“VERZUZ” turns from a battle into a new community

Madison Hunt

The highly anticipated “VERZUZ” series brought together two powerhouse rappers to go head to head, but not without complications. 


“VERZUZ” has become a new music phenomenon during this pandemic. Swizz Beatz and Timbaland created this music platform where some of our greatest artists battle it out debuting their best 20 songs from their compilation of albums on Instagram live. 


What started as a mere music battle, turned into a community that’s rocked the nation. Some of the battles include: T. Pain vs. Lil’ Jon, Teddy Riley vs. Babyface, Jill Scott vs. Erykah Badu, and much more. 


Nelly and Ludacaris battled Saturday evening, debuting some new music with the old. These rappers have paved the way for some of the biggest artists in our generation, and this battle paid homage to that. 


Filled with fans, major celebrities and other musical artists it’s bringing together an entirely new music community. Bringing in over 400k viewers Saturday night, it has become one of the top events in the series, but Jill Scott vs. Erykah Badu still holds the record for over 700k. 


Nonetheless, the event brought in celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Kelly Rowland, Dewayne Wade Timbaland, Chance the Rapper and more. It was a community waiting for these multi-talented beasts to battle it out. 


But the beginning of this battle had some minor setbacks. Just like we’ve seen in past series, Teddy Riley vs. Babyface, audio and internet connections seem to be the biggest challenges moving forward. 


Due to weather and internet complications in the first half of the series Nelly’s audio was either declined, or his livestream was completely shut off. However, Ludacaris filled this time debuting new singles produced by Timbaland.


His new single, “Silence of the Lambs” featuring Lil Wayne was played and the instant feedback was nothing but positive. Snoop Dogg even told him to ‘play it back’ as he did a few more times, and Ludacris also debuted a new single featuring Chance the Rapper. 


When Nelly returned the atmosphere skyrocketed. They plugged up their music, and continued this “life-like” party. 


 Playing old hits; “Country Grammar”, “Stand Up”, “Southern Hospitality”, “Dilemna”, and more it brought us back to the time of oversized jerseys and grills. 


This platform allows these artists to pay homage to all the works they’ve given to this industry. We saw this firsthand as Nelly and Ludacris went back and forth praising one another for all they’ve done. 


Swizz and Timbaland have gotten together numerous artists, and are continuing to push this series forward. And with the music community backing them up, it may even continue after this pandemic is over. 


Having the world engage instantly created more than just a battle, but a unique community.  It continues to give the world a sense of remedial peace and togetherness. That no one is alone dealing with these unfortunate circumstances.