Updated: Oct 26, 2020
In a classic hip hop battle between two titans of the Golden Era, DJ Premier and RZA faced off this past Saturday in the latest VERZUZ battle put together by Swizz Beats and Timbaland. Attendance for the battle hovered around 180,000 people, with DJ Premier posting the final total of viewers at 849,056 when he ended the live video.
In what was arguably one of the closest VERZUZ battles to date, the two super producers exceeded the customary twenty track format and continued to play hits well beyond regulation. RZA struggled early on with sound quality, admitting it was his first time going live on Instagram, which may have cost him in the early rounds. RZA kicked things off by dropping “Liquid Swords” by GZA with Premier answering with Jay-Z’s “Medley: Intro,” setting the tone for an epic night of nostalgia. Premier dropped such hits as “Nas Is Like, “D’Evils,” and “Ten Crack Commandments” while RZA played “Incarcerated Scarfaces,” Protect Ya Neck,” and “Ice Cream.” In a surprise move, RZA didn’t drop “Triumph” or “C.R.E.A.M” until the bonus rounds.
Aside from the copious amounts of classic hip hop being played, it was the back and forth banter and storytelling between DJ Premier and RZA that was most endearing to fans. The producers clearly have a lot of love and respect between them, and it was on full display. These two clearly have a ton of history between them, and it was a real treat to hear some of their stories. Old school hip hop heads rejoiced in the comments.
The opinion on who actually won the battle was split, with some saying it went to Premier and some saying it went to RZA. Who really won? The culture.