Billboard 'Verzuz' dancehall


Billboard 'Verzuz' dancehall

Swizzbeats, Timbaland defend Jamaica's impact on musical battle series

Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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Three months after the epic battle between ace deejays Bounty Killer and Beenie Man on the online platform Verzuz, the duo and their groundbreaking performance continue to make headlines.

In a cover story headlined 'The Verzuz Effect' published in the American entertainment magazine, Billboard, the publishers omitted the images of the two Jamaicans from a collage of some of the artistes who have appeared in the popular musical battle series.

This infuriated many who took to social media to register their disdain at the action of the popular glossy. However, the producers of Verzuz, American super producers Timbaland and Swizzbeats came to the defence of the deejays.

Not only did they acknowledge the game-changing performance by the two Jamaicans and the fact that the clash culture in popular music has its roots in Jamaica, but they also edited the artwork of the Billboard cover, removing their images, replacing them with photos of the deejays.

A statement posted on the Verzuz Instagram page noted that the edited version of the cover, which includes Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, better represents the effect of the series on the profile of the artistes who have appeared.

“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.

In his response via Instagram, Beenie Man drew for the quote which was made popular during the livestream of the battle when the police walked in during the broadcast.

Billboard really is that guy,” he posted.

Beenie Man also took to Twitter, thanking both Swizzbeats and Timbaland, but noting that it reflects the struggle faced by the genre

“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,” he tweeted.

Bounty Killer, in his cross, angry, miserable persona chastised the American magazine for it's action, and intimated that it could not stop his progress.

“Cyaah go round, over nor under,” he posted on Instagram.

The Beenie Man-Bounty Killer Verzuz battle turned in impressive figures with nearly half-million viewers and more than one billion impressions on Instagram.

Based on the success of the Jamaican edition the producers were forced to change the format and now require that both acts be in the same location for the livestream. The local battle also earned praises for the impressive sound quality and uninterrupted Internet connection.

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