In the words of the legendary Biggie…
VERZUZ, the online music series created by hip-hop producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, has raised the bar. They have hosted and given us the music battles of Primo vs. RZA, Babyface vs. Teddy Riley, Luda vs. Nelly, 112 and Jagged Edge vs. 2020 technology, Bounty Killa vs. Beenie Man, let the goddesses Badu and Jilly from Philly take you to heaven then took you to chuuuuuurch with Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin.
Can’t top that right? Well, maybe Swizz was wondering the same. Took off his cape of captain Save Em During COVID, came home and was like what on earth can we do to raise the bar, it’s Juneteenth so what’s next.
I imagine him running through his mind a myriad of possibilities…Keith Sweat vs. Jodeci, Busta vs. Dmx, Ice Cube vs.. Chuck D, TI vs. Jeezy, Maxwell vs. D’Angelo (ok that’s my dream). Then, he recalled the fact that he is umm…Mr. Keys. “Well damn Eureka!”, or whatever Archimedes exclaimed. And we got THE VERZUZ, apropos the occasion. Anthems, passion for ‘blackness’. A glorious intersectional exploration of the diaspora. A biracial mom of black children who embraces her Negritude. Wears it unfettered by false constructs. Then resolved with a shrug; as if. What would explore the US in USA. A second Archimedes moment and a text to Timberland. Hmmm let’s pair her with a black man who has Blasian children from a fire icon of allyship. Catalogs that defy convention; centered in Blackness. It’ll be Legendary. Juneteenth…Verzuz, US.A musical kaleidoscope John Legend vs. Alicia Keys. Blackness.
“And if you don’t know now ya know…”