The Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire were the latest musical acts to square off in a Verzuz battle. Following the livestream on Sunday, The Isley Brothers capitalized on the buzz with the Monday release of their new single, “Friends and Family” featuring Snoop Dogg, marking the first new music from the shape-shifting funk/soul/R&B/soul/rock group since their 2017 collaborative record with Santana, Power Of Peace.
For those unfamiliar, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland‘s Verzuz battle series exploded in popularity on Instagram Live last year as the world remained locked down without concert events. Typically, these battles pit two DJs/singers/rappers/producers against each other from their respective homes, going song-for-song and letting viewers vote on which one they prefer in a (usually) good-natured “competition.”
The Easter Sunday Verzuz event, hosted by Steve Harvey with DJ D-Nice manning the music, served as more of an homage to the collective Earth, Wind & Fire and The Isley Brothers than a competition between the bands. As Harvey explained in his evangelistic introduction for the benefit of the series’ many younger viewers, “For those of you that I’m gonna be introducing them to, this is gonna be an educational night, it’s gonna be a night of celebration. Because I talked to these brothers about this all week long: this ain’t a Verzuz, this is a celebration. This is men who have toured together for years, shared the same bill … split the money.”
The Isley Brothers v. Earth, Wind & Fire – Verzuz Battle – 4/4/21
[Video: Blue0921 ENT]
Following Sunday’s Verzuz festivities, The Isley Brothers also shared the song’s accompanying video. The surprise single release, which features lead vocals from Ronald Isley and a guest verse by Snoop Dogg is charged by a plodding bassline and Isley’s buttery vocals, the sunny R&B single is sure to be on BBQ playlists all summer long – and that’s aside from the fact that it seemingly has the bones of a new viral TikTok dance craze baked into the music video.
Check out the video for “Friends and Family” by The Isley Brothers below.
The Isley Brothers – “Friends and Family” ft. Ronald Isley & Snoop Dogg (Official Video)
[Video: The Isley Brothers]
Next on the docket for Verzuz is a “How High 4/20 Special” featuring Method Man and Redman on Tuesday, April 20th. For more information, head here.