Monica link up with Lil Baby on “Trenches” dropped just before she went live for Verzuz.
There was plenty of Atlanta pride to go around on last night’s Verzuz Battle, with native crooner Monica representing for the culture and for the city at Tyler Perry’s Georgia studios. As part of her celebrations, she debuted a Neptunes-produced track with fellow ATL artist Lil Baby called “Trenches.” The song follows previously released 2019 singles “Me + You” and “Commitment,” which peaked at number one on the Billboard Adult R&B Airplay chart. All three songs are set to be released on Monica’s upcoming ninth studio album, ‘Chapter 38’.
The album has been in the works for many years, featuring production assists from Polow Da Don, NOVA Wav, and PJ Morton. Her last record, 2015’s Code Red, included collaborations with Lil Wayne, Akon, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, among others. Monica gushed about finally being able to work with her favorite production wizards, the Neptunes, cooking up a ballad reminiscent of her 1998 hit “Street Symphony.” “I’m watching in plain view, you caught up, entangled/ In the web of the world, I wish I could save you/ Deep down, you’re an angel, but street life, it trained you/ Now listen to your girl/ Don’t let the game keep playin’ you,” she croons on her ballad.
Ironically, the release of “Trenches” coincides with Monica and Brandy publicly burying the hatchet over their long-assumed rivalry in a celebration of each other’s legacies and catalogs. On a magical night where everyone from Mariah Carey to Zayn and Michelle Obama were attentively tuned in, the show of unity was widely praised. “We’ve long removed ourselves from the dramatics of it, but we’re gonna have a very in-depth conversation that may possibly be shared — even with the audience — because there’s a lot that happens,” Monica previously told Entertainment Tonight.