The “Untitled” singer made history Saturday, February 27 as the only artist to take Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s popular battle series and flip it into an intimate jam session. Taking place at the historic Apollo Theater, D’Angelo performed R&B ballads including his cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin'”, “Lady”, and “Me and Those Dreamin’ Eyes of Mine.”
Outfitted in a black mink coat (because why not?) and a hat, D’Angelo indeed did bring out some “friends.” Method Man and Redman joined D’Angelo to perform“Left & Right” and “Break Ups 2 Make Ups” and sultry songstress H.E.R. joined him to perform “Best Part” and Lauryn Hill’s “Nothing Even Matters.”
As expected and highly anticipated, D’Angelo closed out his set with his drawls drenching classic; “Untitled (How Does It Feel).”
If you were confused as to why the singer’s Verzuz wasn’t a battle like the rest, Swizz Beatz hopped on Instagram Live Saturday to explain. According to him, D’Angelo was actually scheduled to battle Maxwell ON VALENTINE’S DAY which would’ve been an epic and egregiously panty-melting moment.
Maxwell apparently couldn’t make it but D’Angelo was still down; hence his solo Verzuz set.
“That didn’t work out…the fact that D’Angelo was still ready to go…and motivated, we had to celebrate him…no matter who was on stage with him,” explained Swizz. “We had to celebrate that king because, as you can see, those songs that he played tonight, man, that’s real music and this is celebrational stage…and we couldn’t play around with him. We had to let him get his garden because he showed up and showed out.”
Swizz also praised D’Angelo’s professionalism noting that the “Brown Sugar” singer showed up THREE HOURS early for his show that included a warmup with DJ Scratch.
“That man pulled up to Verzuz three hours early. D’Angelo was the earliest in Verzuz history tonight. So, don’t get him showing up at the time he did (an hour after the show was scheduled to start) mixed up with the pre-show, which was by DJ Scratch.”
In case you missed it, check out D’Angelo’s solo “Verzuz & Friends” below. See some reactions to the soulful night HERE.