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‘You Took from the Black Culture’: Swizz Beatz Addresses Backlash After Inviting Justin Timberlake to a Verzuz Battle

Last month, super-producer Swizz Beatz made some head-turning comments about Justin Timberlake during his “Verzuz” rematch against his opponent Timbaland.

During the Sunday, May 30, event at Miami’s Club LIV, Swizz took aim at Timberlake as Timbaland started to play songs he created with the former *NSYNC band member. “Until you can get Justin Timberlake on Verzuz, I don’t really wanna hear those vocal,” Swizz yelled out during the playing of Jay-Z’s 2013 single “Holy Grail” ft Timberlake.

Swizz Beatz elaborates on his comments about Justin Timberlake taking from black culture. Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy/ Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images

Swizz had more choice words for the “Cabaret” singer later that night as Timbaland continued to pull from his Timberlake Rolodex. “He gotta admit that he loves the Black culture, and he gotta be on this stage,” Swizz continued before inviting Timberlake for a matchup. “You took from the Black culture! Come to Verzuz and be a part of the Black culture!”

The topic of Timberlake being a part of the social media-birthed musical competition drew harsh criticism when Grammy award-winning rapper Drake suggested that he’d like the singer to go head to head with Usher. Many expressed that “Verzuz” should only feature Black artists. While others doubted Timberlake whether the singer had enough hits to go up against the “Let It Burn” crooner.

The following day Swizz took to Instagram Live, where he clarified his statement after social media users began buzzing about a potential feud between him and the pop star. While talking to Timbaland, in a clip captured by Hip Hop More, Swizz expressed that he held no ill will towards the star and he was just having fun that seemingly went a little overboard. Timbaland also spoke to Swizz, telling him he “went too hard” on Timberlake.  

But the “It’s Me B-tches” producer maintained that he had to, at least for the sake of competition. “You heard how them songs were sounding on the stage? You and JT.  It was like JT was in the building. I was like, ‘Man!’ You know it’s hip hop. And I just having fun. I don’t got no problem with JT; I don’t got problems with no one. It’s called ‘Verzuz.’ You know, we doing our thing.” Swizz shouted out the pop singer, telling him, “We can’t wait to get you on stage having fun cause you deserve it too.”

While Swizz was open to having Timberlake on Verzuz, most fans weren’t on board.

“J.T. is the dude who come to the cookout, but don’t ever bring a side/drink/nothing! He’s the culture freeloader.”

“No thanks ! He been clout chasing off black people for too many years ! Bye!(Bye bye).”

“Nah, we good. I’d much rather him give Janet a decent apology.”

But there were a few who were open to the idea.


“That man has a discography!!!!!!”

Justin Timberlake (left)/posts vintage clip with Swizz Beatz (right) just one day after the super producer clarified comments he made about the pop star during his “Verzuz” rematch against Timbaland. @justintimberlake/Instagram

Still, there appeared to be no hard feelings from Timberlake’s end. On Tuesday, June 1, the “Cry Me” uploaded a throwback clip of him. Swizz and Timbaland working together in the studio. The singer congratulated the two following a year of “Verzuz.”

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