Music battle series Verzuz, in which two artists or producers take each other on by playing their hits, is coming to Apple Music and Beats 1.
The first session, pitting hip-hop legends Snoop Dogg against DMX, will air Wednesday, July 22 at 5pm PT/8pm ET. Considering how popular the series has been on Instagram Live, this could be a major coup for Apple.
Verzuz was started by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland in March. Since then, it has become extremely popular on IG Live, with episodes featuring the likes of Alicia Keys and Erkyah Badu scoring hundreds of thousands of views. Artists who have appeared on the show have seen their streaming figures increase by up to 300%, Variety claims. That makes it a great potential tie-in to Apple Music.
According to today’s report, Apple Music will work with Beatz and Timbaland to produce new episodes of the show. (It’s not clear what that will mean for a possible change in format for the show.)
Speaking to Variety, Swizz Beatz opened up about some of the possibilities in the future — involving some big, big names. “DMX wants to battle Jay-Z, but he’s going to sound better against Eminem,” Swizz said. “People want Usher and Chris Brown, but, that’s a big brother/little brother thing: What I’d like to see is Usher going up against Justin Timberlake, and Chris Brown vs. Justin Bieber. That makes sense to me.”
Since launching, Apple Music and Beats 1 one have leaned heavily into the hip-hop genre. This latest deal does nothing to change that. But it could certainly prove to be a great selling point for folks who like rap music.
Hey, who could say no to Snoop Dogg and DMX challenging one another for hip hop supremacy like it’s 1996 again?