Verzuz Cheat Sheet: Ashanti x Keyshia Cole
On Thursday, January 21, the Verzuz battle series—which you can watch right here on Apple Music—hosts a pair of women who have contributed as much as anyone to the canon of modern-day R&B. Ashanti and Keyshia Cole are superstars with catalogs that have chronicled just about every phase of romantic relationships—the ups, the downs, all the messiness in between. Within their respective catalogs are also an exorbitant number of songs that have compelled fans to test the very limits of their own singing ability. Sound crazy? The next time you’re all alone, throw on Keyshia Cole’s “Love” and see if you don’t end up hitting those vocal runs like you’re auditioning for American Idol. Not interested in revisiting the kind of pain Keyshia channeled for songs like “I Remember” or “I Should’ve Cheated”? Maybe try Ashanti’s “Foolish,” “Happy,” or even “Rock Wit U (Awww Baby).” Or maybe one of the many classic duets she laid down with her Murder Inc Records cohort Ja Rule. Indeed, Ashanti served as a chorus specialist for a period, helping to secure chart-toppers for MCs like Fat Joe (“What’s Luv?”), Fabolous (“Into You”), and Charli Baltimore (“Down 4 U”). Keyshia, too, knew how to hold down a hip-hop vibe, most notably on her own timeless party anthem “Let It Go” (with Missy and Lil’ Kim) and also Diddy’s “Last Night.” Over the course of careers that span the past two decades, both Keyshia and Ashanti have sewn their names into the fabric of contemporary R&B. Watch them go off on January 21 in the manner of their 2012 duet—“Woman to Woman”—and get reacquainted with their hits on the official Ashanti x Keyshia Cole playlist, curated by Apple Music host Lowkey.