she studied journalism and social media marketing. Her work has been published on DoLA and UncoverLA. Her interest includes finding hidden gems in LA, discovering new artists, and attending live concerts and festivals. Her favorite artists include Kanye West, Ice Cube, Frank Ocean, and Smino- just to name a few!