‘You Made a Deal With a Racist’: Swizz Beatz Fires Back at Fans Calling Him a ‘Sell Out’ Over Elon Musk Partnership, Tells Critics ‘Do the Homework’

It was a mere three months ago that Elon Musk argued that the country should “move on” from its racist history, stating, “we are all descended from slaves” on “The Don Lemon Show” (Lemon quickly corrected him).

During the painfully tense exchange, in which Musk criticized DEI policies and doubles-down on allowing hate speech on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, he became increasingly irritated with Lemon. Though the former CNN anchor had just partnered with X, his deal was abruptly canceled after the interview.

Now, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have also cut a deal with the tech billionaire, and this move is raising eyebrows.

Swizz Beatz and Timbaland spark outrage following partnership with Elon Musk's X. (Photo: @therealswizz / Instagram; LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)
Swizz Beatz and Timbaland spark outrage following partnership with Elon Musk’s X. (Photo: @therealswizz / Instagram; LISA O’CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)

The legendary producers announced that their online series “Verzuz” — famous for its epic music battles during the pandemic — will be back bigger than ever thanks to an exclusive distribution partnership with X.

Earlier this year, the duo reacquired the platform from former partner Triller after a two year hiatus and now have full ownership and creative control. Through the X distribution deal, “Verzuz” estimates it will expand its audience to over 550 million viewers and reach international markets.

But many diehard fans of “Verzuz” — which started out as a pandemic-era experiment — are calling out Beatz and Timbaland for being tone-deaf by aligning with a man many consider racist.

The legendary rap producers announced the news during the Cannes Lions conference in France on June 19. To celebrate, they took to X and posted a photo of themselves clinking martini glasses with the world’s wealthiest man.

“It’s official, Verzuz is back and 100% Black owned again. Let’s give the people what’s been missing !!! We will also be building new entertainment businesses on the @X platform !! Who should be the 1st kick off show? Lets Go!!”

Despite the thrilling news, the partnership with the controversial tech mogul is causing a stir online. The timing of the announcement — on Juneteenth — couldn’t be worse. Fans of “Verzuz” are not feeling it, and they’re making their opinions known on X.

The irony was not lost on Swizz Beatz, who tweeted, “But your on X,” with the laugh-cry emoji.

“Yall did bad. For the community, for the brand, for yourselves. This is wack,” stated @TaqeeeBond.

“Elon don’t even like black ppl frfr why would you get him involved,” tweeted another. “Word up! They spit in the face of the culture on Juneteenth Announceming their new aparthate master,” added yet another outraged observer.  

Sirius XM’s “Urban View,” home to radio host Reecie Colbert, noticed that people were bristling at the Elon Musk news and tweeted about it. Now, followers of the popular radio show are adding their voices to the chorus — on X.

“You are absolutely right Reecie! Why couldn’t they partner with Fanbase? It’s never about the collective; it’s always about their pockets!” exclaimed @vrpounds2, referencing a Black-owned social media app that’s ad-free and promises never to shadow ban or censor someone’s post without them knowing — a common complaint against X, particularly since Musk’s takeover in 2022.

Just one week after Musk purchased Twitter in 2022, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, an independent non-profit research group, reported a rise in hate speech and racial slurs against Black people on X. Musk sued the civil rights group, nearly bankrupting them, but a federal judge threw out the case in March, deeming it baseless.

Meanwhile, Swizz Beatz’s official Instagram is blowing up with shocked and irate comments about the deal, and the accusations are flying, with some wondering if he and Timba are trolling the Black community.

“You made a deal with a racist & announced it on Juneteenth,” an Instagram follower commented. “Y’all really did not read the room. This man literally said he did not believe in DEI & the metric standards have to be lower for black ppl i.e. they are not qualified for the same jobs as whites, not to mention all his black employees are suing him for discrimination. This man literally said racism is a thing of the past & ppl should get over it & accept it. THIS THE MAN YALL MADE A DEAL WITH welp goes the rest of Juneteenth.”

On Friday, June 21, Beatz addressed several of the critics in his Instagram comments.

“Nobody said anything before. We been on that platform since Verzuz started,” Beatz said, seemingly calling out fans’ hypocrisy.

In response to a fan who suggested putting Verzuz on any other platform than X, including keeping it on Instagram, where it all began, Swizz said, ” Verzuz been on this platform from day one! People want to talk with out doing the homework. The convo always been on that platform King bless up!” He then added, “And we’re 100% black owned, that’s not enough we own 100% of the IP and company!”

Another fan pleaded that Swizz Beatz hear fans out, as many have chosen to leave the X platform since Musk took over. “Please don’t dismiss people as I see in this thread,” the commenter said.

 Swizz Beatz’s official Instagram is blowing up with shocked and irate comments about the deal
Swizz Beatz’s official Instagram is blowing up with shocked and irate comments about the deal (Screenshots: @therealswizz / Instagram)

The Verzuz co-founder responded, “You will see my intentions as always. We must change what we don’t like not complain about it. We go hard since the 90s. People will soon see the plan. I understand that people have questions and they will also understand l’m not a silly person.”

In a third comment, a fan on Instagram criticized Swizz Beatz over his previous promise not to “sell out”.

“Yall said you wouldn’t sell out and yall went and did exactly that. WE the people are not feeling this. This is wild,” the fan wrote.

“Trust me that was the last thing we did was sell out, relax,” Beatz quipped. “You will understand in 1min.

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