As Swizz Beats and Timbaland’s Verzuz hits battle series on Instagram grows in popularity, their viewer numbers grow with it. After Babyface and Teddy Riley set viewership records for the show at around 500K viewers despite uncle-related technical difficulties, the first woman-oriented battle demolished the previous record, with Eyrkah Badu and Jill Scott’s battle/celebration of each other reaching a reported high of around 750K. The “battle” started off exactly as many expected, with both stars playing their versions of The Roots’ Grammy-winning hit “You Got Me,” as Badu projected a Bruce Lee movie on the wall behind her and Scott picked up the slack when Erykah’s connection dropped out.
Verzuz has become the in-home distraction de rigeur for many music fans during the extended quarantine as millennial music legends face off to play ten rounds of their greatest hits, share stories from the good old days, and occasionally talk sh*t during their livestreams on Instagram. While billed as a battle, they function more as history lessons and celebrations of stars’ careers and legacies, attracting both contemporary fans and younger ones curious to see what all the fuss is about. Fans have even begun speculating about which matchups they want to see, while stars themselves have taken to challenging each other, with Ja Rule and 50 Cent rekindling their rivalry, DMX challenging Jay-Z, and 2 Chainz issuing an open challenge that culminated in fans selecting Meek Mill as a worthy opponent (this battle has yet to happen, though).
The next Verzuz matchup between Ludacris and Nelly has been confirmed. See more here.