Raekwon shares unreleased Griselda collaboration during VERZUZ battle

The title of the song, which features an Aretha Franklin sample, is also currently unknown. Listen to a clip of it below now.

Raekwon & Griselda unreleased collab. That Aretha sample is 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/c3b1IMG0MP

— Check the Rhyme (@checktherhyme1) March 21, 2021

Raekwon last released an album with 2017’s ‘The Wild’. Last year, he teased that the third and final instalment of the ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx’ series was on the way.

“It’s time we close that trilogy out,” he said in an interview. “It’s time to close that trilogy. I was holding all night back to tell you that. ‘Cuban Linx III’ baby, the trilogy. It’s over after that. It’s over.”

Raekwon did not give any hints as to when ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx III’ would arrive or who would feature on it. However, in 2012, the rapper told MTV it would “only be right” to get Kanye West on the third part of the trilogy.

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Meanwhile, the line-ups for the next VERZUZ battles have been confirmed. Method Man and Redman will go up against each other, while The Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire will also go head-to-head in the series.

Future battles include a “Ladies night”, a Mother’s Day special and a rematch. Which artists will be taking part in those is yet to be announced.

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Method Man and Redman to face off in upcoming ‘VERZUZ’ battle

Kicking off in March last year after Timbaland and Swizz Beatz issued challenges to one another, artists that have taken part so far have included: T-Pain, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Brandy, Monica, Rick Ross, DMX, Snoop Dogg, D’Angelo and many more.

Last night (March 20), Wu-Tang Clan MCs Raekwon and Ghostface Killah went head to head in the first VERZUZ to be streamed through Triller following its recent deal with Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

Almost immediately after the event, VERZUZ shared a flyer announcing a couple of future battles including Method Man and Redman’s. Billed as a “4/20 Special”, it takes place on April 20.

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Elsewhere on the flyer, The Isley Brothers are set to go head to head with Earth, Wind & Fire on Easter Sunday (April 4), and there’s a VERZUZ rematch scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend (May 29-31).

In addition, a VERZUZ spokesperson recently confirmed to Billboard that co-founders Swizz Beatz and Timbaland will be doing a battle of their own to celebrate the series’ one-year anniversary coming soon.

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Meanwhile, Wu-Tang Clan have announced their new photobook Wu-Tang Clan: Legacy, which will be strictly limited to 36 copies – each of which will be encased in its very own bronze-encrusted steel chamber.

The pioneering hip-hop group say that their latest project will be the “the biggest and rarest book in the history of hip-hop”.

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D’Angelo premieres soulful new song on VERZUZ appearance

For his opening track, the musician debuted a new song with the help of trumpeter Keyon Harrold. “Peace and love, everybody,” he said as he began his set, introducing Harrold as “my brother” and a “great musician”.

You can watch D’Angelo perform his new song, as well as his VERZUZ set in full, below. His performance begins around the 52:20 mark.

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As well as his own material, D’Angelo also performed covers of songs by Smokey Robinson and Lauryn Hill. You can see the setlist in full below.

D’Angelo played:

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‘New Song’
‘Cruisin’’
‘Alright’
‘Lady’
‘Me And Those Dreamin’ Eyes Of Mine’
‘Left & Right’
‘1000 Deaths’
‘Back To The Future Pt. 1’
‘Sugah Daddy’
‘Devil’s Pie’
‘One Mo’ Gin’
‘Chicken Grease’
‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’
‘Jonz In My Bonz’
‘Really Love’
‘Another Life’
‘Send It On’
‘Spanish Joint’
‘Nothing Even Matters’
‘The Root’
‘Brown Sugar’
‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’

D’Angelo’s latest album ‘Black Messiah’ was released in December 2014 – his first full-length record since 2000. In a review, NME said: “The good – no, the astonishing – news is that this constantly engrossing record repays a decade and a half’s faith and patience.

“D’Angelo has scuttled down the digital chimney with an early Christmas gift with long-lasting rewards: not just one of the best records of 2014, but one that will stay with you throughout next year, too.”

In 2018, he postponed a one-off UK gig to work on a new album. He has yet to release it, but has put out some standalone singles over the last few years.

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Drake wants to see Usher and Justin Timberlake face off in ‘VERZUZ’ battle

“Yes we know,” Timbaland said responding to the idea. “It’s so funny, Drake hit me up too about it. He said, ‘We gotta make that happen’. I said, ‘Soon to come. Soon to come’.”

In addition to suggesting a battle between rap camps No Limit Records and Cash Money Records, Rose also made a case for a Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott VERZUZ.

Tim said he’s working on making it happen but would rather it was a celebration of two legends instead of a battle. “It is, to me, the best party that could ever happen on VERZUZ,” he said.

