Jadakiss Had A Career Defining Moment With LOX Verzuz Dipset

For the last 20-plus years, Jadakiss has long been revered as one of Hip-Hop’s top MCs. The co-founder of LOX and D-Block went as far as naming his 2015 fourth solo album, Top 5 Dead Or Alive. The proclamation, taken from Jadakiss’ frequent mention in such lists among Rap fans, went without much pushback–if any. It followed a decorated career that includes chart-topping solo LP, a Grammy nomination, platinum plaques, and hits alongside Mariah Carey, Ja Rule, and Puff Daddy.

However, one could argue that a career-defining moment for Jadakiss came from a stage more than any particular song, album, or accolade. On Tuesday night (August 3), in front of likely his biggest audience ever with nearly 1 million onlookers tuning in, Jada’ was joined by his cohorts Styles P and Sheek Louch, and he delivered the kind of performance that epitomizes the smash-mouth New York Rap he has embodied for more than two decades. The LOX battled The Diplomats’ Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, and Freekey Zeekey in one of the most exciting Verzuz to date.

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The Ambrosia For Heads team discusses the battle round-for-round on the latest episode of our What’s The Headline podcast (embedded below). In covering the event moments after the competition (and providing round-by-round scorecards), we highlight the pivotal moments for Jadakiss. It included show-stopping performances from mixtapes, including “Who Shot Ya Freestyle” from 2010’s The Champ Is Here 3 mixtape and a vintage DJ Clue freestyle over a classic Showbiz & A.G. instrumental. While giving the crowd hits from his solo catalog, LOX, remixes, and features, Jadakiss offered a clinic on laser-sharp MC’ing. He powerfully delivered his bars while mocking his opponents for struggling to rap along to vocal tracks during the rounds. At the onset, ‘Kiss announced, “I’m in war mode.” During Round 6, Jada’ told his opposition: “Learn your words,” adding, “I love these ni**as, but this is Hip-Hop!” Cam’ron chided back, “This ain’t S.O.B.’s,” as if to mock The LOX for treating the moment akin to one of New York’s longtime venues for the culture. Later in the battle, Jadakiss got a reaction when he demanded, “You gonna rap or you gonna keep playing Paula Abdul?” Given an upcoming LOX, Dipset, and State Property tour announced the morning before the Verzuz, many may have anticipated a friendly game of baseball between two heralded New York City crews. Instead, they got a Rap grudge-match—with some poignant reminders to let viewers know that it was all sport.

During the 19 rounds, it may have seemed like passion versus pageantry. Towards the end, Juelz Santana mocked The Warlocks for making songs exclusively for male audiences. As if on cue, The LOX and Technician The DJ responded with a medley including “Ride Or Die Chick,” Mariah’s chart-topping “Honey (Remix),” Louch’s “Good Love,” Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair (Remix),” and Jada’s “Knock Yourself Out.” Earlier, after Dipset had jabbed at Sheek for a limited role in the early rounds, Jadakiss retaliated against Zeeke’, comparing him to “The fat ni**a in Dru Hill.”

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Throughout the battle, Jada’, Styles, and Louch found songs that played to strategy—from opener “F*CK YOU” to “Who Shot Ya” to “Kiss Your Ass Goodbye (Remix),” it was all symbolic, deliberate and fiercely competitive. Both sides relied on Technician The DJ to coordinate the sounds, who also happens to be The LOX’s road DJ, who also regularly performs with Rakim, Raekwon, and Ghostface Killah. The instinctual chemistry between Tech’ and the Yonkers trio was undeniable. With Jadakiss at the helm, The LOX synergy was also on full display.

From his performance to his improvisations, Jadakiss demonstrated a master of ceremonies at the highest level. While touting his Grammy’s against Dipset’s grams, ‘Kiss’ skills cemented his point. Even Dipset’s  Juelz Santana dubbed Jada the night’s “MVP.” While Rap fans have moved to discuss wealth, sales, and clout—all things that Jadakiss and The LOX possess—Tuesday’s Verzuz was a reminder that skills are the difference-maker. Jadakiss used that Verzuz lesson as a career-defining moment to show why he is a living legend who makes Hip-Hop proud.

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The timestamps for the What’s The Headline Episode #56 are as follows:

0:00 Intro
4:00 Key themes from The LOX verzuz Dipset
7:20 Which group was the favorite going into the battle
10:30 Do The LOX and Dipset represent the same era of Hip-Hop
14:45 How Verzuz has evolved since it launched in 2020
16:20 Round 1: The LOX – “F*CK YOU” vs. Dipset – I’m Ready”
20:50 Round 2: The LOX – “Banned From TV” vs. Dipset – “Crunk Muzik”
22:30 Round 3: The LOX – “Ni**az Done Started Something” vs. “Touch It Or Not”
23:58 Round 4: The LOX – “Mighty D-Block (2 Guns Up)” vs. Dipset’s “Santana’s Town”
27:00 Round 5: The LOX – “Who Shot Ya” vs. “Get Em Girls” + “Live My Life”
29:13 Round 6: The LOX – “Reservoir Dogs” + “Blood Pressure” vs. Dipset – “357” + “Just Fire (The Roc)”
31:52 Round 7: The LOX – “24 Hours To Live” vs. Dipset – “G’s Up” + “Byrd Gang Money” + “Purple City Byrd Gang”
36:00 Round 8: The LOX – “Next Level Clue Freestyle” vs. Dipset – “Bout It, Bout It 2”
39:12 Round 9: The LOX –  “Dope Money” vs. Dipset – “Welcome To New York City?”
42:40 Round 10: The LOX – “New York” vs.  “Certified Gangstas”
45:25 Round 11: The LOX – No Ideas Original Freestyle” vs. Dipset – “We Fly High (Ballin’)”
48:17 Round 12: The LOX – “All About The Benjamins” vs. Dipset – “Dipset Anthem”
50:00 Round 13: The LOX – “Wild Out” vs. Dipset –  “Killa Cam”
51:55 Round 14: The LOX – “Kiss Your Ass Goodye (Remix)” vs. Dipset – “Salute (Remix)”vs. “848”
53:39 Round 15: The LOX – “Felony Ni**az” vs. Dipset – “Oh Boy” + “Hey Ma”
56:55 Round 16: The LOX – “Ride Or Die Chick” + “Honey (Remix) + “Jenny From The Block” + “No More Drama (Remix)” + “Good Love” +“Knock Yourself Out” vs. Dipset – “Summer Wit Mami”
59:45 Round 17: The LOX – “Good Times (I Get High)” vs. Dipset – “SANTANA”
1:00:33 Round 18: The LOX –  “All For The Love” + “Ruff Ryders Anthem (Remix)” + “Get At me Dog” + “Last Day” vs. Dipset – “Down”
1:01:40 Round 19: The LOX – “Money Power Respect” + “By Your Side” + “Come Thru” + “Put Ya Hands Up” + “Blackout” + “We Gonna Make It” vs. Dipset – “I Really Mean It”
1:04:50 And the winner is…
1:06:24 What to expect from The LOX x Dipset tour

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Ambrosia For Heads readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline podcast. Additionally, What’s The Headline has recent interviews with Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available wherever you stream your pods.

#BonusBeat: What’s The Headline interviews The LOX: