• Tristan Acker


Timbaland and Swizz Beatz Present a new series Verzuz (I think I got that right?) and last night was an episode that will be hard to top – DJ Premier and Rza. Both of these dudes are hip-hop giants in the culture at large and known as the kings of east coast golden era production in particular. This match up was a big deal and I saw about 201,000 people in the IG live chat watching last night.

A lot of folks, myself included thought that this was going to be a lot like the Storch / Fresh battle where one producer just had more range but Rza’s deft deployment of Wu-Tang favorites as well as his own not homogenous catalog resulted in a thrillingly fun display of competitive spirit and love for hip-hop performed by two buddies. If we had to go all night Premier I think has a more diverse catalog but Rza’s tie/slight victory (I haven’t decided yet, what do you think?) performance proved a few things

a) Wu-Tang clan reeeeee *deep breath* eeeeeeeallly ain’t nothin’ to fuck with

b) The on-paper personnel diversity of your catalog is not all that matters – that RZA’s catalog has some compared-to-Premier out of left-field stuff and is arguably a more selective set of collaborations gives a new angle to these debates and Rza actually stepped up to put all of these ideas to the test.

RZA's smart use of his Kanye and Nas collabs as well as the timely selection of subtle sleeper killer tracks like Incarcerated Scarfaces was nasty man....he didn't even have to resort to using stuff from Kill Bill which to me could have been an additional killer touch but what the hell do I know? They went for another 10 rounds beyond 20 it felt like and then RZA finally had to get out of the chat before Preem did 10 minutes plus of thank yous and goodbyes. Viewers won.

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdculture hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers

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