In an age where Popularity is more sacred than quality and authenticity, an age where young artists are celebrated for following trends rather than condemned for being alike. tHe cream of the crop, still rises to the top.
Put aside all the antics, trolling and utter nonsense that is contsantly the centrepoint of rap on social media. Strip away all the fanciness, and the 'extra' s*** that social media does and you are left with an iconic beat battle between 2 legends, DJ Premier and The RZA. With as many as 195,00 viewers at one time and almost 850,000 viewers in total, this was one for the record books.
The TRUE beauty of hiphop is in the simplicity of the culture.
For 2 people that have done so much grounbreaking s*** for the culture, to go on Instagram live and go track-for-track was EPIC.
Before I continue I would like to also make an honorable mention the to the other producers/songwriters who took part in live battles of their own, Hit BOy vs Boi 1DA, Ne-Yo vs Johnta Austin, Scott Storch vs Mannie Fresh and Timbaland vs Swizz Beatz (The founders of the VERZUZ battles - big SALUTE!!).
During what we call a crisis, it is incredibly refreshing to see autheticity and quality being highlighted and celebrated among the community. Some say the 90's was the 'golden era' of rap music and after tuning in for over 2 and a half hours to Preemo v RZA, the quality of music played was unmatched. It was similar to a time machine taking over the future in the way that content, so classic and 'old school' was able to draw the attention of so many people at the same time.
This is an example of how undeniable the culuture is.
The moment Preemo played '10 Crack Commandments' it instantly installed the weight of what i was viewing. Hearing RZA drop countless 'Wu' joints was heavy. These are songs that help mold the foundation of Hip Hop for all artists, who now have a playground to do what they want because of that foundation. Whilst doing what you want is an integral part of being a sucess in music, it is key to be rooted in some sort of essence and to honour and respect what has paved the way before you. The impact of the 90's will forever hold weight.
"Would you rather be a trend or be Ralph Lauren? - Jay Z
Get ya weight up.
Making money, rapping about your gun and bending cool whips is part of the culture but without being tied to the roots it comes off tacky. Have you ever fell out of love with something because it became played out and tired?
It is hard to fall out of love with something that is truly unique. Speaking of unique The RZA, was dressed like a biker/james st.Patrick (Ghost) off power - HARD! Dj Premier was rocking a staple - black T and Snapback to the front. As 'Long Kiss Goodnight' was playing I noticed RZA wearing a 'Wu' Hat.
The respect that these 2 legends have for eachother was clear throughout the battle as they traded stories from records and gave eachother time to explain moments before dropping the next joint. This was far more sophisticated and drowned in respect, something that trash talking back and forth can not achieve.
To be considered 'special' is a bi-product of being yourself and making an impact.
Although we are all staying indoors to stop the spread of the corona, the corona cant stop the spread of the culture. Kudos to Swizz and Timbaland for creating the VERZUZ platform to showcase great 'records', great 'talent' and great 'art'.
I think Preemo took home the medal - for the record.