What started as a straightforward DJ battle between hit producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, evolved into a cultural phenomenon featuring a plethora of performers across Hip Hop and R&B.
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The inaugural VERZUZ battle was introduced in March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. VERZUZ was a relatively new way for artists and fans to connect virtually, at a time when the live music sector was at a standstill. Today, the competitive series doubles as a webcast and a live event.
Watching artists compete in real-time for multiple rounds is intensely entertaining! Thus far, there have been battles between musicians Teddy Riley and Babyface, singers Brandy and Monica, rappers Jeezy and Gucci Mane and many more.
As the platform continues to capture millions of viewers, inquiring minds may wonder who’s next? Believe it or not, there are several industry heavy-hitters who have yet to participate in a VERZUZ battle. Here are some contenders that we’d love to see in a forthcoming match up!
Nicki Minaj Vs. Drake
Arguably two of the most successful artists of the 2010s. Nicki Minaj and Drake rose to mega-stardom as a part of Lil Wayne’s Hip Hop collective Young Money. The famed rappers are equally talented and have chart-topping discographies. Truthfully, Nicki against Drake would be a very close call!
JAY-Z Vs. Nas
When it comes to East Coast Rap, JAY-Z and Nas are the reigning GOATs respectfully. Although Jay claimed that nobody can challenge him in a VERZUZ, Nas would be an ideal candidate. Competitively, the legendary rappers relate in terms of era and skill, both launching their careers in the 90s and maintaining relevance today.
Missy Elliott Vs. Pharrell Williams
Missy Elliott and Pharrell are both Virginia-natives who can rap and produce music effortlessly. Elliott has pushed boundaries with her defiant lyricism and forward-thinking music videos. Pharrell is a hit-producing machine, known for blending genres. It would be great to see these progressive icons go head-to-head.
Busta Rhymes Vs. LL Cool J
At first glance, Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J may not seem like the perfect match up. However, the NY-bred rappers have longevity in Hip Hop and are still performing decades later. Busta’s lyrical energy and LL’s classic wordplay would actually be a great match.
Diddy Vs. Jermaine Dupri
The musical pioneers made their mark on the industry in the ’90s and 2000s. Diddy as the frontman of Bad Boy and Jermaine Dupri as the head of So So Def, founded in 1993 respectively. They have collectively worked with Mariah Carey, Notorious B.I.G, Lil Kim, Bow Wow, and Da Brat just to name a few. A battle between Diddy and Dupri screams nostalgia!