With a global pandemic keeping us trapped in our homes for the foreseeable future, Instagram Live has become the premier destination for music aficionados to get their much-needed fix. And outside of DJ D-Nice’s legendary #ClubQuarantine parties, super producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have spearheaded the effort to give the people what they want—while social distancing, of course.
On Wednesday night, we were treated to the latest edition of #Verzuz, the ongoing beat battle competition commissioned by Tim and Swizz, which featured icons Scott Storch and Mannie Fresh going head up for the culture and the crown.
Prior to their skirmish, Mannie took to Instagram to pour some liquor on the curb and pay his condolences to his opponent.
“It’s a sad day,” he began. “Today I gotta pick out a casket for my homeboy Scott Storch...We gon’ miss you, bro.”
Yet for all his bravado, Mannie found himself punch-drunk almost immediately after the bell rang, with Storch pummeling him with an endless barrage of smash hits like Eve’s “Let Me Blow Your Mind,” 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” and a particularly nasty right cross in Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” To add insult to injury, myself and over 200,000 others watched in horror as Storch replayed most of his extensive arsenal live on his keyboard, transforming what was already a full-fledged ass whipping into a gruesome bloodbath.
Mannie showed signs of life, however, throwing some nice jabs like T.I.’s “Big Things Poppin’” and Lil Wayne’s “Mahogany,” but by the time Storch came off the top turnbuckle with Terror Squad’s “Lean Back,” you could almost see Mannie’s soul trying to escape from his body.
Things only got uglier from there, as Storch set Mannie up for the coup de grace with Mario’s “Let Me Love You”—which the New Orleans legend bravely countered with “Back That Azz Up”—only to put Mannie out of his misery with Dr. Dre’s “Still DRE”.
Once Mannie picked himself up off the mat after regaining consciousness, he showered Storch with genuine gratitude and praise, which was a stark contrast from the tasteless cheap shots he took throughout the battle; deploying various skits that included personal digs at Storch’s private life and well-documented cocaine abuse.
Thankfully, Storch kept his cool (I personally would’ve leaped through the phone and beat the brakes off of Mannie’s ass) and instead offered the perfect counter: “You got a lot of skits but not too many hits.”
In all, it was a thoroughly entertaining trip down memory lane, with Storch the clear victor.
And we’ll all be in for a treat this weekend, with the next installment of #Verzuz set to feature T-Pain and Lil’ Jon.
Which begs the question: When the hell are we getting Kanye vs. Pharrell? We need that!