Swizz Beatz and Timbaland say Verzuz is making a comeback.
The mega-producers shared the news while accepting the Rock The Bells Cultural Influence Award at the 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta.
“Me and my brother created something special, and it ain’t over. Black-owned Verzuz, me and Swizz Beatz. I’m glad to share this with my brother,” Timbaland said at the awards, which aired Oct. 10.
Swizz Beatz backed up Timbaland’s comments, vowing that the platform will make a comeback.
“Like Tim said, we own Verzuz again. We got quiet for a minute, but we’re gonna come back strong and show you what it is,” Swizz Beatz said. “That wasn’t just something for the pandemic, that’s something for the world.”
The duo also expressed their gratitude for the award and reflected on their journey in the hip hop world.
“I always dreamed I’d be on stage accepting an award about hip hop. Doing music back in Virginia, I never thought I’d make it, but I’m here!” Timbaland said during the acceptance speech.
Verzuz, which launched in March 2020 on Instagram Live, was created during the COVID-19 pandemic as a platform for live music battles.
The format was simple: two prominent producers or musicians faced off in what could only be described as a musical showdown, taking turns playing their biggest hits and allowing fans to vote for the best artist standing.
The music battles quickly became a cultural phenomenon, especially during the pandemic when live music events were limited. It provided a way for fans to enjoy live music and engage with their favorite artists from the safety of their homes, before eventually moving to in-person events.
Verzuz battles spanned a variety of music genres, including hip hop, R&B, reggae, and more, and have featured a range of artists, including industry legends like Snoop Dogg, DMX, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Omarion and Mario, among others.
In March 2021, the rap battle platform was purchased by TikTok competitor Triller in a deal that made Swizz Beatz and Timbaland shareholders in the company, along with 43 artists who had participated in the project, according to Variety.
However, the duo eventually sued Triller in August 2022 for breach of contract, claiming that the company failed to make a $28 million payment for the acquisition of Verzuz.
The pair settled the lawsuit in August 2022, though the financial details were not publicly revealed.
“Verzuz has always been a platform that is by the artists, for the artists and with the people,” the pair shared in a joint statement at the time. “We’re glad to come to an amicable agreement with Triller and continue giving fans the music and community that they’ve come to know and love from the brand.”
While Swizz Beatz and Timbaland didn’t indicate how soon fans can expect to see another Verzuz battle, their promise of a comeback has already left the music world anticipating the next showdown.