Swizz Beatz & Timbaland AKA The Instigators came up with a official series of Hip-Hop & R&B matches called #VERZUZ after their recent battle on Instagram live. It is the perfect time to do this due to the coronavirus. This is a dream list of Hip-Hop, Rap, and R&B greatests and top producers, DJ’s, musicians and songwriters who have contributed significantly to the genre and more. Swizz Beatz has spoken about keeping VERZUZ positive, educational, and a celebration.
Kanye West (“Big Ego”) VS. Pharrell (“Mr. Humble”)
These two creative powerhouses have blended the past with the present at points in their career as to making songs that changed the sound of Hip-Hop.
Kanye can sample a soulful classic repetitively in a song without it sounding annoying. He has made the sample loop as his signature sound. Producing for others, he has made Hip-Hop songs and some R&B songs that are in either one or two of these categories: Soulful sound, sample repetition, gospel presence, dreamingly smooth, or cold.
Kanye West Stand Out Tracks
- Jay-Z, Kanye West-Otis featuring Otis Redding
- Kanye West-The Good Life featuring T-Pain
- Alicia Keys-You don’t know my name
Pharrell AKA “Skateboard P” has created musical grooves that you can move to that make you wonder if you are on another planet (pun intended). He can put together an instrumental that is either fun, create a mosh pit or seductive. These two are the representation of what is to be cool. This will be a dream match up!
Pharrell Stand Out Tracks
- Nelly-Hot in here
- Snoop Dogg-Beautiful
Bad Boy (P Diddy) VS. So So Def (Jermaine Dupri)
These two need no introduction: They are the definition of greatness, black excellence, era defining hits, and responsible for many timeless songs from Hip-Hop to R&B! When you think of P. Diddy’s legacy it consists of Biggie Smalls, Mase, Mary J. Blige and etc.
Sean Combs (Bad Boy)
Legendary hits have graced the ears of millions. Diddy’s bop with his self confidence to match has been highly noticed before Dance-a-Thon Instagram live.
Bad Boy Stand Out Tracks
- Mary J. Blige-Real Love
- The Notorious B.I.G.-Mo Money Mo Problems featuring Puff Daddy & Mase
- Diddy, Ginuwine, Loon, Mario Winans, Tammy Ruggieri-I Need A Girl PT ll
Jermaine Dupri (So So Def)
Going back to 1990 with artist Silk Tymes Leather, JD has been reigning in the musical industry for over 25 years. From producing Hip-Hop & R&B hits to solo songs is why he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
So So Def Stand Out Tracks
- Xscape – Just Kickin’ It
- Kris Kross – Jump
- Jermaine Dupri, Jay-Z – Money Ain’t a Thang
Earlier this week, JD appeared on B. Dot’s IG Live stated that he doesn’t want to battle anyone below his caliber and Diddy wasn’t talking about him necessarily. Diddy popped into the chat mentioning that he wanted to battle Dr. Dre. He also mentioned that he will battle JD and Dr. Dre at the same time!
Just Blaze VS. Bink
Both of these producers are instrumental (pun intended) to Jay-Z’s success in the early 2000’s. Besides of course Kanye…Just Blaze and Bink supplied the soulful and grimey beats to a phetola of artists. Even after the consistent Jay run, these two have created songs the culture loves. What makes this match controversial is Bink saying, “Just Blaze stole his sound and some material without ever giving him credit for it.”
Just Blaze Stand Out Tracks
- Jay-Z-Song Cry
- Jay-Z-Public service announcement (interlude)
- Jay-Z, Dynasty-Intro
Bink Stand Out Tracks
- Jay-Z, Dynasty-You, Me, Him and Her
- Jay-Z – All I Need
- Kanye West, Rick Ross-Devil In A New Dress
Cool & Dre VS. The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
Cool & Dre
Hailing from North Miami, Florida, Cool & Dre started out the gate producing one of Ja Rule’s biggest hits “New York.” The duo has since produced big tracks for Fat Joe, DJ cdKhaled, and countless others.
Cool & Dre Stand out Tracks
- Fat Joe-All the way up
- 50 Cent & The Game-Hate it or love it
- Kent Jones-Don’t mind
The Justice League are kings when it comes to making songs for albums that are smooth and cinematic. They are the triple threats that have produced a Grammy Award Best R&B Album for Mary J. Blige The Breakthrough (2006).
Justice League Stand Out Tracks
- Rick Ross-Aston Martin Music
- Lil Wayne-John featuring Rick Ross
- Drake-Paris Morton Music
Rodney Jerkins (“Darkchild”) VS. Saalam Remi
Rodney Jerkins (“Darkchild”) has created magic with some of today’s top R&B and pop singers in the industry. His versatility of R&B, Hip-Hop, Gospel, and Pop has created timeless hits placing him among all-time greats songwriters and producers.
Rodney Jerkins Stand Out Tracks
- Michael Jackson-Rock my world
- Destiny’s Child-Say my name
- Brandy, Monica-The Boy Is Mine
Appearing first on the keys of Kurtis Blow’s “Kingdom Blow,” Salaam Remi has taken Hip-Hop and R&B by storm since the late 1990’s. Producing for artists such as Amy Winehouse,The Fugees and Nas, he has solidified himself as one of the top producers in the industry.
Salaam Remi Stand Out Tracks
- Amy Winehouse-Tears dry own their own
- Nas-Made you look
- The Fugees-Fu-Gee-La
Pete Rock VS. Large Professor
Starting out as a rap duo with CL Smooth, the classic album Mecca & the Soul Brother in 1992 was created. Since then, Pete Rock has become a household name producing classic material for Nas, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Run DMC.
