HOV’s Got 99 Problems but a Verzuz Battle Ain’t One (excepts of course it Tunechi) – By Mariam Salaudeen
by Rapjoint Lagos
The lockdown sure helped creatives come up with ideas to keep themselves and the coerced introverts entertained. The Verzuz battle is another product of the good of the lockdown. Verzuz is an American webcast series created by record producers, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. The Verzuz battle gained a lot of momentum with fans cheering on to a lot of battles and even suggesting battles between their faves. Talking about momentum, the Verzuz broadcast of Brandy v. Monica broke records in numbers over Instagram with over 1.2 million live viewers. Now, imagine the record breaking numbers a Verzuz battle featuring HOV will get- especially with Lil’wayne.
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter began his music career in the 1980s, building a reputation as a budding rapper in his hometown. Jay-Z who is also referred to as HOV is an iconic rapper with a great number of fans. I mean, he created a massive buzz on the internet by simply opening an Instagram account. HOV is considered a rap legend by his fans, celebrities and even himself. He reiterated this in his recent comment on the possibility of a Verzuz battle between him and whomever. HOV claims that “no one” can compete against him in a Verzuz battle. This came after Rick Ross hinted a possibility of a battle between himself and Jay-Z.
HOV does not see this happening. In fact, he says there is not a chance in hell. This statement got a lot of reaction and sparked a debate online. While some agreed with HOV on his GOAT status, others disagreed and even dropped a list of rappers that can take on HOV in a Verzuz battle. The likes of Eminem, Drake and Lil Wayne were listed. “I like Jay-Z but I’m not playing 20 of his songs” a fan wrote. Tunechi is definitely a valid candidate to take on HOV. One of the points fans raise most times is that other rappers do not have enough songs to go head to head with HOV but Lil Wayne is clear on that. Countless rappers have tried to claim the title of the Best Rapper Alive, but Jay-Z and Lil Wayne are the two artistes who have held on to that title for an extensive amount of time. Lil Wayne’s solo debut album Tha Black Is Hot (1999) was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and his twelfth studio album Tha Carter V which was delayed multiple times with no schedule date was eventually released in 2018 and it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with the second-largest streaming week for an album of all time and with 480,000 units sold. Tunechi can dissect through contrasting eras just like Jay-Z as he can also boast of a large catalog. I mean, Lil Wayne’s discography is solid.
The Verzuz is a head-to-head battle which may consist of up to 20 rounds of what would be an artiste’s hit songs or hit features. Now, picture Holy Grail v. Mirror. Both songs received positive reviews from most music critics and went platinum in the US. HOV comes on stage and drops a punchline “fuck that shit y’all talking ‘bout, I’m that nigga”. The crowd is going crazy. Tunechi comes on stage, rightfully egotistical and ready to battle, “who that said they gon’ beat Lil Wayne?” Don’t forget Tunechi is the shit, now you got loose bowels.
Hits against hits, it’s round 5! Public Service Announcement v. Uproar, HOV reintroduces himself in case you have forgotten that he is the music biz number one supplier. Tunechi isn’t backing out at this point. After all, if you are a roughneck, Tunechi is a cutthroat. We can list 20 songs from both artistes to go head to head on each round of a Verzuz battle while the fans go wild and if hit singles from albums get exhausted, we can move to mixtapes.
The mixtape game has been nice for Tunechi and a big part of his career. Tunechi is clear on this. This battle is definitely going to be entertaining and Lil Wayne will be a challenging opposition for Jay-Z. There are more artistes that can go head to head with Jay-Z but the question still remains, “Will Jay-Z ever take on a Verzuz battle?” HOV is HOV. He has been relevant for three decades now and that is something. Your faves better pick their best song to go against ‘Grammy Family’.
If you are just finding out about the Verzuz battle, it’s okay, you are not too late, I’m happy to put you on.