Diddy and Jermaine Dupri finally agreed to a face-off — but not on Verzuz
Meanwhile, Verzuz co-founders Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are embroiled in a legal battle with video streaming company Triller.
Diddy and Jermaine Dupri will finally be taking the stage against one another — but it’ll be outside of the Verzuz platform that has become the de facto forum for musical faceoffs.
After almost a year of back-and-forth shit-talking about battling on social media, the two hitmakers finally came to an agreement in good faith. On Thursday night, Puff invited Dupri into an Instagram Live where he playfully challenged, “JD, if you want that smoke, you can get that smoke anytime.” Jermaine Dupri, who was seated beside his production partner Bryan-Michael Cox, told Diddy to “relax,” but agreed to set up an event in Atlanta.
Diddy then went on to say that while the face-off would be happening, that Verzuz wouldn’t be the place. “Since we ain’t fucking with Verzuz no more since ’cause they fucking around with our boys, we don’t need to be going against each other,” he said. “Let’s come together and do that Bad Boy, So So Def in Atlanta. It ain’t no Verzuz, it’s just hit for hit.” Dupri replied: “Let’s do it.” The two were referencing the work they’ve done creating and building their powerhouse labels, Bad Boy Records and So So Def Recordings, and an event showcasing the two will certainly draw a massive audience.
Timbaland and Swizz Beatz founded Verzuz during the pandemic, playing their own hits against each other on Instagram and building a platform that booked others to do the same. The platform became a cultural powerhouse: it attracted major viewership, made for memorable moments, and even began to boost the participating artists’ streaming numbers. It was acquired by video sharing service Triller in March 2021, but the two superproducers filed a $28 million lawsuit against the company this week, stating that Triller didn’t pay the amount that they agreed to. Representatives for Triller have denied any wrongdoing, but the blowback from the hip-hop community has already begun. Rapper Styles P (who was part of the most memorable Verzuz moments in The LOX’s iconic faceoff against The Diplomats) encouraged other artists to boycott Triller if it didn’t pay up, and losing a face-off between Diddy and Dupri would be the biggest loss the platform has had yet. According to TMZ, the two music icons would’ve had their event with Verzuz had it not been for the bad blood with Triller.
Only time will tell if Triller and Verzuz resolve their issues, but hip-hop has shown the propensity to do powerful things when it sticks together. Regardless of where it ends up, this Diddy and JD matchup will be one for the ages.