Swizz Beatz and Timbaland earned acclaim by launching the series Verzuz during the pandemic, giving musicians a chance to square off while social distancing. But on Saturday they came full circle, doing one of their own. While the battle went well, there was one moment that caught the attention of many viewers as it came when Swizz called out Justin Timberlake for not partaking in a battle.
When Timbaland played Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s “Holy Grail,” which he produced, Swizz took a direct shot at the singer. “Until you can get Justin Timberlake on Verzuz, I don’t really wanna hear those vocals,” he said, according to Vulture. Later on, when Verzuz entered overtime, which occurs after both participants play 20 songs each, Timbaland played a pair of songs by Timberlake: “Cry Me a River” and “SexyBack.” That sparked another response from Swizz. “Until Justin let the world know that he —”, he started saying. But Timbaland cut him off, adding, “Justin gotta come out, he’s coming out.”
However, Swizz wasn’t done. “He gotta admit that he love the Black culture and he gotta be on this stage,” Swizz said. “You took from the Black culture, you give to the Black culture. Come to Verzuz and be a part of the Black culture.”
Later on, during a recap of the battle which they held on Instagram Live, Timbaland told Swizz he “went a little hard on my brother JT.” Swizz then gave his reasoning. “Look, man, I had to go hard,” he said. “Did you hear how them songs were sounding on that stage? You and JT, it was like JT was in the building. I was like, man!” Swizz added that he “was just having fun” and “don’t got no problem with JT.”
He then invited the singer to partake in a future battle. “Shout-out to JT,” he said. “We can’t wait to get you onstage having fun, ’cause you deserve it too.”