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Ne-Yo, Johnta Austin

Source: Courtesy of TIDAL / TIDAL

Last night was one for the history books, as Ne-Yo went up against Johntá Austin in a viral songwriting battle for the ages.

While folks are quite familiar with Ne-Yo’s catalogue, many were unaware of Johntá Austin’s legendary status and all the songs he had a hand in writing, producing, and more. Even Timbaland didn’t know Johntá’s history with Aaliyah on iconic songs like “Come Over” and ” I Don’t Wanna.” But we know now.

Going 20 rounds with back-to-back hits, as Swizz Beatz kept score in the comments, Ne-Yo and Johntá were super classy throughout the competition that many say was tied in the end. From Mariah Carey to Rihanna, Tyrese to Bow Wow, Beyoncé to Aaliyah, and more… these guys proved they’re pretty much the masterminds behind the soundtrack to our childhood.

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“What a couple amazing days back-to-back with these battles,” Swizz said on IG TV. “Shoutout to my partner Timbaland. We came up with this concept Verzuz 3 1/2 years ago and now it’s finally seeing the day of light [sic] and we came with this concept for the people behind the scenes to get their notoriety, get their flowers while they’re living.”

Addressing the culture vultures, he added “Be honorable and respectful that this thing comes from the artist, by the artist, for the artist with the people. Give us five minutes to do what we doing before everybody wanna jump in and the corporations wanna jump in and just, like, goofy it out.”

Y’all heard the man! Thankfully, TIDAL put the battle in playlist form so we can relive it as many times as we’d like. Check out their official Ne-Yo Vs. Johntá Austin playlist below and put some respeck on these kings’ names.

 

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