Verzuz battle creators Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are ready for rematch

In their first “battle,” Swizz Beatz and Timbaland played music from their extensive producer catalogs.

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Swizz Beats (left) and Timbaland created Verzuz, a popular virtual concert series.

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A “rematch” of previous Verzuz battle contestants scheduled for Memorial Day weekend is set. 

Acclaimed music producers — and creators of the popular virtual concert series — Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are slated for the next battle at 7 p.m. Sunday via Instagram, the Triller app and the Fite TV app.

In their first “battle” the duo — who are known for churning out chart-topping hits for DMX, Eve, Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Beyoncé, and Justin Timberlake, among many other artists — played music from their extensive producer catalogs. 

As popularity grew for the Verzuz battles amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland sold the brand to video-sharing social network service Triller. Part of the deal allows them to be “larger shareholders’’ in the Triller network.

Also, artists who’ve participated in previous battles such as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Patti LaBelle, Gucci Mane, Beenie Man, and Kirk Franklin own equity in Triller. 

Mario Smith, the host of WLPN-FM’s (105.5) News From the Service Entrance, says Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s first “battle” shows how the virtual concert streaming service has grown over time. 

“Considering what the world has been doing the last 16 months, any way you can monetize anything I’m not totally against,” said Smith. “... I think [Verzuz battles] does a lot for the artists, does a lot for the genre. The fact that people are flocking to those shows clearly there’s interest. And if they’re able to make money, go for it; make as much money as you can in this world. 

“Actually, that Timbaland and Swizz Beatz first [battle] was really good because it was super raw; I don’t think they totally fleshed out the idea of what it could be. I think right after that one was over the light bulb had to have gone off like: ‘Man, we could do this,’ and people respect them in the industry. So I’m not surprised when they call, people answer.”

Acts have yet to be announced for upcoming Verzuz battles including a previously scheduled “Ladies Night” edition.

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