Timbaland and Swizz Beatz's Verzuz series, a mid-pandemic creation that's next set to pit Jeezy and Gucci Mane against each other, has been given the oral history treatment. As should have been expected, the results make for a fascinating deep-dive into one of the leading examples of how it's most certainly possible to keep creative during the COVID-19 era.
Tucked into the Gerrick D. Kennedy-penned piece is an admission from Swizz Beatz that the showdown between Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch, who was originally supposed to go up against T-Pain, marked an "unfair" pairing.
"I think that was an unfair Verzuz, to be honest," Beatz said in the GQ piece, out Thursday. "I think we owe Scott Storch a rematch, and I think we owe Mannie Fresh a better match. I think that one was a little bit off with the curation."
According to Storch, he only learned it would be hm and Fresh "moments before" the battle.
"I felt that he and I, our catalogs live much further away from each other—and in different time periods as well. So it was an odd match," Storch said.
Back in April, Mannie Fresh appeared on the Breakfast Club to discuss the battle, which saw Storch ultimately deemed the winner. Fresh had a different assessment.
"I didn't know it was an R&B beat battle," Fresh said, noting his belief that the setup of the series—in its form at that time, at least—needed improving.
The full Verzuz oral history, which includes a number of additional highlights including word that Dr. Dre pulling out of an episode due to quality ultimately pushed Swizz Beatz and Timbaland to retool their approach, is available here.
On Thursday night, Gucci Mane and Jeezy will square off for the latest round, this time live from Atlanta. See below for stream info.