Music producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland created Verzuz for hip-hop and R&B fans stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The casual battles have turn into a Black cultural phenomenon.
The culture of hip-hop and R&B has always been competitive, but the Verzuz battles have taken the competition to a whole new level. While no one is declared a clear winner by Swizz and Timbaland, listeners use memes and posts via social media to advocate for their favorite artists in the battle.
Simple question. Who won? #verzuzbattle
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) July 23, 2020
Fans of Verzuz have taken the nomination process into their own hands. Swizz and Timbaland no longer decide the Verzuz battles unilaterally. The duo admittedly has looked on social media for the trending battle predictions to choose the future battles.
Here are some of my predicted Verzuz battle pairings:
- Ashanti vs. Mya: The two songstresses would give early 2000 nostalgia. The ladies have ballads, radio hits, and classic R&B songs.
- Usher vs. Chris Brown: These two would be a battle of performers, production, vocal capabilities, etc. Each has hits spanning from the early 2000s to the present. Usher has some hits from the 90s as well.
- Mary J. Blige vs. Toni Braxton: The Queens of women’s empowerment ballads and heartbreak songs would bring in viewers of all ages. Braxton’s tone matched with Blige’s rasp would be music to the ears of listeners.
- SWV vs. Xscape: Battle of the R&B vocal groups. Each group has certifiable hits and melodies for days. With the sound of their instrumentals, fans will start singing the intros.
- Joe vs. Brian McKnight: Battle of the poetic lovers. Their lyrical and vocal capabilities would be a sight to see and hear.
- Uncle Luke vs. Juicy J: Battle of ratchet hip-hop and most censored hip-hop songs. These two created the formula for raunchy poetic rap.
- Nicki Minaj vs. Lil Kim: Battle of the New York rap queens. These two have hits, bars, style, and charisma. Everything these two drops become instant classics.
- Yolanda Adams vs. Kim Burrell: Battle of the gospel legends. These two are decorated veterans in gospel music. This battle will center spiritual healing amid a deadly pandemic.
- Big Sean vs. Wale: The battle of 2010 rap. These two have timeless hits, bars, and distinct tones. The two were apart of the 2010 wave of lyrical hip-hop and are well on their way to dominating the 2020s.
With that being said, Verzuz is a live stream that cuts across all generations. Verzuz is a welcomed distraction from the chaos of the world today.