Pete Rock Stand Out Tracks
- Pete Rock & C.L Smooth-T.R.O.Y (They Reminisce Over You)
- Nas-The World Is Yours
- Run DMC-Down With The King
Large Professor, on the other hand, had set the platform for a young Nas to show and prove his talent and more. LP was a rapper, producer, and overall huge contributor to the creation as part of Main Source set The Golden Era in motion. Some of the Hip-Hop greats he has worked with are Big Daddy Kane, A Tribe Called Quest, Eric B. & Rakim,, Pete Rock & C.L.Smooth etc.
Large Professor Stand Out Tracks
- Nas – It ain’t hard to tell
- Nas – Live at the BBQ
- A Tribe Called Quest-Keep it rollin’
Keri Hilson VS. Ester Dean
Keri Hilson created many of the hits the world jammed to before releasing her solo singing career! She has written for top artists like Mary J. Blige and Ludacris, among others.
Keri Hilson Stand Out Tracks
- Mary J. Blige – Take Me as I am
- Britney Spears – Gimmie More
- Omarion – Ice Box
Now lets not sleep on Ester Dean! She is nicknamed “The Song Machine” for a reason. The songwriter has written for artists that have skyrocketed to the top of the pop charts. These names include Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Selena Gomez.
Ester Dean Stand Out Tracks
- Katy Perry-Firework
- Rihanna-Rude boy
- Drop it low (featuring Chris Brown)
DJ Khaled VS. DJ Mustard
DJ Khaled is the king of bringing artists together. Ever since Khaled said…”You smart” in the intro of “Hold You Down” DJ Khaled has become Mr. Personality not only in Hip-Hop, but the world. He is now an “OG” with a list of hits to back his saying… “Another One.”
DJ Khaled Stand Out Tracks
- All I Do Is Win
- Wild Thoughts (Featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller)
- I Got The Keys
DJ Mustard has been dropping hits since his arrival to the mainstream. He has become one of the go-to producers in the game. He has produced for some of today’s mainstream rappers YG, Roddy Richh, and Ty Dolla $ign.
DJ Mustard Stand Out Tracks
- Big Sean-I Don’t F With You featuring E-40
- With 2Chainz-I’m Different
- Tyga-Rack City
Tay Keith VS. Murda Beatz
When you hear “Tay Keith, fuck these n*ggas up!” at the beginning of a record, you already know it’s gonna be a smash hit! With big hits like Drake’s ‘Nonstop’ and Beyonce’s ‘Before I Let Go’, Keith is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Tay Keith Stand Out Tracks
- Travis Scott featuring Drake-Sicko Mode
- BlockBoy JB, Drake-Look Alive
With a plethora of talented Canadian producers, Murda Beatz stands out in the crowd with top charting singles by Drake, Migos, and Travis Scott!
Murda Beatz Stand Out Tracks
- Drake-Nice For What
- Migos-Motorsport Featuring Nicki Minaj, Cardi B
- French Montana featuring Drake-No Shopping
Metro Boomin VS. Mike WiLL Made-It
Metro Boomin and Mike Will Made It are not only leaders in the South, but are on the upper echelon of producers for today’s overall top Rap and R&B artists. Both these producers are legends.
His producer tag is the most popular in Rap. Examples are “If Young Metro don’t trust you i’m gon’ shoot you” and “Metro Boomin want some more n*gga.” Boomin produced for Future, 21 Savage, The Weeknd, Post Malone and more. He continues to add to his big collection of records that consist of top 20 Hip-Hop/R&B songs, gold, and platinum hits.
Metro Boomin Stand Out Tracks
- Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert-Bad and Boujee
- Future-Mask off
- 21 Savage-X featuring Future
Mike Will Made It
As mentioned before, Mike WiLL Made-It is an essential part of the South as to taking over the Billboard charts. 2012-2017 was full of chart topping songs that gave him the right to be spoken about as top producers of this generation. Rae Sremmurd, Kendrick Lamar, Miley Cyrus, Ciara, are just some of the artists that placed remarkably on the charts.
Mike Will Made It Stand Out Tracks
- Kendrick Lamar-Humble
- Rae Sremmurd, Gucci Mane-Black Beatles
T-Minus VS. 40
These two producers put the limelight on Canada as the country that is now noticed for having musical talent. Their work with Drake is in the music record books.
In 2007, he produced his first song for Drake called Replacement Girl featuring Trey Songz alongside OVO label mate Boi-1da. He gained his first #1 Rap/R&B hit with “How Low” by Ludacris. On J. Cole’s “MIDDLE CHILD” shouted out: “You good, T-Minus?”
Since his arrival, T-Minus has made multiple hits the past decade. T.I, DJ Khaled, A$AP Rocky, and Justin Bieber are some of the other artists he produced for.
T-Minus Stand Out Tracks
- Kendrick Lamar-Swimming Pools (Drank)
- Young Thug featuring J.Cole & Travis Scott-London
- Drake-The Motto featuring Lil Wayne
40 is on the Mount Rushmore of Canadian producers that presence on the Billboard charts is impeccable. He is a staple in music that has blended Rap, R&B, & Lo-fi, creating an original sound. Besides his big history of working with Drake, he has produced tracks for Nas, Usher, and Lil Wayne.
40 Stand Out Tracks
- Drake-0-100/The Catch Up
- Alicia Keys-Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)
- Drake, The Weeknd-Crew Love