(AllHipHop News) Super-producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s ongoing Verzuz series is one of the silver linings to emerge from the current deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Instagram users have been able to temporarily escape the bad news of the day as they witnessed several battles on the social media platform.
The initial musical brawl between Swizz and Timbo entertained thousands of viewers. Other matches featured Hit-Boy versus Boi-1da, The-Dream versus Sean Garrett, Ne-Yo versus Johntá Austin, Scott Storch versus Mannie Fresh, and T-Pain versus Lil Jon.
Apple Music’s Zane Lowe connected with Swizz Beatz to talk about Verzuz. The New York-bred beatmaker spoke about how his face-off with Kanye West at Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert in 2007 was a precursor to what the stars are doing now on IG. He was also asked about a possible Kanye versus Pharrell clash.
“The people put that out there. The people are who put out big matches. But like I tell everyone, we don’t just have a magic wand we can just sprinkle on people and it comes to life. Me and Tim are on the phones all day and explaining all day and letting them know that it’s the people that are enjoying this,” said Swizz.
He continued, “It’s not even a battle. This is education and celebration. You have two great musicians, whether you’re a songwriter or you’re a producer. Whether you are any type of artist, Verzuz is here to celebrate you. Just for creators, period. So a lot of people want to see a lot of big celebrations happening.”
So far, Verzuz has mostly focused on the creators behind the scenes of some of the biggest hits in music history. There have also been some requests for legendary rappers like Lil Wayne and Nas to step into the Instagram Live ring for a once-in-a-lifetime contest.
“Even though we’re celebrating, it’s a little bit of competitiveness with it. It’s just competitive at some points. So a lot of people don’t work well with being competitive like that, especially on a big stage like what we’re building,” explained Swizz. “So a lot of artists are thinking about how they can do this and remain their status without another person having bragging rights.”
The Poison album creator added, “I’m like, ‘Listen man, it’s just fun. Just come with your 20 great songs and let’s have fun’… That’s what me and Tim have been really curating to where the energy stays positive. We want to keep the energy. There are a lot of rappers that are ready right now. We just wanted to make sure that the energy remains fun, and remains a celebration, and it stays on the platform and not go anywhere else. Especially to a negative place, because that’s not what we’re doing this for.”