The Verzuz IG Battles have music fans revisiting some of their favorite hits of yesteryear. Teddy Riley and Babyface’s “celebration of music” may have faced a few hiccups, but when the two megaproducers-artists were able to share a split-screen, nearly 4 million people tuned in to listen to many of their favorite jams from decades ago. Bobby Brown was an artist who made appearances on both sides as he’s worked with both Teddy and Babyface, and recently Teddy Riley spoke with ESSENCE to share a story about how “My Prerogative” almost didn’t happen.
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“Actually for ‘My Prerogative,’ we did it at the house,” Teddy Riley told the outlet of the song he produced. “He sung it just like how we wanted it. We was bull crapping around and that’s how it’s supposed to be. You’ve got to keep that same thing when you get to the studio. The problem was when we got to the studio and it was time to sing, he wanted to go on tenor only mode. I was like, ‘This song is too high for some tenor only mode.'”
The two couldn’t see eye to eye and according to the story, Bobby Brown “started flexing on the famed producer.” Riley didn’t take the bait. “I was like, ‘Well, listen. We don’t have to do this’ and then [Bobby] walked out on me… I was like, ‘I could take this song and give it to someone else.’ But this was made strictly for him.”
After taking a three-hour break, Brown returned and conceded. However, he let it be known that if he didn’t like the finished product, he was going to do things his way. He ended up loving it and “My Prerogative” topped Billboard charts for 24 weeks. “You’ve got to push an artist beyond what they’re thinking and what they feel like they can do. That’s when they know they can do more. Some artists, they just settle. I don’t settle.”