Hours after Jay’s Tuesday night (Dec. 21) Twitter Spaces conversation went viral, in which he nixed all hope of there being a Jay-Z Verzuz battle, the Florida native hopped on Twitter and suggested R. Kelly—Jigga’s former collaborator—as a potential opponent.
“I’m surprised no one has said it yet….JAYZ VS RKELLY VERSUS BEST OF BOTH WORLDS Don’t shoot the messenger,” Baby Blue tweeted Wednesday morning (Dec. 22). “I’m just saying who can stand on stage with Jay Z.”
Last night, while Alicia Keys was on Twitter’s audio platform promoting her new album, Keys, Jigga joined the chat and addressed the ongoing debates surrounding himself doing a Verzuz battle with one of his peers.
“Ain’t nobody that can stand on that stage with me,” Jigga uttered, respectfully. “I ain’t gonna lie, no disrespect. Everyone’s amazing, they’ve done what they’ve done. No one can stand on that stage with me. I’m just telling you guys the real. Theres not a shot. Theres not a chance in hell that anyone can stand on that stage for I don’t know how long it is? Two hours? Two hours…That’s ain’t gonna never happen. Let’s move on from Verzuz and move on to this Keys album.”
Jay added, “You got to stand in front of the ‘Grammy Family Freestyle’ live? No one has ever even seen me perform that, you got to stand in front of that? That ain’t never going to happen. Let’s move on from Verzuz and move on to this Keys album.”
Maybe in the very early 2000s, before Jay-Z and R. Kelly’s incomparable synergy fizzled, a song-for-song competition would’ve been feasible. About 20 years ago, Jigga and Kellz paired up for their Best of Both Worlds album after R. Kelly appeared on Jay’s on “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” and Hov did the same for the remix to Kelly’s “Fiesta.” Their joint album dropped in 2002, but things went up in smoke once they hit the road with there being complaints back-and-forth stemming from Kelly’s alleged tardiness and refusal to rehearse to Kelly expressing issues about lighting and feeling like he was being left in Jay-Z’s shadows.
However, things combusted completely between the two artists at the Oct. 29, 2004 show at Madison Square Garden in New York City when R. Kelly unexpectedly left the stage after claiming someone in the audience waved a gun at him. That particular detail isn’t confirmed, but when Kellz returned to the stage, he was supposedly pepper sprayed by a member of Jigga’s crew. From that point, the rapper-singer titan union was no more.
Fast-forward two decades, and while Baby Blue Whoaaa feels the disgraced R&B singer’s discography can par up with Jay-Z’s, not only will this not be coming to fruition because Jay doesn’t want to, but also because R. Kelly is currently behind bars.
The Chicago crooner, who is facing 10 years to life in prison, was found guilty back in September on charges of racketeering and eight violations of sex trafficking.
Kelly’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 4, 2022. He is also facing additional sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota.