Since shutdowns began due to COVID-19 concerns, Versuz battles have been providing the good vibes that we all need. The virtual events have given us musical head-to-heads from classic acts, such as Brandy and Monica, and Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight, and it seems that OutKast and A Tribe Called Quest are on the list for a forthcoming face-off as well.

“We got Tribe Called Quest and OutKast,” Swizz Beats revealed during an Instagram live with DJ Kid Capri on November 6. He then made sure to note that the battle is “pending.” “I wasn’t even supposed to say that. I might have just f—– that all up,” he said.

The pairing would be one of the most iconic hip-hop battles hosted thus far, as Andre 3000 and Big Boi represent a blueprint of Southern rap. Meanwhile, Q-Tip, the late Phife Dawg, Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad are pioneers of alternative rap in New York. The battle is projected to attract a wide array of rap lovers, as it is not only a battle of lyricism, but a regional one as well. Although New York goes down in history for being the birthplace of rap, “the South got something to say,” as Andre 3000 famously said at the 1995 Source Awards.

The brainchild of superproducers Swizz Beats and Timbaland, Verzuz have become full-on cultural experiences for the R&B and rap communities. The battles have taken us on vivid trips down memory lane, as stars reemerge to put up 20 songs against another artist while fans from all over the world rock out and choose a winner.


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