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Swizz Beatz Shares How He and Timbaland Turned Down Millions for Their Verzuz Battles Series

Swizz Beatz and Timbaland‘s Verzuz battles have been a bright spot for many in the dark days of COVID-19, with iconic artists facing each other to play some of their biggest hits.

The viewers then decide who wins, since Verzuz matchups have been more like celebrations than actual battles.

Swizz Beatz (L) said that he and Timbaland (R) have turned down millions of dollars for their Verzuz battles series. (Photo: @therealswizzz/Instagram/@timbaland/Instagram)

Beatz said they’ve been so successful with the series that he and Timbaland produce that they’ve been offered a high amount to sell it, but passed on the offer.

The New York producer revealed the news during an Instagram Live conversation that he had with Timbaland on Saturday, May 23, after Beenie Man and Bounty Killer battled each other. The two reggae artists squared off in Jamaica face-to-face, not virtually, like the other Verzuz battles have been.

“Tonight represented the authentic zone of why we didn’t sell 50 percent of the company for millions of dollars,” said Beatz around the 3:17 mark. “The authentic zone of why we turned down millions and millions of dollars to the vultures just wanting to put a name next to the name but no. Respect is overdue.”

He added, “We haven’t made one cent off of Verzuz yet. That don’t mean that we not business. We have a museum. Verzuz is a museum. It’s an educational, celebrational platform. [What] Beanie Man and Bounty Killer did tonight was iconic. They was just gonna leave Beenie Man and Bounty Killer on the side of the road.”

Timbaland followed and explained that one of the benefits of the battle is reminding people — many of whom are homebound during the coronavirus pandemic — about why certain artists are iconic in the first place.

“You can’t just leave these icons on the side of the road,” he stated. “It just gave you a feeling, and to see them celebrate together. I was jumping up out of my seat. I’m like, ‘Yo, this is amazing.’ Every Verzuz that we’ve done, it’s like it reminded people, like, how great these icons are.”

Timbaland also spoke about the battles last month during a TMZ interview and said he has no interest in securing corporate backing.

“Right now we just want to keep it for the culture because it’s so organic,” he explained. “We don’t want to bring [others] 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 and Beatz faced each other in the first Verzuz competition. Some of the others include T-Pain against Lil Jon, RZA battling DJ Premier, and Erykah Badu facing Jill Scott.

On Monday, May 25, 112 and Jagged Edge faced each other. Some said that 112 won by default because of the many technical issues that Jagged Edge had.

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