Verzuz building a legacy
David Goodson | 12/3/2020, midnight
Initially the smoke was supposed to be between Jeezy and T.I to set off season 2 of the music competition series Verzuz. Days before the two were to lock in however T.I was scratched and Jeezy sought fellow giant of the trap music genre, Gucci Mane. While no reason was issued, T.I shared in an Instagram post, “Now THIS.... Is what the people wants to see. Trap Muzik salutes y’all.” Coincidentally news of the switch comes after Jeezy revealed in a promotional interview that Gucci was his first choice of opponent but was told by Verzuz co-creator Swiss Beats that he “respectfully declined” the offer. Gucci let ‘em know that was not it. “Tell buddy get ready @verzuzonline. Nov. 19 TrapGod vs SnoCone,” he tweeted.
The results of the change showed that was indeed a better match. Verzuz proudly stated, “The numbers are officially in, and a huge thanks to all of you who tuned in as we broke our all-time livestream viewership record on Thursday night with the first episode of season two of Verzuz. On a minimum level, 9.1 MILLION people watched this epic, legendary showdown between @jeezy and @laflare1017 (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.) This viewership number from last night actually makes Verzuz bigger in ratings than the MTV VMAs, NBC’s The Voice, the Billboard Awards, the CMAs, the Latin Grammys, 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 Grammys. Thank you infinitely!”
Let’s be honest though, it wasn’t about seeing the competition against each other, it was about the contention between the two. Gucci and Jeezy had a REAL situation that looked like a final resolution would be just that for one of the two. On an episode of T.I.’s podcast, ExpediTIously, Jeezy discussed reaching out to end their longstanding feud. “I just feel like it gotta be one of the mafia, back-room conversations. It gotta really be a convo. What I’ve learned over the years, man, this big business. People that went to Yale still do business with people that went to Harvard. So, it’s just one of them real convos. It’s been decades.”
Coins have two sides though. Did Gucci share those thoughts? Those who knew the depths of their issues have a hard time believing it was going to be a forgive and forget situation. Fellow rapper Troy Ave put it out there bluntly when he wrote, “If you killed somebody I love and we performing on camera…well I guess I’m killing you on camera ... #StreetsIsAMyth.” He’s referencing a friend and artist of Jeezy’s label CTE Henry “Pookie Loc” Clark who, back in 2005, was shot and killed by Gucci Mane while Clark was reportedly attempting to rob the rapper’s home and collect an alleged bounty of $10,000 for a jewelry piece of Gucci. The plot to complete that ultimate act of disrespect was thwarted when Clark was killed by Gucci in an act of self-defense. Although he was indicted for the murder in the end, he beat the case. So where exactly does music come into play?
Round 18 we got somewhat of an answer. Gucci let the ice-cold dis track “Truth” off his chest in the face of the man who inspired the cut. He for added emphasis tried to goad Jeezy with the commentary, “Put that nigga in the dirt. Smoking on Pookie Loc tonight. Send some more imma send them the same way, in a box back to ya!”
The reaction from Jeezy was not what the streets expected, but rather what the Black community needed. “I extended my hand because I’m a real man. And when I said I wanted to do this for the culture, that’s what I wanted to do. I brought you here to show you the world care about what we got going on ‘cause we are the culture. You feel me? Me and you, where we came from, what we been through. US! All these kids out here doing what they do ‘cause they saw what went on with us. This ain’t about me, it ain’t about you. This about King Von, this about Doe B, this about Nipsey Hussle, this about Pop Smoke, Mo3 [all deceased rappers violently taken]. And I’m real enough to do that!”
Musically it ended where it all began, with the pair performing the cut “So Icy,” the cut believed to be the impetus of their problems. Case closed. The beef is dead and buried!! Or is it? Words have power. Actions have equal and opposite reactions, and if the reports coming out of ATL are true, that being a strain of marijuana called Pookie Loc is being sold, where will it end? Over and Out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.