If you’ve been scrolling through Twitter recently, you’d have noticed that Bow Wow and Soulja Boy’s Verzuz battle have dominated the timeline. And rightly so! It’s been a long time coming since the two had been giving each other lip service over these last couple months. “Bow Wow ain't had a hit since ‘Marco Polo’ and I gave him that song,” claimed Big Draco or Young Drako – whatever he goes by nowadays. In a similar fashion, Bow Wow retorted, “I’ll be in the box office this weekend while you sit at home in your living room yelling on live at no one,” so insinuating that he’s comfortable not making music as he prepares for his upcoming cameo in the new Fast & Furious film, F9, as Twinkie.
For those who are unfamiliar, Verzuz Battle is the brainchild of hip-hop producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz (hence the stylised spelling of Verzuz). The aim is for two artists from the same era to go head-to-head against each other using their discography of hit songs, collaborations and features. Since both multi-hyphenated rappers dominated the early 2000s, this was due to be one for the ages. Especially since Big Draco’s red Lamborghini Gallardo was at stake! Over 600,000 fans tuned in via the record-breaking Instagram live.
The comment section was filled to the brim with day-one fans and seasoned celebrities alike including Certified Lover Boy, Drake; hip-hop mogul, Joe Budden; and even the legendary Quincy Jones. Let’s just say that the comment section didn’t disappoint.
As much of a showman as Soulja Boy is, the Atlanta-native brought out a flurry of surprise guests including, French Montana for their unreleased remix of “She Make It Clap,” which he teased on Instagram a few weeks prior. In addition to this, Soulja Boy teased Nicki Minaj’s version of the TikTok banger after bringing out Romeo for some classics.
Interestingly, Romeo and Bow Wow were supposed to have their own Verzuz battle before the arrangement fizzled out in a heated (and very personal) exchange. Awkward! Still, Bow Wow, being unfazed with sharing the stage with his former collaborator after twenty years, had his own star-studded line-up of guests. This included DJ Paul for the “Side 2 Side” remix, Omarion for “Let Me Hold You” as well as Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri and Dem Franchize Boyz for the “I Think They Like Me” remix.
You can imagine, right? The show was an out-and-out spectacle. There was the bickering over Beyoncé when Bow Wow spun his So So Def remix “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” with Destiny’s Child. A flex, of course. But Soulja Boy wasted no time in reminding the rapper-turned-actor that he had worked with the Queen too with the sample for “Hold Up.” Then there were the dance moves. Oh, boy! Bow Wow brought out the C-walk for “Say My Name,” which fittingly featured Snoop Dogg. Even O.T. Genasis gave his approval! Then, he did the Harlem Shake to “Take Ya Home.” It’s safe to say that Bow was feeling himself. But Soulja was never letting that slide. To the tune of “Crank That,” the rapper slid on his hand-painted sunglasses to break out the legendary moves that took the internet by storm over a decade ago.
One of our favourite highlights from the show however, really took us down memory lane. Bow Wow, also known as Shad Moss, rolled back the years by playing his debut single, “Bounce With Me” featuring Xscape. With the crowd hype and the momentum in full swing, Mr. 106 & Park turned around to reveal the original custom-made Cleveland Browns jersey from his Beware of Dog album cover.
Never thought I would be seeing that in 2021! In the end, the better man won. Arguably, Soulja Boy’s hits have been more impactful on culture, even to this day, but overall, Bow Wow’s longevity and extensive archive prevailed. Remember, this man has been around since he was six!
Once the winner was announced (and the car keys were handed over), the verbal sparring came to an end. The two chopped it up, gave praise and paid homage to each other’s cultural impact. As chaotic as the night was – the rappers didn’t reach the minimum twenty rounds – this battle will definitely go down in Verzuz history. Check out the replay on the official VerzuzTV webpage.
Jun 28, 21