• Ed Gaines

Babyface vs. Teddy Riley Instagram Battle. Who Won?

The Instagram battle between ’90s R&B greats Babyface and Teddy Riley went down 48 hours later than originally scheduled.   The IG showdown —with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Riley rocking their hits from home — had to be rescheduled from Saturday night — when it went up against the all-star “One World: Together at Home” benefit concert — due to technical difficulties.  Although it didn’t go off without a hitch — there were still some technical difficulties — the two-hour session did happen. Babyface — the picture of soul sophistication, decked out in a maroon velvet blazer — and Riley, with a towel wrapped around his neck like a boxing coach, went toe to toe with hit after hit. Riley, the architect of the new jack swing sound in the ’90s, produced hits for Mary. J. Blige, Blackstreet and even Lady Gaga. Meanwhile, Babyface — with and without his producing partner L.A. Reid — built hits for everyone from Whitney Houston to Madonna.

The edge went to Babyface, whose songs are just so much more timeless than Riley’s. From “Love Shoulda Brought You Home,” the breakout hit by Toni Braxton — who joined in on the virtual festivities — to the Whispers’ “Rock Steady” and TLC’s “Red Light Special,” his songs were more real songs than productions. R&B Fans also heard Karyn White and Tevin Campbell — two Babyface protégées who seem to have fallen off the music map. Riley, on the other hand, was a master of the moment as the new jack swing king, including songs like Keith Sweat’s definitive NJS hit “I Want Her” and Johnny Kemp’s 1988 classic “Just Got Paid”.

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