Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, and D-Nice made a major impact on the music landscape in 2020, and now their efforts are being recognized: The three will be receiving the ASCAP Voice Of The Culture Award during the 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, for their inventive and uniting virtual music events — namely Verzuz and Club Quarantine — during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The award celebrates the most-performed R&B/hip-hop, rap, and gospel songs from the previous year. The virtual celebration will be held on June 22 through June 24 via social media. Registration for the virtual chats and other events is available at the ASCAP Experience website.
Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s Verzuz was the virtual singing competition series that gained instant claim on Instagram Live by pitting musical legends from all genres against each other, including Gladys Knight vs. Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Earth, Wind & Fire vs. the Isley Brothers, Snoop Dogg vs. DMX, and more. The two Grammy-winning producers and label founders created must-see spectacles that brought millions of isolated people together over music.
Similarly, the legendary DJ Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, turned his Instagram Live broadcasts into a virtual dance party with Club Quarantine. D-Nice’s DJ sets were praised as a much-needed respite by millions during the 2020 lockdowns. Even A-listers like Will Smith, Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Diddy tuned in for D-Nice’s heavy rotation of funk, disco, hip-hop, and R&B. D-Nice teamed up with Issa Rae’s Raedio to co-curate the official playlist of the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris inauguration. His full-length studio album is set to arrive later this year.