The Gospel version of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s #Verzuz series kicked off and proved to be just what everyone needed after painful week across the nation.
On Sunday (May 31), the highly anticipated Gospel showdown between Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond on Instagram Live was a much-needed celebration of Black love and healing through the power of music.
Bishop T.D. Jakes opened the music event with words of hope.
“Darkness everywhere, seemingly everywhere,” he said. “Today we pray for light because we have seen too much darkness, from Trayvon to George Floyd. From 100K people dead from Covid … Lord knows we’ve seen too much darkness.”
Although the music was spiritually influenced, both Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond appeared on Instagram Live wearing coordinating “I Can’t Breathe” and “I Can’t Breathe Again” statement shirts showing solidarity with the movement.
While Black Twitter rejoiced at the Gospel legends were showing support a few couldn’t help but notice that the Black women who were also slain at the hands of police were noticeably absent.
Despite the disappointing oversight, Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond continued to bridge the relationship by reaching out and speaking to Ahmad Arbery’s mother during the live.
Although the battle had it’s powerful moments, the healing began when the two giants began playing their hits. Kirk Franklin made sure fans knew that the playlists were curated specifically tp bring healing and relief.
“It’s been a painful week. It’s been a difficult week,” Franklin said. “We want to make it a moment of healing for you. We have 42 songs to give to you. We know the pain, we see the pain.”
Straying from the serious side of things, Kirk Franklin did take time to address the hilarious joke that he and Plies are the same person—before jokingly adding in that his clothes aren’t too small or tight, addressing a few jokes in the comments.“I am not Plies,” he preached over the keyboard, while Hammond jokingly added, “You are small.”
Check out the replay of the live and what Twitter had to say below.
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