The Verzuz battle between longstanding rap rivals Jeezy and Gucci Mane broke all-time records for the platform, it’s been announced.
On Thursday (November 19) the stars came face-to-face at Atlanta’s Magic City for the anticipated rap battle, resulting in the webcast series’ biggest ever viewing figures. In total, there were 1.8million concurrent viewers, more than 126.8million in-stream likes and more than 7billion impressions.
- READ MORE: Timbaland and Swizz Beatz on VERZUZ battle series: “We want to celebrate the architects of good music”
“On a minimum level, 9.1 MILLION people watched this epic, legendary showdown between @jeezy and @laflare1017,” Verzuz added in a post on Instagram. “As we saw across the country, there was a new phenomenon of Verzuz viewing parties, so that figure is not including those who gathered in large numbers together.”
It added: “This viewership number from last night actually makes Verzuz bigger in ratings than the MTV VMA’s, NBC’s The Voice, the Billboard Awards, the CMA’s, the Latin Grammy’s, Dancing With The Stars or The Masked Singer respectively on any given night for those primetime shows this year. OUR culture has made us the top show in the world for music outside of The Grammy’s. Thank you infinitely! 🙏🏾”
Jeezy and Gucci Mane have had beef ever since their collaboration, ‘So Icy’, was released in 2005. Tension arose over which rapper should get credit for the song and which one could put the track on an album. The two proceeded to release diss tracks.
Later in 2005 five armed men stormed into Gucci’s house, and Gucci shot at them, killing one: Pookie Loc, a rapper signed to Jeezy’s CTE label.
Gucci ended up serving time for the killing before he was acquitted in early 2006 on the basis of self-defence. In a 2012 track called ‘Truth’ he taunted Jeezy over Pookie Loc’s death. One lyric reads: “I know it’s hard for you to sleep knowing you killed your homeboy / You left his son to be a bastard / Won’t even raise your own boy” [report via Stereogum].
But the pair seemed to cool things off in last week’s Verzus battle. As HipHopDX writes, the two rappers performed ‘So Icy’ together for the first time in 15 years and shook hands as the event concluded.
What did you think of Gucci vs. Jeezy? #Verzuz pic.twitter.com/oESR2WfYwQ
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) November 20, 2020
“All these kids out here doing what the fuck they do cuz they saw what went on with us,” Gucci said at one pint during the battle.
“This shit ain’t ‘bout me, it ain’t ‘bout you. This shit about King Von, this shit about Doe B, this shit about Nipsey Hussle, this shit about muthafuckin’ Pop Smoke, Mo3 and I’m real enough to do that, n****, because one thing about it, two things fo sho, three things for certain, n****…”
Gucci added at the end: “No disrespect. It’s all love.”
Verzuz pits producers, songwriters and artists against each other in a rap battle style format on Instagram Live and Apple Music.
Competitors take it in turns playing a song from a list of 20 from their back catalogue, as fans, friends and fellow artists watch on. A winner is later decided by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.