Mark your calendars for one of the biggest musical face-offs in 2023! Diddy and Jermaine Dupri are joining forces for a Verzuz battle this fall. The 53-year-old mogul shared the exciting news during a video that Busta Rhymes posted on his social media on Sunday. “We’re gon’ have you out the rafters flying out the sky,” the “I Need a Girl” singer is heard saying in the clip.
The legends first toyed with the idea of going head-to-head back in 2021 when Dupri let Diddy know he was in his city. “Somebody let @Diddy know I’m @thegarden right now ! And he gon need some training for me,” he tweeted. Diddy’s response? “Beloved you my n***a but your arms too short to box with God!!!” he tweeted back. “You aiint got enough hits. I’ll smash you with just biggie n Mary . But I do have the upmost respect on you as a musical legend – Dre the only one can get in the ring w me . – LOVE 🖤”
Beloved you my nigga but your arms too short to box with God!!! You aiint got enough hits. I’ll smash you with just biggie n Mary . But I do have the upmost respect on you as a musical legend – Dre the only one can get in the ring w me . – LOVE 🖤
— LOVE (@Diddy) September 15, 2021
During an Instagram Live, they continued teasing how iconic a Verzuz battle between them would be if it actually happened while running down their resumes as fellow icons Fat Joe and Snoop Dogg instigated the friendly competition.
After Diddy played some of his biggest hits, including “Give Me One More Chance,” Dupri raised an important question: “Who was going to do Biggie’s parts?” He added, “I feel like it’s a performance-based thing now and the majority of Puff’s records, who’s gonna perform? Yeah, [you can bring out] The LOX, but you can’t have nobody do Big’s verses!” The So So Def founder raised the same issue with Ma$e, who quit rapping at the height of his career to become a pastor.
Both Dupri and Diddy are responsible for creating some of the biggest musical moments in the ’90s and early aughts. They each represented their respective regions with the launch of their record labels in 1993.
Based in Atlanta, So So Def was formed by Dupri as an extension of his production company of the same name. His first contract went to the R&B group Xscape, but the label’s roster quickly grew to include other artists like Da Brat, Bow Wow, and Jagged Edge. Dupri is also revered for his writing and production skills, boasting collaborations with everyone from Usher to Mariah Carey and his former girlfriend, the legendary Janet Jackson.
Diddy’s Bad Boy Records is synonymous with creating the soundtrack of New York, with his flashy style that has led to his success behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Diddy introduced the world to Craig Mack, Lil Kim, Faith Evans, and The Notorious B.I.G., while expanding his own empire into media and television. In 2023, he launched his media conglomerate, Revolt.
The highly anticipated square-off between Diddy and Dupri is expected to happen on September 8 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Neither Timbaland nor Swizz Beatz has confirmed the Verzuz battle, but fans are taking this information and running with it!