Jermaine Dupri has shut down unofficial announcements of a “Verzuz” battle between him and Diddy.
The latest round of excitement that the musical showdown may be quickly approaching was ignited after Diddy was overheard talking about possible plans for the event. A viral video of the Bad Boy Records founder in conversation with Busta Rhymes was captured recently in Miami.
In it, Diddy says, “Sept. 8 at the Garden [Madison Square Garden], me versus Jermaine.” Several media outlets reported on the brief clip, saying that a date and location finally had been confirmed.
Related: Diddy and Jermaine Dupri to Face Off In a ‘Hit-for-Hit’ Battle Sparking Concerns Over Future of ‘Verzuz’
However, Dupri shot down the reports just almost as quickly as headlines went up.
The Atlanta native first tweeted, “Y’all honestly think that’s the promo?” on May 8. Two days later, he followed up with, “I’m trying to see who smart FR like, especially at all these blogs, you think something of this magnitude that means this much to culture will be announced on sum body else page?”
One fan responded, “They silly! Culture is waiting and when you announce it’s going to be right.”
Another person commented, “LOL you know Puff always trying to be slick with it. Get some NYers all wild up and post a video to switch the narrative.”
A third wrote, “Until I see them tickets announcement n drop I’m holding my breath.”
Lovers of hip-hop have been petitioning for the two producers to participate in a battle of hits for three years. On more than one occasion, it seemed as though the event had finally been scheduled. In December, the “Welcome to Atlanta” hitmaker told the I AM ATHLETE podcast, “It’s coming next year. It’s gonna be like the Super Bowl.”
Former rapper and podcast host Joe Budden chimed in, declaring his support for Diddy as a New York-born artist.
“Ayo, you Atlanta n—as! September, we wiping you up!” he screamed. “Why we doing all this f—ing political talk?! Why we doing all this tryna be PC?! Y’all know what the f— time it is! Y’all know who invented this s—t! It started here, it ends here, n—a! f— y’all thought was happening, n—a!?!
Budden said it’s bigger than Diddy and JD, stating, “This is Atlanta versus New York.”
“Now what?! We packing them n—as up in September! Smoking on that JD!” he joked. “I don’t wanna hear all that politically correct bulls—t these n—as tryna have me on right now.”
Earlier that year, in October, the Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee drummed up enthusiasm for “Verzuz” at a One Music Festival pre-party in his hometown. Before a crowd of hundreds, he said, “Hold up, hold up. Listen, let me say this. I’m saying this to let y’all know that the So So Def/Bad Boy ‘Verzuz’ is happening.”
Each of the instances came after both Grammy winners traded rounds of barbs online, boasting that their respective musical catalogs would come out on top. For now, it seems as though fans will have to continue waiting in anticipation for the battle to be officially announced.
The subject of rumors about “Verzuz” isn’t the only one for which Dupri has dispelled false narratives. After reuniting with his ex, Janet Jackson, during the Atlanta stop of her “Together Again” tour, he shut down speculation that they had rekindled their romance.