TV One’s Verses and Flow, the beloved showcase that combines the hottest music artists with some of the most impassioned spoken word poets, filmed their upcoming season 4 at Hollywood’s Siren Studios just this past weekend. Attendees included a bevy of Black Hollywood’s best: singers Brandy, LeToya Luckett and Kenny Lattimore; director John Singleton; supermodel Beverly Johnson; actors Meagan Good, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Kyla Pratt, Essence Atkins, Finesse Mitchell, and Jay Ellis; Olympian Carmelita Jeter; celebrity life coach A. J. Johnson, and more.
Verses and Flow partnered with Lexus again this season, which spared no expense on a decadent lounge to entertain attendees. VIP guests sashayed on a purple carpet sipping cocktails specially made for the event. (Verses was a purple concoction of tequila and rum; Flow consisted of a blue libation made with vodka and Blue Curaçao.)
Season 4 of Verses and Flow features new host Laz Alonso. “Every person’s voice is almost like their own unique fingerprint,” said Alonso, when asked about what he brings to the fourth season. “What I feel like I’m bringing to the table here is just a little bit of fun,” he continued. “I am not a spoken word artist. I’m not even trying to front like I am. But I do appreciate art in every form, and these poets are definitely artists. They’re extremely talented, and for me it’s just a celebration of art in a different form.”
The new season also boasts a roster of show-stopping musical performances by K. Michelle, Joe, Candice Glover, Ruben Studdard, Gary Clark Jr., Alice Smith and Johnny Gill. There’s also a surprise, rare performance from Maxwell, which Brandy characteristically called “bleeping awesome!”
Maxwell’s sexy, steamy performance wasn’t to be missed, while Johnny Gill’s rendition of “My, My, My” was blazing hot. Alice Smith rocked the stage, taking the audience through all four octaves of her vocal range. As for the spoken word, some celebrities took to the stage to wax poetic. Malcolm-Jamal Warner recited a piece, and even host Laz Alonso got in on the action.
Columbia Pictures’ senior vice president DeVon Franklin—who stepped in front of the camera this time around instead of producing—answered a question about possibly joining his beautiful wife Meagan Good on screen any time soon. “I’m going to go as God leads,” he said. “I’m not going to put me in a box. I’m not going to put God in a box. So whatever He wants to do, I’m going to do it.”
Verses and Flow producer Aaron Walton (a partner at Walton Isaacson marketing agency) discussed how the spoken word artists were selected this season. “As the show has continued to grow, and as TV One have gone out and promoted it, and more and more people understand the opportunity, we’ve been getting more and more submissions,” he revealed. “So now people are just sending us videos and poems, trying to get on the show. And we’ve been blessed that we’ve had more submissions than we can possibly put on the show.”—Crystal Shaw King