By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
During the COVID 19 pandemic, two world-renowned DJ’s Swissbeats, and Timbaland created something for the culture of Hip Hop and R&B, that has taken on a life of its own. The Verzuz platform would allow some of the best-known artists to relive and perform some of their best music back-to-backs on the same stage. The original intention of the verses was to be seen as more of a celebration of music for the R&B and Hip-Hop culture, not necessarily. What took place at the Hulu Theater inside the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City when The Lox versus Dipset was all that and more than it was anticipated to be.
Hailing from Yonkers, NY., Styles P, Sheek Louch, and Jadakiss make up The Lox. After making some waves on the music scene with their unique storytelling of street life. Fellow Yonkers native and multi-platinum artist Mary J Blige passed their demo tape onto Bad Boy CEO Sean “Puffy” Combs, who promptly signed them to a deal. Their descriptive lyrics illustrated in detail their lives as hustlers through the grimiest of circumstances. “24 Hours to Live” is an example of the Lox bust on the mic, led by Jadakiss has one of the most recognizable voices in the industry, not to mention “By Your Side,” which displays some of their dopest verses.
Dipset, also known as The Diplomats, was made up of childhood friends Cam’ron, Freekey Zeekey, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana all from Harlem, New York. Each of these guys enjoyed boasting about making money, wearing expensive jewelry, driving fly cars, and galivanting with multiple women. From the time they came together in 1997 Jeeps, trucks, and clubs all across the nation rocked their hits “Oh Boy,” and “Hey Ma.”
While most of the previous verses have been a celebration of music, these two groups have been exchanging words via social media for the past several weeks. After Michael Buffer announced the groups, the Lox opened the show with “F**k you” to set the tone of the evening. Dipset responded with “I’m Ready,” though they couldn’t have expected the stage presence or the command of the crowd the Lox would have throughout the night.
Responding with “Crunk Muzic,” Dipset chose to rhyme over their songs that played in the arena. As The Lox rapped their verses over the instrumentals to their songs. When the intro to “Banned from TV” began to play, Dipset found themselves playing from a deficit. As The Lox were intent on showing their lyrical excellence over Dipset in this show.
Jadakiss came focused on proving his lyrical dominance, and the crowd ate it up. His freestyle rap 20 minutes into the show essentially gave The Lox an insurmountable lead. Though Dipset’s energy was still good, yet “Bout It, Bout It,” or “I Really Mean It” couldn’t close the gap. Once The Lox hit them with “Reservoir Dogs,” it wasn’t no longer competition.
Dipset’s last best chance to save face came when they performed “Welcome to New York City.” The Lox retaliated “100 Guns and 100 Clips,” which took the crowd to another level. Even when “Ballin” by Dipset came on, the crowd sang along. But they jumped out of their seats when “All About the Benjamins” came on. It was clear that The Lox brought New York City and Hip Hop alive with their performance against Dipset.
This show was more than a concert; this was a more Hip-Hop session. This show was a lesson for any rappers of what, true, hip hop is. They took it back to battling song for song and verse for verse. Although a Hip-Hop concert typically brought out a specific element, such as hustlers and hood cats, this also brought out that NYC energy NBA players, celebrities, past and current rappers where everyone wanted to enjoy good music from back in the day. So much so there were no problems or no issues with the crowd as they all came out to enjoy good music for the culture.
The Lox brought back the essence of hip-hop battle rap during their TrillerVerz. It left me and other hip-hop fans excited to see more competitive rap. Let me know your initial thoughts on the latest versus, did you see it as much of a landslide, and most did, let me know your thoughts by reaching out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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