Instagram Live battle between Babyface, Teddy Riley postponed after sound, technical issues
teddy riley instagram
NEW YORK (AP) — The much-hyped battle between Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Teddy Riley was derailed by audio issues, forcing the R&B producers to postpone the Instagram Live event.
More than 400,000 tuned in Saturday night to watch the livestream with Riley and Edmonds. But sound and technical issues plagued the friendly competition. Riley appeared to prepare more for a concert, with a set-up that led to echoing and playback.
The battle had already been postponed from April 12 after Edmonds was diagnosed with COVID-19. The Grammy-winning singer and producer, said last week he and his family — who also tested positive —were recovering.
After about an hour of troubleshooting Saturday, the 61-year-old singer said they would try again another time.
“I think that it’s only right that we postpone this thing until another time when there aren’t any technical difficulties, and everybody can hear the music the way it needs to be heard,” said Edmonds.
The technical struggles of two legendary producers with a stripped-down Instagram performance spawned widespread mockery and disappointment on social media, including from other quarantined musicians who had tuned in.
“Come on it’s 2020 we ain’t meant to get what we want,” Adele commented.
The digital battle was part of a series dubbed “Verzuz” organized by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. The Edmonds-Riley showdown was the most watched battle thus far, following matchups between the-Dream and Sean Garrett, Ne-Yo and Austin, Scott Storch and Mannie Fresh, and T-Pain and Lil Jon.
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Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and Teddy Riley return for Instagram Live rematch after mishaps
Without further ado: Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Teddy Riley’s Instagram Live battle.
After the R&B producers’ first attempt at their much-hyped battle was derailed by audio issues over the weekend, Edmonds and Riley didn’t miss a beat during their rematch Monday.
More than 500,000 people tuned in to watch the legendary producers’ head-to-head battle of their extensive discographies, including the hits “My, My, My” by Johnny Gill (produced by Babyface) and Guy’s “Let’s Chill” (produced by Riley).
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Despite the friendly competition, the producers were complimentary of one another.
“You are the king. You brought New Jack Swing to us all. You brought a movement,” Edmonds told Riley, who is credited with the creation of the fusion genre in the ’80s and ’90s. “I’m honored to be in here with you, man.”
“You inspired me,” Riley replied. Edmonds said they “keep each other on our toes.”
The scales appeared to lean in Edmonds’ favor when he performed a live acoustic version of “When Can I See You Again” on his guitar.
“Kenny brought out the guitar…oh I love it,” tweeted Toni Braxton, whose hit songs “Another Sad Long Song” and “You’re Making Me High” (both produced by Edmonds) appeared in the hits lineup.
— Jamila McMillon (@Jamila_Mc) April 21, 2020
But everyone collectively agreed that viewers were the ultimate winners, after the two music producers brought hundreds of thousands of fans together with music while social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Congrats to both! So much talent! This elevated my mood! Love to @KennyEdmonds and @TeddyRiley1 y’all were groovin,'” Braxton added.
“We all won tonight witnessing @KennyEdmonds and @TeddyRiley1 go back and forth with pure greatness,” Bruno Mars tweeted.
Here’s a list of all the hits played during the battle:
Hits Battle: Teddy Riley vs. Babyface Tracklist: pic.twitter.com/bpLtMc44Lp
— Shi (@ImALittleBitShi) April 21, 2020
Riley and Edmonds first battled it out on Saturday, but sound and technical issues plagued the friendly bout. Riley appeared to prepare more for a concert, with a set-up that led to echoing and playback.
After about an hour of troubleshooting, the duo agreed to try again another time.
Monday’s battle wasn’t free from technical difficulties, either. Riley’s screen appeared to freeze several times before his connection was lost. Riley and Edmonds finished the battle separately on their own Instagram feeds.
“Everybody, please stay safe,” Edmonds said as he signed off. “Social distancing is important and we will catch you guys another time. Love you, take care everybody.”
Babyface and Teddy Riley return for their Instagram Live rematch
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, left, and Teddy Riley
(CNN)Everything went according to plan Monday for Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Teddy Riley.
The two R&B legends returned to Instagram Live for a friendly battle of songs drawing more than 500,000 viewers. This comes after severe technical difficulties Saturday that caused them to postpone the battle.
The singer-producers played their classics from the 1980s and 90s that they either performed or produced, including “Rock Steady” by The Whispers (produced by Babyface) and Guy’s “I Like” (produced by Riley).
Babyface even blessed the audience with a live rendition of “When Can I See You.”
Throughout the friendly competition, the legends praised one another.
“You brought New Jack Swing to us all … I’m honored to be in here with you man,” Babyface said referring to the style of music Riley popularized in the 80s and 90s.
“You inspired me,” Riley told Babyface.
“We keep each other on our toes,” Babyface said.
Some would say Babyface won after singing the acoustic of his hit song. Monday’s battle wasn’t about determining a winner, though, but to bring people together to enjoy music as seen by the response on social media.
“There is no battle, you know who’s winning? Us. The culture,” singer Toni Braxton tweeted.
There is no battle, you know who’s winning? Us. The culture. #VERZUS
— Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) April 21, 2020
“There’s no reason to keep score. It’s impossible. Just two-step (or running man) and enjoy. These Black men gave us so much,” said April Reign.
— April (@ReignOfApril) April 21, 2020
There were also some mishaps Monday. It took a second for Riley and Babyface to figure out how to pin a post and Riley at one point said his battery on his phone was running low. Riley’s feed also kept freezing throughout the battle and his feed ultimately went out.
The battle between Riley and Babyface was part of an ongoing series called Verzuz by producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland as a way to entertain fans during quarantine, according to Billboard. Previous battles have featured rappers T-Pain and Lil Jon as well as producers Scott Storch and Mannie Fresh.
Instagram Live battle between Babyface and Teddy Riley was a complete fail
(CNN)The highly anticipated Instagram Live battle between Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Teddy Riley didn’t turn out as expected Saturday night.
Issues with the audio, specifically on Riley’s end, halted the faceoff between the two legendary producers that drew more than 400,000 viewers. It looked as though Riley was prepared for a concert, unlike Babyface who was sitting in a studio.
That may have been Riley’s downfall because all viewers heard was playback and echoes whenever it was his turn to play a song. The comments were riddled with jokes about the two producers’ age — Babyface is 62 and Riley is 53 — and them not being able to use Instagram.
Comedian Lil Duval posted on his Instagram, saying Riley should just use his iPhone to record rather than trying to set up a concert.
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Radio host Charlamagne tha God fired off some jokes, posting a meme of two old men at a computer saying it was Riley and his team in the studio. Singer Toni Braxton was live tweeting during the whole debacle, at one point saying that watching the live feed was “like watching old folks use Jitterbug phones.”
Are we really starting over? I’m sorry I gotta make dinner this is like watching old folks use Jitterbug phones pic.twitter.com/9Fjqm0xxwM
— Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) April 19, 2020
Comedian Kevin Fredericks posted a parody of Riley’s performance, emphasizing the playback and how Riley may have had a dance routine ready.
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The battle was supposed to start at 9 p.m., but by 10 p.m. it was apparent the audio needed to be fixed so they stopped and told viewers to come back at 10:30 p.m.
But moments after 10:30 p.m., Babyface suggested it’d be better to postpone the battle.
“Tonight was really special … it’s only right that we postpone this thing and do it at a time when there aren’t any technical difficulties and everybody can hear the music the way it needs to be heard,” Babyface said in an Instagram video.
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Riley later described it on Instagram as “just like a boxing match, something goes wrong we gotta do it again.”
Babyface And Teddy Riley Broke Instagram
There were stories, technical difficulties and, of course, the music.
We already knew it was about to be epic when Babyface popped into Instagram Live. In the background, white candles on black pedestals were lit, illuminating a beautiful arrangement of flowers and, of course, two Grammys. And thankfully for all of us, Teddy Riley popped on-screen without any mics. This time, all he had was the jams…and they were the only thing we needed.
They say the third time’s the charm and the Babyface versus Teddy Riley Instagram Live Battle, where the iconic producers went head-to-head with their classics did not disappoint. It felt like the end of every party or the beginning of every relationship. It felt like high school parties in the gym, or late car rides home, listening to the Quiet Storm. It felt like a cookout at auntie’s house or listening to the playlist your boo made for you.
Tonight’s live with Babyface and Teddy Riley was beautiful to witness. So much history and greatness amongst the both of them.?? I love us.❤️ When Babyface pulled out that Tevin Campbell .. I lost it!!! ??? #BabyfacevsTeddyRiley Black people have all of the infinity stones pic.twitter.com/vEtSoeKJzX
— JanetMichelle.com (@_JanetMichelle) April 21, 2020
Riley started off with a banger, his 1992 collaboration with SWV, “Right Here (Human Nature Remix).” Babyface came out swinging when he played “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” from the Boomerang sound track, sung by Toni Braxton, the singer he discovered.
