Getty Images (2)
After a short break, Verzuz is back with new programming and a whole new look. Ever since the high voltage fun of seeing Beenie Man and Bounty Killer celebrate each other’s tracks together in person, the M.O. has become getting two artists with similar catalogs together in one room to put songs that they’ve worked on up against each other for 20 rounds. No more WiFi issues, or older musicians fumbling to figure out how to add the other to an Instagram Live. We now get some corporate sponsors (the events are now livestreamed on Apple Music, and play back on REVOLT TV), but the wave Timbaland and Swizz Beatz started has only grown bigger and bigger.
Here are the new batch of artists who’ve gone head-to-head, along with the general consensus on who won each matchup.
Jeezy vs. Gucci Mane
What Did They Play?
Season 2 started with a bang as nearly 2 million people tuned into the “Icy” battle. The beef between Jeezy and Gucci Mane is one of the tensest ones on modern rap, with some blood having been spilled over ownership rights to their 2005 single that they ended up performing at the end. Before that, Gucci jeeringly opened with the diss track “Round 1” directed at his opponent, plus the even more brutal “Truth,” but Jeezy kept things calm by sticking to hits like “Put On” featuring Kanye West.
With the snowman keeping his cool, Guwop fizzled out, skipping over some of his more recognizable cuts like “Freaky Gurl” and “Lemonade” in the battle rounds, while Jeezy racked up points with two Jay-Z collaborations, his verse on the Shawty Lo classic “Dey Know (Remix),” and “Who Dat.”
E-40 vs. Too $hort
What Did They Play?
Verzuz ends its first year of programming with a battle of the Bay Area. The icons made their influence known early, with Too $hort playing “Freaky Tales,” which was sampled in the recent Yo Gotti hit “Rake It Up,” and E-40 playing “Captain Save A Hoe, which has been used in songs by UGK and Ty Dolla $ign. E-40 playing his song with Tupac was countered by Too $hort playing his feature on Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death album. Of course, the final round ended with the pair playing their signature songs “Tell Me When to Go” and “Blow The Whistle.”
E-40 takes an ever so slight victory, reminding folks of his lowkey ubiquity in rap over the years, with a feature on Big Sean’s “I Don’t F— With You” and his Top 40 entry “U And Dat” featuring T-Pain and Kandi Burruss. Too $hort kept up though just off the strength of his solo classics like “The Ghetto” and “I’m A Player (Street Version).”