One of the reasons rap fans are looking forward to the latest episode of Verzuz with both excitement and dread is the very real animosity between Gucci Mane and Jeezy. The former collaborators fell out after a dispute over their hit “Icy” led to a bitter feud — one with fatal implications for a member of Jeezy’s crew. When a group of men associated with Jeezy apparently attacked Gucci in 2005, Gucci’s return fire killed one of them. Gucci claimed that the killing was in self-defense and the resulting murder case was dropped due to a lack of evidence.
The feud between the two carried over into the next decade with the two rappers going back-and-forth on records and their crews entering various altercations afterward. However, in the years since, both have seemingly turned over new leaves; Gucci Mane has become a best-selling author and respected OG of the trap scene after a long stint in prison, even starring on a reality show revolving around his marriage to Keyshia Ka’oir in 2017, while Jeezy now has a talk show on Fox Soul and is dating fellow talk show host Jeannie Mai of The Real.
Their impending Verzuz battle, therefore, comes with some serious implications — although both seem to be changed me
n who’ve matured a lot in the years since. That hasn’t stopped Gucci from sharing memes making light of their old beef in the week leading up to their confrontation. In one, a fan caption imagines an action movie-hero-like role for Gucci in the shootout that killed Jeezy’s friend Pookie Loc, while another theorizes Jeezy’s possible response should Gucci play “Truth,” a 2012 mixtape cut on which Gucci taunts Jeezy, “go dig ya partna up, n***a / I bet he can’t he say shit.”
Incidentally, Gucci wound up being a surprise, 11th-hour replacement for T.I., who dropped out of the battle due to unknown reasons. T.I. notoriously also had disagreements with the other two trap pioneers, although on a recent episode of his podcast, he invited Jeezy on the show and they pondered finally settling all their longstanding issues with Gucci behind closed doors. One thing is for sure: a great many eyes will be on Verzuz’s Apple Music and Instagram streams Thursday night at 5/8 pm PT/ET. The one exception: Freddie Gibbs, who seems no closer to resolving his own feud with Jeezy than he was when he departed Jeezy’s label in 2012.