Timbaland confronts Swizz Beatz over Justin Timberlake “Black culture” remarks

"You went too hard, man"

Timbaland has confronted Swizz Beatz for criticising Justin Timberlake‘s apparent appropriation of Black culture.

The producer, who faced off against Beatz for their Verzuz rematch on Sunday (May 30), said Beatz “went too hard” on Timberlake during their DJ battle.

When Timbaland started playing one of the many hits he produced for Timberlake, including ‘Cry Me A River’ (2002) and ‘SexyBack‘ (2006) during the Verzuz stand-off, Swizz hit back. “Until you can get Justin Timberlake on Verzuz, I don’t really wanna hear those vocals,” Swizz said, laughing, after Timbaland played Jay-Z and Timberlake’s 2013 collaboration ‘Holy Grail’.


Swizz said later on: “Until Justin let the world know that he – Justin gotta come out, he’s coming out.

“He gotta admit that he love the Black culture and he gotta be on this stage,” Beatz added, inviting JT to a future battle. “You took from the Black culture, you give to the Black culture! Come to Verzuz and be a part of the Black culture!”

Now, in a post-show livestream with HipHop-N-More Timbalake defended JT, telling Beatz: “You did went a little hard on my brother JT though, you went too hard, man.”

Beatz explained why he took aim at Timberlake. “Look, man, I had to go hard. Did you hear how them songs were sounding on that stage? You and JT, it was like JT was in the building. I was like, man!”

He continued: “I don’t got no problem with Jt. Don’t got no problem with nobody. Shout out to JT, we can’t wait to get you on stage having fun, ’cause you deserve it too.”


Elsewhere, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland dedicated their Verzuz rematch over the weekend to DMX and Aaliyah. The two rappers and producers founded the virtual battle series last March as the coronavirus pandemic halted live performances.

Beatz and Timbaland were the first duo to face off against each other on March 24, 2020, with the battle lasting five hours. Since then, the likes of RZAErykah BaduAlicia KeysJohn LegendRick Ross and more have all taken part.

In July 2020, the late DMX also appeared on the series, going up against Snoop Dogg.