VERZUZ has been one of the creative bright spots that emerged under the weight and pressures of the pandemic, becoming a must-watch event with each subsequent performance. Fans on Twitter are currently debating a hypothetical battle between two legendary bands, prompting the two-step and brown liquor faction of the social media network to dream out loud.
A look at Twitter this morning shows The Isley Brothers and Earth Wind & Fire’s names trending. The two bands are R&B and Soul staples and have a number of classic songs between them. While it should be noted that the “mighty elements of the universe” have indeed covered a lot of musical styles over the course of the band’s existence, the Isley clan can also cross over into other worlds too.
EW&F mainstays Philip Bailey and Verdine White are still a part of the band along with Bailey’s son and longtime members Ralph Johnson and John Paris among others. In 2016, the band’s co-lead singer Maurice White passed away at age 74.
The Isley Brothers began their career in Ohio with brothers O’Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley, and Ronald Isley, finding success in the late 1960s on the R&B charts and continued to make hits over the decades. Today, Ronald, also known as Mr. Biggs, and Ernie Isley are two of the surviving brothers still active. One brother, Rudolph Isley, left the band twice in 1989 and in 2004.
It’s nearly impossible to name the two respective bands’ best works and they’re no doubt among the most influential groups in all of music. Hip-Hop has also benefited from the funk and soul grooves from these great musicians, helping their classic tunes live on. So far, it appears that Twitter has The Isley Brothers getting EW&F out of here in a head-to-head contest. We’re taking no sides in this. Also, salute to @19Phranchize for kicking off the idea.
We’ve got the best reactions of a VERZUZ battle between The Isley Brothers & Earth Wind, & Fire below.