But it was the story that Face told to set the song up that won him the round. The R&B singer said the late Michael Jackson called him once, asking him to hook him up with the movie’s star, Halle Berry.
Riley had his own stories with Jackson, especially since the producer collaborated on a number of hits he played Monday night, including “Blood on the Dance Floor” and the song that made me two-step in my towel, “Jam.” The Harlem-bred singer said working with MJ felt like an AP course, when he didn’t even go to college. He added, “It was like me going to the next level.”
The next songs took us from the club to the bedroom with Riley playing hits such as, “Just Got Paid,” “I Like” and “Rump Shaker,” and Babyface playing classics like “Superwoman,” “You’re Making Me High” and “Red Light Special.” But Face called foul when Riley played his remix to Janet Jackson’s “I Get Lonely.”
“Oh, did you write that, produce it or remix it?” he asked, likely already knowing the answer.
“Oh, I didn’t know we could do remixes. I don’t do remixes. Maybe that’s why.”
Yessssss, uncle with the subtle shade! It was like sitting at the adults table at a cookout, watching your uncles go back and forth. (And no, it’s not because of their age. It’s because you gotta put respect on these two icons for creating the sound track to our lives.)
Uncle Snoop put it perfectly. “I love being Black,” he typed in the scrolling comments.
Raekwon, Brandy, Tamar Braxton, Uzo Aduba, Erica Campbell, Fat Joe, Ashanti, Anthony Anderson, DJ Envy, Nelly, Sevyn, Keyshia Cole, Porsha Williams, Jurnee Bell, Tyrese, Letitia Wright, Keri Hilson, Chris Tucker and Jermaine Dupri tuned in along with more than 500,000 people at one point in the more than two-hour battle.
There were so many music lovers trying to log on and see the bouts that it seemed Instagram had had it. Between Riley running to go look for a charger (with the words “Okay Teddy” quickly trending on Twitter afterward, proof that Black culture took over two social media platforms) and his keyboard, the two could never hop back into the same livestream.
Babyface vs. Teddy Riley Instagram battle an epic night of ’90s nostalgia
It wasn’t the Saturday night jam it was supposed to be.
But still, the much-anticipated Instagram battle between ’90s R&B greats Babyface and Teddy Riley was an epic night of nostalgia when it all went down 48 hours later on Monday night.
The IG showdown —with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Riley rocking their hits from home — was a Monday night getdown for fans of ’90s R&B, who were bumping instead of bored in the house.
The R&B Thrilla in Manila had to be rescheduled from Saturday night — when it went up against the all-star “One World: Together at Home” benefit concert — due to technical difficulties. Babyface, in particular, wasn’t about to get ratchet, smooth operator that he is.
But two days later, the stay-at-home battle was on, with everyone from Michelle Obama and Missy Elliott to Diddy, Pharrell and Anthony Anderson joining the virtual house party. Although it didn’t go off without a hitch — there were still some technical difficulties — the two-hour session did happen, much to the delight of isolated R&B fans everywhere.
Babyface — the picture of soul sophistication, decked out in a maroon velvet blazer — and Riley, with a towel wrapped around his neck like a boxing coach, went toe to toe with hit after hit that made you realize just how much better R&B was in the ’90s.
While both Babyface and Riley were artists — the former as a solo singer, the latter as a member of the R&B group Guy — it is their work as producers that has truly stood the test of time.
Riley, the architect of the new jack swing sound in the ’90s, produced hits for Mary. J. Blige, Blackstreet and even Lady Gaga. Meanwhile, Babyface — with and without his producing partner L.A. Reid — built hits for everyone from Whitney Houston to Madonna.
So who emerged as the victor of ’90s R&B supremacy?
The edge went to Babyface, whose songs are just so much more timeless than Riley’s. From “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” the breakout hit by Toni Braxton — who joined in on the virtual festivities — to the Whispers’ “Rock Steady” and TLC’s “Red Light Special,” his songs were more real songs than productions.
And it was great to hear Karyn White and Tevin Campbell — two Babyface protégées who seem to have fallen off the music map — get their due during this contest.
Riley, on the other hand, was a master of the moment as the new jack swing king. Songs like Keith Sweat’s definitive NJS hit “I Want Her” and Johnny Kemp’s 1988 classic “Just Got Paid” were tied to a specific time. Think Wesley Snipes as Nino Brown in “New Jack City.”
But it was cool to also be reminded that Riley helped give the great Michael Jackson some long-lost street cred with his “Dangerous” album in 1991. When he drops the beat on “In the Closet,” it’s a reminder of the genius in both of them.