Kanye West Has Challenged Drake To Battle On Verzuz
Last night (September 14), Ja Rule and Fat Joe competed in the latest Verzuz. Together, the two artists who made “What’s Luv” and “New York” showed friendly competition before a live hometown audience at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Room. Following August’s high-powered LOX Verzuz Dipset, this match-up’s biggest controversy happened between Ja Rule’s producer and mentor Irv Gotti and 50 Cent, throwing their latest series of verbal jabs, far removed from the performance stage. However, Joe Crack clowned his opponent’s relevance of the last decade, while Ja jabbed at Joe for leaning on a Big Pun song. The Terror Squad OG brought out Nelly, Remy Ma, and DJ Khaled, while Ja invited Ashanti, Vita, as well as Jadakiss.
There is other recent news surrounding Verzuz, and it does not involve Ja, Joe, or any of last night’s special guests. Swizz Beatz recently shared with The Angie Martinez Show that Kanye West has agreed to square up against real-life rival Drake on the Verzuz stage. At 20:30, Angie asks with a chuckle, “What about Drake and Kanye? Would that ever [happen]? ‘Cause I was floating that around. They would be at each other’s necks. And by the way, I don’t know what your relationship is with [Drake] at this point.” Swizz answers, “I’m cool.” Moments later, he answers, “People may have started that [situation] because of the way that I came at it, but I never say things for no reason. It’s cool.” A few more moments in, he explains, “Kanye [West] was willing to do the Verzuz,” he tells Angie in the clip. “I know was willing to do the Verzuz; he wanted to battle Drake.” Angie asks again at 22:22 and Swizz insists, “Yeah, he wanted to battle Drake. I think their communication is probably getting into a zone. I left that up to them, and that’s what I told to [Timbaland], as well. I was like, ‘Yo, they have to bring that to the table.’ They would have to agree to do that. Kanye was ready, but I don’t know where that’s at now. I’m still leaving it on them.” Previously, Verzuz has been a stage for former rivals including Jeezy and Gucci Mane, Beanie Man and Bounty Killer, and others. Swizz and Timb’ discussed that history with Angie.
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This news comes as Kanye released Donda less than one week before Drake delivered Certified Lover Boy. Both men have sparred in songs and online, in a messy beef that dates back years. While Drake sent verbal shots at Kanye on his latest chart-topping album, he also dissed former “Fancy” collaborator Swizz on the Rick Ross and Lil Wayne-assisted “You Only Live Twice.” “Unthinkable when I think of the way these ni**as been actin’ / Yeah, I never did you nothin’, and you play like we family, huh? / Next thing, you wanna shoot me down, it can’t be love / Not sure where you was try’na send it, it can’t be up / That day you sounded like a b*tch, you fancy, huh?” Flipping the titles of songs that Swizz, as well as his wife Alicia Keys have made with Drake, the OVO superstar calls the producer and Verzuz co-founder a “b*tch” after Swizz had referred to Drake as a “p*ssy” in 2020.
That June, following Busta Rhymes and Drake song leaked, Swizz was on an Instagram Live with Busta when he said the following: “That kid is a good kid as well,” an admittedly buzzed-up Swizz said of Drake. “He’s not a bad kid; he’s a good kid. He started from different things. We made hit record together; it’s all love. I just wanna play music. Because my filter is burnt. Because at the end of the day, ni**as is p*ssy for real. What’s up? Pop off. Let’s go.”
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Days later, Swizz retracted the statement with an apology. “Man, I want to address my actions on Zone Radio last night,” he said. “I was in the wrong space, I was in the wrong energy and I hate that my kids and other people got to see me on that side. I was a little nice, I was a little excited. I definitely spoke on some things that I definitely shouldn’t have spoke on. Although I may feel a certain way about a certain person — things like that — as a G, I’m man enough to say that I did that on the wrong platform and I wasn’t supposed to do that like that. I wouldn’t respect somebody else if they did that like that.” On Angie Martinez’s show, Swizz admits that he is a fan of “You Only Live Twice,” and adds that Drake could have dissed him far worse if compelled, given how clever the Toronto MC/singer can be.
History never forgets, and nor did Drake. However, based on Angie’s latest interview, it seems far more plausible that Swizz has been upset with Drake for declining a Verzuz than he would be surrounding the leaking of a Busta Rhymes song that was credited as a J. Dilla production. Notably, Swizz has multiple credits on DondaKanye won a high-profile album sales battle with 50 Cent—14 years ago this week. Previously, . He reportedly “rushed” Donda to compete directly against Drake’s CLB. That is among the topics of discussion on the latest episode of the What’s The Headline podcast. There, the Ambrosia For Heads team speculates on the origin of this issue, the outcome of a potential Kanye West Verzuz Drake battle, and more. We also discuss another leaked song surrounding Drake and Kanye, “Life Of The Party,” featuring Andre 3000. There is a deep-dive into new music from Common, and chatter about new music from Freddie Gibbs, Gift Of Gab, and AZ, among others.
Swizz Beatz Explains Why He Will Not Release His Vault Of DMX Music
Below are the time-stamps for episode #61 of the What’s The Headline podcast:
1:09 Drake has the best first week sales of 2021, with Certified Lover Boy
1:40 Which album between Certified Lover Boy and Kanye West’s Donda will better stand the test of time
11:40 The critical reception for Drake’s Certified Lover Boy has been mixed
13:20 Why Drake dissed Swizz Beatz on Certified Lover Boy’s “You Only Live Twice”
15:00 Was Swizz Beatz upset with Drake for not accepting an offer to battle Kanye West on Verzus
16:54 Who would win Kanye West Verzuz Drake
20:48 The reception to Kanye West’s Donda is becoming more favorable over time
24:10 Kanye West’s “Life Of The Party” featuring Andre 3000 was removed from Donda
27:00 Andre 3000’s “Life Of The Party” performance is the best verse of 2021
28:50 Unpacking Andre 3000’s “Life Of The Party” verse
36:23 Kanye West’s verse on “Life Of The Party” is filled with controversy
41:00 Who between Andre and Kanye caused “Life Of The Party” to be removed from Donda
42:24 Will “Life Of The Party” ever be officially released
47:00 Common re-established his MC roots with one of the year’s best freestyles
52:00 Should artists market their albums before they have been released in the era of streaming
56:30 What is Hip-Hop’s best outlet for freestyles in 2021
1:00:22 Reviewing Common’s new A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 2 album
1:11:59 Will Common when a Tony award to complete his EGOT
1:13:47 Has Common’s Hip-Hop credibility been diminished over the years
1:19:40 Afrika Bambaataa will face trial for alleged sexual assault
1:29:04 Freddie Gibbs attacks Kendrick Lamar, BET and the Grammy Awards on his “Vice Lord Poetry Freestyle”
1:32:30 Kendrick Lamar has a new verse on Baby Keem’s “range brothers”
1:37:20 AZ has released his Doe Or Die II album
1:39:20 Blackalicious’ Gift Of Gab’s posthumous album, Finding Inspiration Somehow, has been released
1:42:40 New music from Damu The Fudgemunk, Yebba, Wiki, and Bronze Nazareth
The LOX Detail Their Preparation For The Dipset Verzuz
AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline podcast. Additionally, What’s The Headline has recent interviews with Blu & Mickey Factz, 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 to view or for listening wherever you stream your pods.
#BonusBeat: Several selections from Kanye West’s Donda and Drake’s Certified Lover Boy are presently on the official AFH playlist: