Lawd have mercy! Once my wife opened her eyes this morning, at 5:30am, the second thing I said to her, even more emphatically than when I said “good morning” was “Jadakiss is a problem!” I’m a DIPSET fan. My homeboy’s can attest to that. And leading into yesterday’s VERZUZ match between them and THE LOX, I believed that they would prevail. But lawd have mercy. I witnessed a slaughter, a landslide victory. All night the scale only tilted one way. And that was in the direction of Sheek Louch, Styles P and Jadakiss (a-HA!). For anyone keeping score: Yonkers 1, Harlem 0 or The LOX 1 and Dipset 0, or Jadakiss 2 and his VERZUZ opps 0.
Man, I’m so elated! Last night’s VERZUZ embodied everything that is Hip-Hop. It was loud. It was braggadocious. The LOX were lyrical. It was flashy. It was competitive. It was respectfully disrespectful, at times. And it was a clear and concise winner. That crown and trophy goes to Jadakiss aka The Transmission and his band of brothers from Yonkers, Living Off Xperience. They did their thing!
I texted Brother Chuck Creekmur well after midnight to briefly recap what I witnessed. It was as if I was in a fog. I needed some clarity. This wasn’t supposed to go like it did. This VERZUZ wasn’t supposed to be so unevenly matched. Jadakiss wasn’t supposed to be the coolest, most confident, slickest, wittiest, funniest, entertaining figure of the night. Not with Cam on stage with him, I initially thought. In my recollection, Cam’s public persona is usually all of those things that I referenced Jada as being last night. And in hindsight, I believe that’s what made me sway to the side of Dipset. I thought that their showmanship would lead them to a very close victory over The LOX. But once Jada snatched that from Cam beginning with, “You live in Miami, drop that sh#t Tech” and they commenced to perform F#ck You, it was a wrap!
I told shorty this morning, they were hit with all headshots. It was that violent. The Lox were not playing with them at all. They did not let their feet off the gas for a moment. Now, I should’ve known that they weren’t going to be playing by the way Styles P was trading jabs with Jim Jones on social media leading up to the official battle. Great marketing and promotions by both gentlemen. They both did a tremendous job selling the matchup to the public. But again, I should’ve realized how serious it was when one was laughing at his opponents drip and the other was chastising his brother’s intellectual competence. Styles said he was petty, but gotdamn Ghost. I think every other rap group in the industry has been forewarned that they do not want a problem with Styles P on social media or in a booth or a makeshift rap battle ring in MSG. People are calling it the “Massacre At MSG!” Have y’all seen the meme with Jada in a New York Knicks Melo jersey with his stats: 62 points, 23-35 field goals and 13 rebounds? Hilarious! This was a Top 5 performances in the history of Madison Square Garden!
As I wrap up my personal documented account of what happened at The Lox Verzuz battle with Dipset, let us revisit some clear takeaways. Some do’s and don’ts moving forward for any participants in a future rap Verzuz :
Let’s talk about what not to do first because they’re just so obvious and easy to discuss.
- Don’t enter a battle discombobulated and thrown off.
- Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Know your opponent and choose the correct apparatus to fight with.
- Don’t bring the non-verbal hype man. Leave him at home. He serves no purpose for this type of competition.
- Don’t try to relive the time by dressing in the attire from two decades ago.
- Don’t do anything that could potentially get you booed by the crowd, i.e “freestyle” acapella.
- Do be prepared for verbal combat and showmanship. Rehearse.
- Do know the words to your songs so you don’t have to lip sync the entire show.
- Do have stage presence.
- Do have a plan and stick to it.
- And please, please, please recruit Jada if you’re going for the win!
This editorial was originally titled “Lawd Have Mercy,” but changed by the editors. And it was written by Cornell Dews.