While the promise of a Teddy Riley versus Babyface song-off battle royale may really just be a pipe dream—I’m still working on my own thoughts regarding Teddy Riley’s reasoning for wanting to hold off— on the heels of last weekend’s epic Lil Jon vs T-Pain joyfest, we did get news of a hip-hop lover’s dream battle (that will hopefully happen).
On Saturday night at 9 p.m., legendary producers RZA and DJ Premier will square off in the Verzuz series—the online musician/producer battle showcase created by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz—on IG Live; 20 cuts each of pure “real hip-hop” heat. (For my money, and as much as I love RZA, Premier is responsible for entirely too many ’90s bangers, classics and “is THIS the best beat of all-time conversations?” for this to even really be a fair fight.)
I’m entirely looking forward to this beat battle (as is I’m sure many hip-hop heads over 35 are) but what it mostly makes me think about is all of the song (beat) battles that I think would be awesome to see happen. For instance? For instance. Here are five battles that I think would be awesome.
I’m an avowed Jagged Edge fan. I like 112 well enough—they’ve made a ton of great music—but if nobody asked me and I decided to share my opinion anyway, I’m JE all day. Thing is, folks have a pretty strong opinion when it comes to JE vs 112 (the fellas all get along and tour together, for the record). But how fun would it be to have a whole 20-round song-off between the two legendary groups for ATL bragging rights. It’s So So Def vs Bad Boy.
Speaking of So So Def versus Bad Boy…
If we’re being honest, Xscape—vocally—wins this in a landslide. But Total had the jams. And in a battle, the jams are what matters. And that’s not to say that Xscape doesn’t have jams because they do as well, but Total had the jam jams. This would be fun is all I’m saying. “Just Kickin’ It (Remix)” versus “Can’t You See”??? We all win.
You know what...
Two super commercially successful record labels. Why aren’t Puff and JD scheduled for this already??? Plus JD and Puff just might be entertaining as they both try to out-brag one another. And for the record, it SEEMS like Bad Boy is the runaway victor there, but So So Def had a lot of hits.
I might be a bigger SWV fan than I am a Jagged Edge fan. And En Vogue doesn’t get nearly the amount of props as they deserve. I feel that way about SWV, too. So what if we can get the two groups who are CRIMINALLY under-appreciated on a Verzuz battle?!? Again, we all win.
They’re both alive and instrumental to the Motown sound, but they each wrote songs. Why not let the two, very alive, gentleman hop on IG Live and go hit for hit. (I think Smokey wins this, by the way.)