Celebrating the one year anniversary of Verzuz, co-founders Swizz Beatz and Timbaland appeared on The Breakfast Club and revealed why Dr. Dre declined to participate in Verzuz.
“Dr. Dre was at the Teddy Riley one. He came at the end,” Swizz Beatz explains at the 14:40 mark of the interview. “But he was suppose to come at the end and announce that he was gonna do Verzuz that night.”
Teddy Riley and Babyface Verzuz was delayed due to Babyface testing positive for the coronavirus, but the two icons eventually participated in Verzuz three weeks later on April 20th of 2020. Over 500,000 tuning in and breaking the Instagram Live all time record.
Part of the delay for the Riley-Babyface showdown was technical issues on Riley’s end causing the Verzuz to be postponed. On their 3rd attempt issues still occurred as the two artists had trouble connecting with one another via Instagram live. Although the two finally connected and delivered a memorable night, fans weren’t pleased with the delays, as well as one iconic Hip Hop artist in Dr. Dre.
According to Swizz Beatz, Dre was all for doing a Verzuz, but unfortunately he would later decline the offer after witnessing first hand the technical issues for Riley Verzuz Babyface. Dre was in attendance and was scheduled to make a huge announcement. “I don’t think he was gonna announce who he was battling, he was going to announce, ‘Yo, I’m coming. Just be ready’. Then he got on the phone and he was like, ‘I can’t be apart of nothing that look like or sound like that. My legacy is quality’. I was just like, ‘Oh, we just lost Dre’. That one felt pretty crazy, but since then the energy has been very good.”
Indeed it has. Since then Verzuz has taken off with epic “battles” and most recently they’re new partnership with Thriller will take things to newer heights for both sides. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz have also given portion of their equity stake to 43 performers who have participated in Verzuz.