Last night two titans battled it out in one of the most anticipated rivalry battles of all time. No, I am not talking about the Thursday Night Football showdown between Arizona and Seattle. I am talking about the #Verzuz showdown between Atlanta rap legends Gucci Man and Jeezy.
If that last sentence confused you let me break it down for you. Verzuz is one of the most incredible things to come from quarantine. Swizz Beats and Timbaland put together a fantastic idea of pitting 2 music legends against each other where they present their discography on stage against each other. At the same time, we, the viewers, weigh in on who wins each round as if it is a boxing match. This was one of the bigger showdowns on the show as Jeezy and Gucci have a long history of despising each other, including allegations of attempts on each other’s life and the life of their inner circle.
As a young fan of rap music in the early 2000s, I was hyped for this matchup, I started listening to both rappers as a high school Sophomore, and it delivered. The Instagram Live feed alone had over 1.8 million viewers, and that does not include the Apple TV stream. The Instagram Live comment section was a who’s who of celebrities with comments by LeBron James, Ja Morant, Diddy (touting that this was sponsored by Ciroc Vodka), Oshea Jackson Jr., Kerry Washington, Demi Lovato, Cardi B, Wendys, Pretty much every basketball and football team, and so many others. Even political activist and former Gubernatorial candidate Ms. Stacey Abrams called in on the show to remind viewers there is still work to do politically. This was easily one of the coolest live social media events I have ever seen, and Social Studio shows that I was not the only one.
Over 3.4 million social media posts were captured by Social Studio, with nearly 2 million during the 2 hours that Verzuz aired last night.
It’s no surprise that this attracted the 21-34 audience on Twitter; both rappers hit the scene in 2005/2006 with Gucci’s “Trap House” and “Hard to Kill” projects and Jeezy’s “Thug Motivation 101 and 102” projects.
The sentiment score was split 50/50, not surprising for a rivalry as tense as the one between Gucci and Jeezy, but this is not the complete story of the social chatter. The Social Studio AI sees most cuss words as negative, as well as terms like “kill,” “killed,” or “killing,” all popular words talking about the rivalry and the ratings of who won each round. The general consensus was that Jeezy won, he was mentioned most often and his keyword group had a much higher instance of phrases like “win, won, or winning.” This was despite Gucci having plenty of stand out and memeable moments from starting the show off with a diss track aimed at Jeezy, to his refusal to sit down the entire time, to his bashing of Jeezy’s fit and flex of his own $10,000 outfit. Jeezy, though, showed that he has a deep discography and had everything planned out strategically, peppering his hit tracks throughout the fight while Gucci saved his biggest hits for the end of the show.
(Censoring was conducted on my part because of some words I probably couldn’t get away with posting)
The best part of the night was the final round where both rappers performed 2005’s “Icy,” a collab between the two ATL Icons before they started their notorious beef. Both rappers then went to party together and caught some flack because of the COVID issues. Still, never-the-less it was great to see an end to a problematic beef, especially with the death of so many rappers in the past few years.