Verzuz Cheat Sheet: Teddy Riley x Babyface

Apple Music
Verzuz Cheat Sheet: Teddy Riley x Babyface

It’s the battle that almost didn’t happen. A few meme-inspiring technical difficulties initially postponed one of the Verzuz series’ earliest, most heavily anticipated linkups, forcing the world to wait an extra two days from the battle’s original date to watch new jack swing inventor Teddy Riley take on the author of some of the most gentle and heartfelt R&B in the modern Black music canon, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Though Edmonds would get the jump on Riley in terms of their recording careers, both Riley and Edmonds had turns dominating Black radio as artist and producer: Riley served as the engine behind Guy and Blackstreet in the late ’80s and early ’90s, while Edmonds played in several groups in the ’80s—most notably the Antonio “L.A.” Reid collaboration The Deele—before embarking on a fruitful solo career. They’ve got songs that sound nothing like something the other could have made and then a fair amount of overlap in collaborative resumes, each having worked with Michael Jackson, among others. It’s not unlikely that you could call out the most notorious hits either has worked on, but you’d do well to remind yourself just how far their influence has reached by checking out the official Teddy Riley x Babyface Cheat Sheet playlist, curated by Apple Music host Lowkey.

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