Verzuz Cheat Sheet: Kirk Franklin x Fred Hammond
Over the course of the dozen or so Verzuz battles that preceded one referred to as The Healing, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s acclaimed livestream events have evolved from competitive song-for-song showdowns to good-natured celebrations between accomplished peers. With the introduction of a gospel-focused event featuring Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin (and opening words by Bishop T.D. Jakes), the importance of what was already a perfect escapist experience increases tenfold. Calling it The Healing—appropriately taking place on a Sunday instead of the events’ usual Saturday—hints at an aim by Hammond and Franklin to ease the pain and anxiety many are feeling right now, with escalating protests over the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, all happening in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The music of the two legends has long traveled far beyond the church services it was made for, but the as-yet-unfamiliar can get a sampling of two of gospel’s richest catalogs with the Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin Cheat Sheet playlist, curated by Apple Music host Lowkey.