We were the real winners yesterday in the VERZUZ matchup between Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond.
With all that’s happened within the past month, this is exactly what we needed to lift our spirits. The two gospel giants came through and delivered.
Before we heard the music, T. D. Jakes kicked things off with a few words and powerful prayer.
“Darkness everywhere, seemingly everywhere… 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.” Jakes continued, “I don’t know about you… but sometimes I feel like that knee is on my back and I can’t breathe. But let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”
Next, we got right into Hammond’s and Franklin’s catalog as they began to walk us through the hits.
Franklin hit us with “Something About The Name Jesus”, “Melodies From Heaven” and the classic “Now Behold The Lamb” featuring the breath-taking solo by Tamela Mann. She surprised us with a live performance of “Take Me To The King.” But Fred Hammond hit back with “Glory to Glory”, “Jesus Be A Fence” and “This Is The Day” before bringing out gospel great Marvin Sapp.
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And we can’t forget some lighthearted jokes and dance from Franklin who definitely showed that he may have gotten pinched as a kid in the church (we all may be familiar with what that was like if you grew up in a Black church). He even addressed the endless memes that he and Plies are the same person and asked “am I really Plies?”
Sapp and Mann weren’t the only guests, we heard from Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper, when Franklin called in to express his love and concern for what happened to her son back in February.
Hammond and Franklin also read through all of the names of our brothers and sisters who have been murdered due to the color of their skin and this led to Franklin’s “Revolution,” as a call to action for justice.
In this first-ever VERZUZ gospel battle, both Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond renewed and uplifted us. It was just what we needed after a heavy week fighting for basic human rights and against police brutality.
Listen to the full playlist from yesterday’s Verzuz Battle below: