It’s almost time for Brandy and Monica’s historic Verzuz battle on Instagram Live, and we couldn’t be more excited. The two have had a rocky relationship to say the least, which started around the time of their Platinum No. 1 single “The Boy Is Mine” in 1998. The two went on to establish their own solo careers, complete with lots of music videos and their own iconic moments.
To help us prepare for the Verzuz battle, we’re taking a look back at ten of Monica’s best music videos.
‘A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me)’
In the mid-2000s, it was still common for any woman showing off her sexuality to be perceived as doing it for mens’ attention rather than for their own empowerment. In the music video for “A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me),” Monica shows what it looks like for a sexy Black woman to be in control of herself — and the googly-eyed men who lust after her.
‘Everything to Me’
Just like “A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me),” “Everything to Me” was brought to life with the help of Monica’s friend Missy Elliott. NFL star Chad Johnson (FKA Chad Ochocinco) stars as Monica’s love interest in the music video who helps co-parent a young girl, presumably a stand-in for her own children.
Monica oozes attitude in the “So Gone” video, so it’s no surprise that the song has remained so loved by fans over the years. The #SoGoneChallenge in 2016 gave the song a new life for the social media generation — but when a fan asked Brandy if she’d do her own version of the challenge, she sparked another mini-feud by replying “Chile, bye.”
‘Just Another Girl’
Monica serves look after look in the video for “Just Another Girl,” and she knows it. Her facial expressions as viewers (both spectators in the video and people watching on the other side of the screen) look at her say “Yeah, and?” without her even saying anything.
‘Before You Walk Out of My Life’
Since the beginning of her career, Monica has been able to play the sad and dejected lover just as well as she can the empowered single girl. She’s just a teenager in the “Before You Walk Out of My Life” video, but she commands your attention the entire time as she looks straight into the camera and divulges her feelings.
‘Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)’
This was Monica’s first solo single and music video, released in 1995 when she was just 14 years old. “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” showed off Monica’s potential star power, and also sent a powerful message: that even as a young teenager, she’s perfectly fine on her own and doesn’t need a man or anyone else to make her feel better.
‘U Should’ve Known Better’
Black leather looks were both one of Monica and Brandy’s signature looks, and in the “Street Symphony” video, she leads her girl gang of backup dancers as she takes charge of her own story and gets her ex-lover arrested.
‘The Boy Is Mine’
It’s where it all started. Both Brandy and Monica were R&B it girls in the mid-’90s, but when they came together for “The Boy Is Mine,” they were unstoppable. It was also their biggest point of contention, with the drama around the song sparking their decades-long beef.
‘It All Belongs To Me’
When Monica and Brandy temporarily squashed their beef in 2012, people thought it was the end of their years-long feud. “It All Belongs To Me” has Monica and Brandy reuniting and taking control of their narrative — at least temporarily.