‘Verzuz’: D’Angelo Event Was Originally Slated to be Against Maxwell

A month after Verzuz paired Keyshia Cole and Ashanti together, R&B musician D’Angelo performed on the virtual music platform.

It marked the first time an artist hit the stage as a solo act, and it was billed as an “D’Angelo and Friends” event. But Timbaland and Swizz Beatz just revealed that another R&B favorite was originally supposed to step into the ring as D’Angelo’s friendly opposition: Maxwell.

Singers D'Angelo and Maxwell
D’Angelo performs at Bonnaroo, 2015 | Gary Miller/Getty Images; Maxwell attends VH1’s 2nd annual ‘Dear Mama’ event | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

D’Angelo’s Verzuz was a gift for R&B lovers

Fans were first treated to a one-hour pre-show helmed by DJ Scratch, and his talents were enough to inspire a round of Verzuz DJ battles. Decked out in a black coat that became a star on its own, D’Angelo then welcomed everyone to his Verzuz set at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

He kicked off with a few classics, and surprised everyone when Redman and Method Man turned up to rap to “Left & Right.” Listeners expected even more “friends” to pop for impromptu sessions such as Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Lauryn Hill, or Erykah Badu (who just celebrated a birthday), — many of whom were on their wish lists.

But fans received a special gift when fellow musician H.E.R. walked on the stage with her guitar to accompany D’Angelo on “Nothing Even Matters” and to sing “Best Part.” It was a special moment to see two different generations come together and show love to each other’s talents.

He closed out the show with his famous ballad “Untitled (How Does It Feel,” launching 1,000 memories in the Instagram comments section about the steamy video for the hit.

RELATED: Lil’ Kim Names Her Ideal ‘Verzuz’ Battle Mate

D’Angelo and Maxwell were supposed to spar on Verzuz

During the post-Verzuz chat that Swizz Beatz and Timbaland ceremoniously do on Instagram, the two spoke on D’Angelo’s art and what a rare opportunity it was to get the musician out. They also revealed that originally, this Verzuz was meant to be a two-person show with D’Angelo and Maxwell on Valentine’s Day.

“What was supposed to happen was D’Angelo versus Maxwell on Valentine’s Day,” said Swizz Beatz. “That didn’t work out. But the fact that D’Angelo was still ready to go, and still ready and motivated, we had to celebrate him. No matter who was on stage with him,” he said.

He added that D’Angelo showed up to the event three hours ahead of time — the earliest any artist has shown up for the party in the history of Verzuz.

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz promised a fresh spin on Verzuz

Verzuz is coming up on its one-year anniversary, and the two creators plan to do something major for the milestone. They’re teasing their own Timbaland and Swizz Verzuz part 2 as part of the celebration.

Additionally, they plan to do more setups with producers, deejays, and songwriters, similar to early matches between Scott Storch and Mannie Fresh, and The Dream and Sean Garrett.

Fans should be on the lookout for the next Verzuz announcements, including when to watch the upcoming battle between two of Wu-Tang’s finest, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. In the meantime, one can relive the D’Angelo show by viewing it on the Verzuz Instagram page or Apple Music.