Verzuz has turned into a huge cultural event after starting out as something to pass time during the first quarantine lockdown of the covid-19 virus.
Since its inception, the event has seen some of the biggest acts in music history take stage. We have seen the best of the old school and new school with artists ranging from Pattie Labelle to Gucci Mane to Bow Wow.
When it comes to a potential Verzuz battle, Jay-Z has made it crystal clear that he considers himself untouchable.
“Ain’t nobody that can stand on that stage with me. I ain’t gonna lie, no disrespect. Everyone’s amazing, they’ve done what they’ve done. No one can stand on that stage with me. There’s not a shot,” the rapper bragged during a surprise appearance on Alicia Keys’ Twitter Spaces discussion Tuesday (Dec. 21) with Rob Markman of Genius.
BEWARE OF DOG
Before his untimely passing, DMX made an appearance on Drink Champs Podcast, he told host N.O.R.E. that he want to face off against Jay-Z.
JAY-Z and DMX have quite a lengthy history. The New York City legends reportedly met up in the early 1990s for a rap battle in the Bronx, confirmed through some grainy video footage shot by Big L. Of course, they also joined forces during the 1999 Hard Knock Life Tour that resulted in the iconic Backstage documentary. The two had a feud that resulted from DMX taking shots at JAY-Z in regards to his time as president of Def Jam, but in 2016 they appeared to be on better terms.
Unfortunately for fans of hip hop, the showdown never went down as Jay-Z did not accept Dark Man X’s challenge. Fans however, decided to come up with their own conclusions as to why Jay-Z never took the offer as you can see in the parody below.
NEW YORK AND DETROIT CHALLENGERS?
New York’s rap scene has also witnessed the time when Jay-Z acknowledged 50 Cent during a concert when he was on the rise with his mixtapes taking over the streets. Some people would consider 50 Cent a possible challenge with his catalog that includes his G-Unit collaborations.
Interesting enough, an old interview with 50 Cent brings up the question on whether or not Eminem is the best. One has to take into account that Verzuz is a live environment that is about artists going song for song and not an actual lyrical battle.
The fans have gone back and forth on the matter between Slim Shady and Jigga. One fan made sure to remind everyone that Eminem’s verse gave Jay-Z’s line some stiff competition on the single called “Renegade.”
DOES JAY-Z HAVE AMNESIA OVER ETHER?
Speaking of “Renegade,” there is a rapper out there who went head to head with Jay-Z and that is Nas. The two New York rappers brought back beef in the early part of the millennium as if they were channeling Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur from the 90’s. Many people believed that Nas trounced Jay-Z in the battle when he released the single “Ether.”
Nas spoke about the Verzuz platform and how the episode with The Lox and Dipset helped to bring the art form of emceeing to the forefront of the event. He believed it helped show what separates real hip hop from other genres as seen in his interview with Ebro from Hot 97.
Will we see one of the most potent lyricists in hip hop history participating in the event? According to another interview, Nas is not really interested in partaking in the festivities. He is satisfied with being an onlooker being entertained by other artists.
BUSTA RHYMES STILL PATIENTLY WAITS FOR A CHALLENGER
As Nas and Jay-Z appear to be avoiding the platform, Busta Rhymes apparently is the complete opposite. He has publicly stated how no one wants to accept a challenge to face him during Verzuz. Could Busta Rhymes animated stage show be the ultimate challenge to Jay-Z or any rapper out there?
Maybe Jay-Z is correct in that there is no name not Carter that could challenge him? That leaves space for only two other artists. Lil Wayne aka Wayne Carter and the woman Jay-Z is married to in Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Could you imagine either scenario? Apparently a lot of fans do.
WATCH THE THRONE DRAKE
Then we have to consider the other half of The Throne in Kanye West. The elite artist / producer appeared on Verzuz and admitted that he is untouchable as well. However, he also admitted that he would not go against “The Boss” in Jay-Z. There are fans out there that believe Kanye is more than enough of a threat to Jay-Z’s catalog for a Verzuz.
Drake has also been mentioned as someone who has been reigning over the last decade on the Billboard charts. There is a back and forth about whether he is a straight rapper and some still question his pen after the whole Meek Mill exposing debacle years ago. Kanye West also faces the same issue about not writing all of his rhymes, but then again this about song for song live environment.
GEN-Z HIP HOP FANS SPEAK
There are some Gen-Z hip hop fans who believe Future would easily compete with hits against the Marcy Projects rap icon. Recently, Future also stated that he was a bigger rap star with the younger audience. It is an interesting face-off because in the past fans were quick to shut down rappers who made it big in the last ten years against their 90’s counterparts.
This was the case when Lil’ Kim suggested that she wanted to go up against Nicki Minaj during the red carpet for a BET event. Fans wanted and requested to see Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim finally do their long standing rivalry on a big stage. Foxy Brown even chimed in and agreed to the sentiment.
Whatever side you fall on this debate, one thing is for sure. Jay-Z’s brand just helped to generate interest in Verzuz as an event that perhaps should go to the next level by acquiring the cream of the crop. He once rhymed the classic line of “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” Touche.