It feels like only yesterday when Swizz Beatz and Timbaland were beginning to make a splash with Verzuz, a unique event that pitted one hip-hop legend against another in a battle-of-hits, in which the people are left to debate and declare the winner in the aftermath. As momentum began to build, Verzuz became more about celebrating the legacies of those participating, culminating in some truly memorable cultural moments.
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Today, Billboard has shared a cover story on Swizz and Timbo’s Verzuz movement, which has gone on to spawn no shortage of match-ups. For many, the crowning achievement stands as DMX Vs. Snoop Dogg, a battle effectively shone a spotlight on two triumphant careers. Given Swizzy’s own involvement in DMX’s run, it marked the first time he attended a battle in the flesh, actually holding it down on the turntables. And as the legendary producer tells it, the event went a long way in inspiring DMX, whose road has been plagued with many battles along the way.
“These guys are icons, but a man is a man,” says Swizz. “We let [DMX] feel as great as he is, and once he got in that room, he was in a better space. We went straight from that Verzuz into working on his new album. That’s all people need sometimes — that show of love.” It’s no coincidence that X released his first piece of new music, the Casanova-assisted “Don’t Play Games,” the day after. Now, we have a full album to look forward to, complete with a renewed interest in DMX’s next move. Are you liable to check that one out?
Be sure to check out Billboard’s full Verzuz cover story right here.