Are you ready for the Battle of the Dogs?
On Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. ET, DMX will face Snoop Dogg in the latest edition of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland's popular Verzuz series. You will be able to watch it live on the Verzuz Instagram account or on Beats 1 and Apple Music.
For weeks, DMX had been challenging Jay-Z to a head-to-head Verzuz battle, but he’ll finally participate in the series against Snoop instead. And in anticipation of the 20-round event, we couldn’t help but put together some predictions. Who will set the tone for the battle and take the first lead? Will anyone preview new music? Which songs will each of these guys pull out of their extensive catalogs? Who will win? Below are 10 predictions about the Battle of the Dogs.
It will begin or end with a prayer from DMX
Expect DMX to deliver a prayer of some sort before or after the battle. X has always been open about his religious faith, but over the past year, he’s used his platform more frequently on social media and public events to share his faith on a larger scale. In April, he made headlines for holding a Bible study for his two million followers on Instagram, where he read several passages from the Bible. And last year, he made a cameo during Kanye West’s Sunday Service performance at Coachella, where he delivered a stirring prayer atop a mountainside. Expect the trend to continue on Wednesday. —Jessica McKinney
Snoop Dogg sparks up before the first song is played
If you follow Snoop Dogg’s Instagram or Twitter accounts (or if you’ve been paying any kind of attention to his career over the past few decades) you know he’s rarely caught without a blunt in one hand. He even revealed that he pays someone a $50,000 salary per year to roll blunts for him. So don’t expect him to put away the weed for this battle. It should be a safe bet that he sparks up within the first few minutes of going live, staying engulfed in a cloud of smoke throughout the battle. —Jessica McKinney
Snoop plays “Drop It Like It’s Hot” early and takes first lead
Snoop Dogg won’t need to save all his biggest hits for the end of the battle. Since his catalog is so deep, he’ll be able take risks and play some of his most successful records early. One of Snoop’s three No. 1 Billboard hits, “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” is the kind of song he could pull out early in the battle to establish a lead that DMX won’t be able to come back from. The 2004 Pharrell-assisted single connects with audiences of all ages, which presents a challenge DMX might not be able to match without messing up his own strategy and being forced to play his closer way too early. Playing a massive record like “Drop It Like It’s Hot” in the early rounds could give Snoop a lead that he would ride until the battle ends. —Eric Skelton
DMX steals some early rounds on energy alone
On paper, Snoop Dogg is a clear favorite on Wednesday night. If you look up things like all-time RIAA certifications and Billboard chart success for each artist, Snoop Dogg unquestionably has a better resume. But you can’t discount the energy in the room when each of these songs are actually played during the battle. Many of Snoop’s biggest hits are laid-back smoking anthems, so it’ll be interesting to see how they’re received in comparison to DMX’s catalog, which is full of explosive, high-energy songs. If DMX matches the energy of his music when he plays each song, bouncing around the room and yelling along to the lyrics, he’ll steal some rounds and make this a closer battle than some might expect. —Eric Skelton
Snoop goes outside of hip-hop
We all know Snoop D-O-double as one of the best and most distinctive rappers of all time. But with 20 songs to play with, and a career spanning 28 years, it’s more than likely Snoop will get into more genres than just hip-hop. He has, after all, made a reggae album (2013’s Reincarnated); gone country by dueting with Willie Nelson, hopped on a Brad Paisley track; covered someone he called a “real American gangster,” Johnny Cash; gotten funky in his Snoopzilla guise; and even released a full-on gospel album in 2018. In a battle with this big of a potential audience, versatility will score him points. —Shawn Setaro
DMX previews new music from his upcoming album
After DMX’s prison release in January 2019, reports surfaced that he was working on a new album. And this March, X gave fans an update, confirming that he was “locked in the studio.” He has yet to share details about the album’s title or release date, but this battle could be a great place for him to play a snippet of what he has been working on. Although time is limited and most of the battle will be dedicated to playing 20 previously-released songs from his discography, he might have a window to sneak in a song during a short break, or towards the end when they’re wrapping things up. —Jessica McKinney
Please hold for technical difficulties
When it comes to battles between OGs, expect technical malfunctions. Teddy Riley faced so many issues during his battle with Babyface that the event was forced to be rescheduled, and Nelly’s internet service cut in and out during his face-off against Ludacris because of a rainstorm in St. Louis. While the last few battles (Alicia Keys vs. John Legend) have gone smoothly, we can’t account for the weather and internet connections Wednesday night. Snoop is pretty active on social media, so it’s possible he’ll already have worked the kinks out prior to going live, but don’t be surprised to see slow WiFi connections, frozen screens, or unpredictable audio at some point. —Jessica McKinney
Super-producers will be the real winners
We know one thing for sure going in to Wednesday’s battle: almost all of the highlights will be courtesy of the most popular producers in the world. Dr. Dre, of course, gave us Snoop’s early career classics, and the Neptunes provided more modern-day smashes like “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Beautiful.” And we know that Swizz Beatz is responsible for DMX’s monster hits “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up In Here).” No matter what song is used as a closer, from either artist, you can bet it’ll be made by someone on the Forbes list. —Shawn Setaro
“Party Up (Up in Here)” and “Gin and Juice” face off in the final round
Each of these guys have several songs they could save for the end of the battle, but if we have to pick two, we’re going with DMX’s Swizz Beatz-produced 1999 hit “Party Up (Up in Here)” and Snoop Dogg’s timeless Dr. Dre-produced “Gin and Juice.” Playing out like a microcosm for the whole battle, the laid-back nature of “Gin and Juice” will clash with the high-energy “Party Up,” but both of these songs are absolute classics and they highlight what DMX and Snoop do so well in their respective lanes. The battle will end on an extremely high note, with a draw in the final round. —Eric Skelton
Snoop Dogg wins
This will be a closer battle than many expect, but Snoop Dogg will ultimately come out on top. With a more extensive catalog than DMX overall, Snoop has 43 songs that have charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Eleven of them are in the top 10, and three of them went No. 1. In comparison, DMX has charted 15 total songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and none of them cracked the top 10. That’s not to say DMX hasn’t made a massive impact—he has five No. 1 albums, and there was a three-to-four-year stretch when he was the biggest thing in rap—but in a hit-for-hit format like this, X won’t be able to keep up with Snoop. You also have to keep in mind Snoop Dogg has more high-profile guest features on other artists’ songs, which some of us have forgotten about, so he’ll have the all-important surprise factor on his side, too. With a carreer that spans more years than DMX, Snoop also has songs resonate with people from all generations. However you look at it, Snoop takes the Battle of the Dogs. —Eric Skelton