The coronavirus has us all quarantined and stuck in the house, but thank goodness for Instagram Live. Specifically, the legendary battle between Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. With both producers equipped with a vault of timeless hits, over 20K viewers tuned in on their smartphones all around the world. The long list of celebrities who tuned in includes Diddy, Fat Joe, Ben Baller, Hitmaka, Boi-1da, Joey Badass, and more.
Timbaland brought us back to the late Aaliyah and Jay Z, while Swizz came in hot with Jadakiss and The Lox. After first playing classics back and forth, the New York producer reminded fans exactly who he was: “Zone! Zone! Zone!”
In an exclusive statement to Baller Alert, Swizz opened up about the battle and its subsequent success saying, “We wanted to put something on for the creatives. The best part of Verzuz is that it’s educational and a celebration.”
For those who missed the battle, it can be found on Tidal.
Thanks to the success of this one, both Swizz and Timb went on to suggest a songwriter battle between The Dream and Sean Garrett. The former is responsible for hits likes Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam,” Beyoncé’s “Partition,” “Gangsta Luv” by Snoop Dogg, “Heaven” by Jay Z, and most importantly, “Umbrella” by Rihanna. The latter reached into his bag of tricks with “Goodies” by Ciara, “Yeah!” by Usher, “Bossy” by Kelis, “Buttons” by Pussycat Dolls, and more.
When The-Dream played the 100 percent version of Holy Grail ? pic.twitter.com/xzq7LPnZt8
— Eric Diep (@E_Diep) March 29, 2020
The Dream even previewed a version of JAY-Z’s “Holy Grail,” with his voice on the chorus rather than Justin Timberlake’s. Crazy!
Hitboy plays an unreleased Nipsey Hussle x Big Sean track pic.twitter.com/pj2L64i7w9
— OnThaCorner (@onthacorner_) March 28, 2020
Another producer battle took place shortly after, between extremely well-respected producers Boi-1da and Hit-Boy. With Boi-1da pulling out his go-to Drake records, including “God’s Plan” and even an unreleased Drake and Roddy track, Hit-Boy teased a banger with the late Nipsey Hussle and Big Sean. Sean was even in the studio to rap his verse on camera.
I’ve been getting hit up about the ground rules. More details to follow but what we have so far…
1. Show up sober
2. 25 songs a piece
3. Songs must already be released
4. Any genre counts
5. 1m 30secs max play for each song#neyovjohnta
— Johnta Austin (@johntalsr) March 29, 2020
The most recent battle included another pair of legendary songwriters: Ne-Yo versus Johntá Austin — just as legendary as the previous ones. The latter joked about laying down the ground rules for the songwriter battle, spinning cuts from “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey to “Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige. Ne-Yo, on the flip, side reminded viewers of the success of his own artistry, pulling out records like “Miss Independent,” “Closer,” “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself).” (But, fans felt some type of way he didn’t play “Because Of You”).
Now, fans on Twitter are requesting IG battles between Diddy and Jermaine Dupri. Hopefully, they’re down because hip-hop needs it!