If you’re here you already know what this is about. From the moment Jeezy and Gucci Mane were announced as the latest Verzuz battle, people knew that the head-to-head promised more than performative pettiness. (For the uninitiated: 15 years ago, intense beef between the two Atlanta rappers resulted in Jeezy’s friend, Pookie Loc, losing his life.) We were nervous heading into last night’s duel, and it did not disappoint. We got drama, intensity, Atlanta institution Magic City, and a palpable fear for everyone in attendance — thanks in large part to Gucci performing multiple songs dissing Jeezy, including “The Truth,” which explicitly mocks Loc’s murder. Things felt like they were about to go way the hell left, but cooler heads prevailed and they ended up performing “So Icy” together. (Then they co-hosted a superspreader afterparty at Atlanta nightclub Compound, which is another story altogether.)
I’m still coming down from the blood pressure spike, but some pressing unanswered questions from the night remain.
- Swizz and Timbo: Can we maybe get a peaceful Verzuz next time? I thought Brandy and Monica was going to stress me out, but this one made me board up my windows like a Forever 21 on Election Night. Can we get Kem vs. Sade or something? Another gospel Verzuz? Maybe just a showdown between Headspace and Calm app recordings?
- Should this recalibrate our ideas about apologies and moving on? I mean, Jeezy did ALLEGEDLY send someone to ALLEGEDLY, uh, do harm to Gucci Mane — who then ALLEGEDLY killed said man. Maybe there are some things that go beyond daps and kiki-ing.
- Do you understand just how huge Jeezy was in his prime? If you weren’t in high school when they banned snowman shirts then this really isn’t for you. Yes. Seriously. There was a time that we couldn’t even wear Frosty the F*cking Snowman shirts.
- Can anything compete with that run of “Go Crazy” to “Bricks” to “Half A Brick” to “Who Dat” to “Steady Mobbin”? That was my college life distilled into a 15-minute span. I ran to my closet and started counting my emergency End Of The World cash reserve like it was drug money.
- Did Gucci really have to play, like, seven Jeezy diss records? My goodness. He really left hits on the table just to get those bars off of his chest.
- Did Jeezy see this coming? Did he expect these songs? Was it staged? I’ve been watching pro wrestling for decades and I couldn’t tell where the kayfabe stopped and the real shit started.
- Who the hell is Jeezy’s therapist/life coach/meditation guru? Get that person a raise and have them write a book or something because my word they’re a miracle worker.
- Where does “I’ll tell you what” rank among the lexicon of “I’m about to blow this whole shit up?” Is it higher or lower than “on God”?
- Can these rappers please stop having superspreader events? I know that T.I. thinks the ‘rona dies in the throat or whatever, but I’m tired of seeing rappers among hundreds of fans like there isn’t a damn pandemic that is disproportionately wiping away Black and Brown folks. Isn’t the point of Verzuz to socially distance? Isn’t an afterparty in a mobbed-ass club defeating the purpose?
- In the space of 24 hours this week, we saw Will Smith and the OG Aunt Viv hugging and Gucci Mane and Jeezy performing “So Icy” together. WHO IS RUNNING THIS SIMULATION?