As a suitable opponent for Busta Rhymes is sorted out, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s Verzuz unveiled another match-up has been locked and loaded – and they’re teasing the Hip Hop fest with silhouettes of the next rappers.
On Friday (October 1), the official Verzuz Instagram account revealed it’d set an October 17 date at Barclays Center in partnership with USA’s upcoming horror series, Chucky.
“WANNA PLAY? We got a new VERZUZ on the way Sunday, October 17th, brought to you by the killer new series, #Chucky,” the Instagram caption read. “Who do y’all think it is!? Drop your guesses in the comments below and we’ll pick an entry at random to get a pair of tix!”
It didn’t take long before a legion of fans unanimously identified the silhouettes of both Boogie Down Productions-era KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane’s “Smooth Operator” flattop haircut.
Snoop Dogg — who has a whopping 65.5 million Instagram followers — saw his comment rise to the top of the pile and couldn’t contain the old school rap fan within.
“Big daddy. Kane. V. K. R. S1,” The Doggfather wrote, likely still buzzing with the euphoria swelled by his Super Bowl co-headlining announcement.
Legendary producer DJ Premier, who’s no stranger to Verzuz himself (having squared off against Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA in April 2020) bit his tongue on the answer but revealed, “I can tell by the silhouette.”
While no lone act can lay claim to propelling Hip Hop along by themselves, to say the culture would thrive in its current state without KRS-One’s contributions would be false. In 1986, he co-founded the group Boogie Down Productions as the lead rapper alongside DJ’s Scott La-Rock and D-Nice (yes, that D-Nice). Despite Scott La-Rock’s 1987 murder, the group would push forward, releasing Hip Hop pillar albums Criminal Minded and By All Means Necessary, unleashing a plethora of beat-breaks, rhyme schemes, samples and rap cadences that would influence Hip Hop generations in the future.
Fellow Hip Hop legends Dr. Dre, Eminem, Nas, Common and even the late 2Pac have all vocally vouched for “The T’cha’s” emeritus status throughout various interviews over the years.
A staunch supporter of civil rights and Hip Hop unity, KRS-One has been on the forefront of several “Stop the Violence” movements throughout his career and even released his 27th album overall — the aptly-themed Between Da Protest — in 2020.
As the most flashy member of The Juice Crew, one of Hip Hop earliest super-collectives (not to mention direct rivals to KRS-One’s Boogie Down Productions clique), Big Daddy Kane helped pioneer the modern-day rap star’s likeness in terms of visible talent combined with overall marketability.
After soaking up game with his late friend Biz Markie (and etching his name in history on Juice Crew’s iconic song “The Symphony”), BDK would go on to release his instant-classic debut album Long Live The Kane with producer Marley Marl, brandishing signature hits such as “Raw” and “Ain’t No Half-Steppin’.
He would also flex early star power and sex symbol status rappers now enjoy by the Instagram post following his Grammy Award-win for spitting rhymes on Quincy Jones’ 1991 album, Back on the Block.
In the early ’90s, he posed for both Playgirl and Madonna’s provocative hardcover SEX and eventually caught the acting bug, starring in the films Posse, Meteor Man all within that ’90s media blitz. He’s also currently working on a Hip Hop-bridging Netflix documentary titled Paragraphs I Manifest.
The pairing of two Golden Age Hip Hop legends will serve as the 35th edition of the former quarantine time waster. Interestingly enough, Rakim had previously called out his contemporary Big Daddy Kane for a Verzuz battle in August 2020, citing real Hip Hop as being the basis of the challenge.
“Do it for Hip-Hop??? @officialbigdaddykane @verzuztv @thegodrakim #TheGodMC #Rakim #RakimAllah #TheR #The18thLetter #TheMicrophoneFiend #MicrophoneFiend #FollowTheLeader #EricBandRakim #EricB #PaidInFull #TheSeventhSeal #BigDaddyKane #Verzuz #SwizzBeats #Timbaland,” Rakim captioned in a since-recanted Instagram post.