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‘For the Culture’: Timbaland and Swizz Beatz Say They Have No Interest in Selling Their IG Live Battles to a Network

The online musical battles that Timbaland and Swizz Beatz have been putting on called “Verzuz” during calls to shelter in place have been a huge hit. But that doesn’t mean they want to cash in on the success by selling the concept to a television or cable network.

TMZ published an interview with Timbaland on their site Tuesday, April 14, and the producer explained why he doesn’t want the battles to have corporate backing.

Swizz Beatz (L) and Timbaland (R) say they want to keep their Instagram Live battles for the culture and not sell the concept to a TV or cable network. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

“Right now we just want to keep it for the culture because it’s so organic,” he explained. “We don’t want to bring [networks] in right away. We just want to keep it where people are entertained, because we live in a world where 16 million people lost jobs. We don’t want to get into all the politics of it. We wanna keep it natural.”

Timbaland, who battled Beatz as part of the series last month, said he’d be open to discuss network deals after stay-at-home orders are no more, but not before.

Lil Jon and T-Pain also battled for the “Verzuz” series and so did Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch, Ne-Yo and Johntá Austin; plus, the RZA faced off against DJ Premier.

Born Timothy Mosley, Timbaland got his start in the music business by producing on Jodeci‘s 1995 LP “The Show, The After-Party, The Hotel.”

He was introduced to Jodeci member DeVante Swing, through Missy Elliott, whose group Sista was working with Swing’s Mob Records at the time.

Timbaland then became famous after producing for Aaliyah, and he’s now considered one of the best hip-hop producers ever, along with people like Dr. Dre, Kanye West, RZA, DJ Premier and Pharrell.

Beatz, born Kasseem Dean, became one of rap’s hottest beatmakers after producing for Ruff Ryders Entertainment, which included acts such as DMX, Eve and The Lox.

In recent years, he produced records for people like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Common and others. Beatz married Alicia Keys in 2010, and they have two sons together, Egypt and Genesis.

“Music has always been around to help and heal,” said Beatz in a joint CNN interview with Timbaland on Tuesday, April 14. “Me and Tim came together and said, ‘You know what? Let’s start ‘Verzuz’ on Live and give the people some entertainment, give them some hope and also educate them.’ Because Versuz is an educational celebration.”

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