Jalen Rose offers some suggestions for the next Verzuz battle, and they are on point! (Via @JalenandJacoby) pic.twitter.com/NlzqiBgsJ7

— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) January 25, 2021

“It’s just a matter of comfort zone of my sister wanting to celebrate with her brother. Understanding that it’s not a competition, it’s a party. I have been talking to her about that but I think that’s an amazing VERZUZ.”

Elsewhere during the interview, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland revealed they would like to do a 2Pac Vs. The Notorious B.I.G. VERZUZ battle.

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After being asked what their “holy grail” VERZUZ matchup would be, Tim and Swizz said they are trying to figure out how to make a 2Pac and Biggie battle become a reality.

VERZUZ is the popular entertainment series that pits producers, songwriters and artists against each other in a rap battle style format on Instagram Live and Apple Music.

Competitors take it in turns playing a song from a list of 20 from their discography, as fans, friends and fellow artists watch on. A winner is later decided by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

Kicking off in March last year after Timbaland and Swizz Beatz issued challenges to one another, artists that have taken part so far have included: T-Pain, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Brandy, Monica, Rick Ross, DMX, Snoop Dogg and many more.

The most recent VERZUZ battle took place on Friday night (January 22) and saw Ashanti go up against Keyshia Cole. The singers went hit-for-hit following a number of coronavirus-related postponements.

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Ashanti and Keyshia Cole to go head-to-head in next VERZUZ battle

Fans can tune into the battle on the @VERZUZTV Instagram page or on Apple Music. It will take place next Saturday (December 12) at 8pm ET (1am GMT).

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Among the tracks Cole could air include her Eve-featuring 2004 debut single ‘Never’, her biggest US hit ‘Let It Go’, 2008’s ‘I Remember’ or ‘You’, which appeared on her latest album ‘Reset’ and featured appearances from Remy Ma and French Montana.

Ashanti, meanwhile, could drop 2003’s ‘Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)’, Busta Rhymes collaboration ‘The Woman You Love’, or her 2001 Ja Rule team-up ‘Always On Time’.

The last VERZUZ battle saw Jeezy and Gucci Mane break the series’ record for biggest-ever viewing figures. Their match saw 5.5million total viewers on Instagram and 2.3million on Apple Music, as well as an additional 1.3million “unofficial” viewers.

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“On a minimum level, 9.1 MILLION people watched this epic, legendary showdown,” read a post on the VERZUZ Instagram page afterwards. “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.”

Other stars to take part in the battles so far include Nelly and Ludacris, Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco, Alicia Keys and John Legend, and Rick Ross and 2 Chainz.

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Juicy J wants to take on Pharrell Williams in a ‘VERZUZ’ battle

“I could pull up that old Three 6 [Mafia] and pull up my new catalogue and smash you with my middle catalogue. I mean, there’s three decades of music. I think you can only play 20 records. I got so many hits.”

Asked who he thinks would make a good match-up, Juicy J said: “You know what, I’ma tell you something. A match-up: me and Pharrell. He a artist, I’m a artist; he a producer and I’m a producer. He can pull up shit he produced, and I can pull up some shit I produced.”

Earlier this month, the virtual series’ co-founder Swizz Beatz revealed that a battle between A Tribe Called Quest and OutKast is in the works.

Kicking off in March after Timbaland and Swizz Beatz issued challenges to one another, artists that have taken part so far have included T-Pain, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Brandy, Monica, Rick Ross, DMX, Snoop Dogg and many more.

The second series of ‘VERZUZ’ kicked off earlier this month, with Gucci Mane facing off with Jeezy.

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Meanwhile, Juicy J released his fifth studio album ‘The Hustle Continues’ today (November 27). In a three-star review, NME’s Will Lavin called it “a solid addition to Juicy’s already cemented legacy as one of the most influential artists of pop culture’s modern era.”

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Gucci Mane set to face longtime rival Jeezy in next ‘VERZUZ’ battle

The news comes as a shock due to the fact that Jeezy and Gucci Mane have had a long-running feud, which peaked in 2005 when Gucci Mane was charged with the murder of rapper Pookie Loc, an associate of Jeezy’s, during a home invasion. Gucci Mane was acquitted in early 2006 on the basis of self-defence.

Tell buddy get ready @verzuzonline 🥶 nov 19 TrapGod vs SnoCone ❄️ pic.twitter.com/L7tKXRILRk

— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) November 15, 2020

VERZUZ pits producers, songwriters and artists against each other in a rap battle style format on Instagram Live and Apple Music.

