Timbaland and Swizz Beatz may be the behind-the-scenes saviors of 2020 social life thanks to their Verzuz series, which provided millions with entertainment. Celebrating Black music by featuring singers, rappers and producers performing some of their biggest songs against one another in head-to-head battles, the competition became a social phenom and bypassed its original combative nature. Instead, the world got to see that these artists had mutual respect and genuine love for one another as Verzuz soon turned into a virtual party and something of a musical history class.
Whether squashing 20-year-old hip-hop beefs between Gucci Mane and Jeezy or celebrating R&B musical matriarchs like Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight, Verzuz was a win for Black culture and created topics of discussion for months. As 2021 rolls in, here’s a list of some of the matchups we need in the new year:
Dre vs. Diddy – Death Row vs. Bad Boy is just the tip of the iceberg if these two production gurus square off.
A Tribe Called Quest vs. De La Soul – The Native Tongue collective would have folks checking their rhyme books for days.
Three 6 Mafia vs. OutKast – You can see everyone popping their collars to this Dirty South mix.
KRS-One vs. Public Enemy – Just what’s needed right now: edutainment.
Busta Rhymes vs. LL Cool J – Longevity is rare, and these two kings would be King Kong vs. Godzilla with their bars and subject range.
* Here’s a bonus recommendation, but one we all want to see … with a tour to follow.
New Edition vs. New Edition – Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and Johnny need to come back together and squash their internal rifts for the benefit of themselves and the culture.