THE BATTLE BETWEEN REGGAE DANCEHALL AND BILLBOARD – “VERZUZ” STYLE

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The cover done by ‘Verzuz’ and the original cover art for Billboard magazine, which omitted the images of Bounty Killer and Beenie Man.

Jamaica’s impact on battle series defended by series creators, Swizzbeats and Timberland

Still making headlines three months later is the epic battle between veteran Deejays Bounty Killa and Beenie Man on the online platform ‘Verzuz’ over their groundbreaking performance.

“The Verzuz Effect” was the story covered and published by the American entertainment magazine Billboard. From a collage of artistes who have appeared on the battle series, the publishers have omitted the two Jamaicans from the image. This drew the attention of many who took to social media to voice their disapproval at the popular magazine; amongst them were the producers for the Verzuz series itself, Timberland and Swizzbeats, who came to the defence of the Artistes.

The producers took it upon themselves to have the artwork edited by removing themselves from the Billboard cover and replaced them with photos of the two deejays. They also acknowledged the game-changing performance by the Jamaicans and pointed out the fact that the clash culture in popular music roots came from Jamaica. In a statement posted on the “Verzuz” Instagram page noted that the edited photo which includes Beenie Man and Bounty Killa better represented the effects of the series and a profile of the artistes who have appeared.

Taking to Twitter, Swizzbeats posted: “While we are honoured that Verzuz made the cover of Billboard, this would not have been possible without Beenie Man and Bounty Killer who set a big tone for our audience and represented for Jamaica. Thank you Billboard for the acknowledgement, but we feel this version of the cover best represents “The Verzuz Effect,” the statement read.

Using the quote that was made popular during the live stream of the battle when the police walked in, Beenie Man posted, “Billboard really is that guy”. He also took the time to thank Swizzbeats and Timberland but also noted that it reflects the struggle faced by the genre.

He tweeted: “Everybody forward and tek piece and build up dem ting and then do everything to undermine the genre dancehall where they got it from. “When will dancehall get its recognition? No matter how the impact, no matter the hard work, no matter how powerful the music is, them still try it everytime them get a chance,”.

The cross, angry, miserable Bounty Killa chastised the American magazine for its action and warned that it could not stop his progress. He took to Instagram and posted: “Cyaah go round, over nor under,”

Due to the success of the Jamaican edition, the producers were forced to change the format which required both artists to be at the same location for the live stream. The local battle earned praises for the impressive sound quality and uninterrupted internet access.

The Verzuz battle between Beenie Man and Bounty Killa turned in the highest figures of half a million viewers and more than one billion impressions on Instagram.

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