Competitors take it in turns playing a song from a list of 20 from their back catalogue, as fans, friends and fellow artists watch on. A winner is later decided by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

Kicking off in March after Timbaland and Swizz Beatz issued challenges to one another, artists that have taken part so far have included: T-PainAlicia Keys, John LegendBrandy, MonicaRick RossDMX, Snoop Dogg and many more.

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Gucci Mane and Jeezy will open the next season of VERZUZ this Friday (November 19) at 8pm EST (1am GMT).

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Brandy and Monica earn over 20 million combined streams after ‘VERZUZ’ battle

Now, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data (via Billboard), the R&B hitmakers combined for a total 21.9 million US on-demand streams for their song catalogs from August 31 through September 2, a period including the day of the battle and two days after of residual fan activity.

Comparing it to 6.3 million US streams in three days leading up to the VERZUZ, their catalogues surged by 248%.

Monica’s music accounted for 11.2 million plays, while Brandy’s songs clocked in at 10.9 million streams.

Using the battle to launch her new single ‘Trenches’ with Lil Baby, Monica pulled in 1.2 million US streams in its first three days.

Her next highest totals came from ‘So Gone’ (840,000), and a trio of tunes from her 1995 debut album, ‘Miss Thang’: ‘Why I Love You So Much’ (764,000), ‘Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)’ (518,000) and ‘Before You Walk Out Of My Life’ (499,000).

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For Brandy, her new single ‘Borderline’, taken from her new album ‘B7’, drew 571,000 streams from August 31-September 2, up 87% from 305,000 in the three days prior to the event.

Following this, Brandy’s top five streamed songs during the period were ‘Have You Ever’ (555,000), ‘I Wanna Be Down’ (496,000), ‘Almost Doesn’t Count’ (428,000) and ‘Angel In Disguise’ (408,000).

The pair’s smash collaboration, ‘The Boy In Mine’, which closed the nearly three-hour battle, registered 899,000 US streams over the three-day period, up 152% from 356,000 in the three days preceding their showdown.

Last month, Rick Ross shared his unreleased verse from Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ during his VERZUZ battle with 2 Chainz.

The song, which appeared on West’s 2016 album ‘The Life Of Pablo’ and caused a lot of controversy due to its Taylor Swift reference, was originally released with verses from West, a hook by Rihanna, and background vocals from Swizz Beatz.

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Snoop Dogg challenges Jay-Z to Instagram Live ‘VERZUZ’ showdown

 

“Biggie passed away, then Nas had it for a minute and then JAY-Z took it and ran with it for a numerous amount of years,” Snoop told Fat Joe.

“Then 50 Cent came and ran with it for his numerous amount of years. This is me looking at it from the outside, looking at New York rap. So for me, it would be Snoop vs. JAY-Z because he had been the King of New York around the same time I’ve been the King of the West.”

In an interview with NME last month (April 4) talking about VERZUZ, Swizz Beatz said: “It’s not really a battle – it’s a celebration of our heroes in music, the ones who make us feel a certain type of way.

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“Given what’s currently going on in the world, it’s a way to give back. It’s also an education, it’s educating people on the music, its creators and where this feeling comes from.”

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Madonna once told Michael Jackson to “dress like a girl” for a music video, says Babyface

One song Riley produced was Jackson’s ‘In The Closet’. After playing the song during the battle, Babyface recalled a story involving Madonna and the king of pop.

Babyface remembered Jackson telling him: “‘Babyface, can you believe she wants me to dress like a girl?’”

Continuing, Babyface said: “He was like, ‘I’d never do that.’ He said, ‘She was trying to change it all up. It was crazy’…He was really mad about it.”

Jackson and Madonna were originally supposed to collaborate on ‘In the Closet’, which featured on the king of pop’s 1992 album ‘Dangerous’. Jackson asked her is she could write some lyrics for it inspired by the title.

“I started writing words and getting ideas and stuff and I presented them to him and he didn’t like them,” Madonna told Rolling Stone in 1992. “I think all he wanted was a provocative title, and ultimately he didn’t want the content of the song to… sort of, live up to the title.”

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The song would later be released as a solo record, accompanied by a music video starring Naomi Campbell.

Speaking on the VERZUZ series, Timbaland told NME: “It’s a celebration of our heroes in music, the ones who make us feel a certain type of way. Given what’s currently going on in the world, it’s a way to give back. It’s also an education, it’s educating people on the music, its creators and where this feeling comes from.”

Swizz Beatz added: “It’s authentic. It’s educational, it’s interesting and it’s music. People love music, and they love good music. So what we wanted to do was celebrate the architects of good music – whether it was the writers, whether it was the producers, and we’re about to take it to a lot of different areas and a lot of different places.”
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