So while many of Verzuz’s battles – which included Alicia Keys v John Legend and Gladys Knight v Patti LaBelle – have been lovefests, or passive-aggressive musical clashes, this one was decidedly more passionate. Each man has played 24 titles, and while Jeezy looked at past hits like “Standing Ovation,” “Go Crazy,” and “Air Forces,” Gucci Mane didn’t hesitate to turn to pure venom, including several songs that degraded Jeezy by name and detailed Pookie Loc murder.
Tension also mounted between songs, as the men compared longevity, real estate, outfits and influence. “It was cute,” they each laughed at different times.
After Gucci Mane made a particularly scathing account of their disagreements, “Truth,” on Jeezy’s face, ending it with further taunts, an argument almost broke out in earnest as the men repeatedly interrupted each other. “I told you right after the dribble,” Gucci Mane said, “there’s nothing we can do if it’s not the street. If I can’t execute the “truth,” we can’t do it. Jeezy replied that he wanted to appear together “for the culture”.
“I brought you here to show you that the world cares about what we’ve done, because we’re the culture,” Jeezy said, adding curses. “Me and you. Where we’re from. What we’ve been through. He then cited their influence in the shooting deaths of rappers like King Von, Nipsey Hussle and Pop Smoke, before diving straight into another song.
But in a somewhat surprising turn, the flow ended on a note of reconciliation, or at least good business. After Jeezy offered a probably inevitable duet of “Icy,” with each man happily dancing and performing his verse from a distance, Gucci Mane made a joint appearance at a local nightclub, regardless of the raging coronavirus. Each rapper had a new release due out at midnight – a most successful mixtape for Gucci Mane, a new album for Jeezy – and the demons, apparently, had been exorcised.
“Listen, all respect,” Gucci Mane said. “Thank you for throwing in the olive branch – I accept it. No disrespect. It’s all about love.