Music

Diddy & Jermaine Dupri Agree to Verzuz-Like Music Battle

During an Instagram Live session on Thursday, Diddy and Jermaine Dupri discussed the potential of holding a music battle in Atlanta.

It appears that Diddy has given into holding a music battle with fellow ’90s hitmaker Jermaine Dupri. During an Instagram Live on Thursday night (August 18), the Bad Boy Records and Love Records founder invited Dupri into the session, inviting the So So Def founder to go head-to-head.

“JD, if you want that smoke, you can get that smoke anytime,” said rapper-mogul, whose real name is Sean Combs.

Dupri, seated next to songwriter and producer Bryan-Michael Cox, agreed to holding a match in Atlanta, playing selections from their Bad Boy Records and So So Def Recordings catalogs, respectively.

“Since we ain’t fucking with Verzuz no more since ’cause they f****** around with our boys, we don’t need to be going against each other,” Diddy said. “Let’s come together and do that Bad Boy, So So Def in Atlanta. It ain’t no Verzuz, it’s just hit for hit.”

“Let’s do it,” Dupri responded.

Combs isn’t the only Bad Boy Records act calling to boycott Verzuz after Timbaland and Swizz Beatz decided to sue Triller. On Thursday, The Lox member Styles P told TMZ that “Hip-hop people shouldn’t f*** with [Verzuz] if Swizz and Tim [aren’t] involved.”

Dupri initially challenged Combs to a Verzuz battle in 2021, to which Combs responded that his only worthy opponent was Death Row Records and Aftermath Entertainment founder, Dr. Dre. Afterwards, the two got into a shouting match on Instagram Live, with Combs playing hit Bad Boy Records songs including “One More Chance” to tease Dupri.

Also in September 2021, Dupri stopped by Atlanta’s V-103 radio station to flex his Hall of Fame Songwriter accolade over Combs.

“I am in the Songwriters Hall of Fame,” he said. “Puff Daddy’s not in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Steve Stoute and the Trackmasters are not in the Hall of Fame. I shouldn’t have to play nothing. I am in a seat that Puff Daddy can’t pay for.”

In January, Dupri visited the New Rory & MAL podcast to share that a battle between himself and Combs would be unlikely.

“I feel like it’s a performance-based thing now and the majority of Puff’s records, who’s gonna perform?” he questioned at the time. “Yeah, [you can include] The LOX, but you can’t have nobody do Big’s verses! And I don’t know that Ma$e would come out with him no more, so I don’t think that it would happen based on that. All my people, we rockin’ and we comin’ with a whole lot of energy!”

Dupri also explained that although Bad Boy Records may have ran ’90s hip-hop and R&B, the 2000s era of urban music belonged to So So Def.

“Puff — and anybody else that thinks about this battle — they try to downplay the Bow Wow era,” he said. “When we get into the 2001, 2002, 2003 era of So So Def, I don’t know that Bad Boy was even in existence… I never seen a Bad Boy record No. 1 on 106 & Park.”

He added, “[The] Emancipation of Mimi came out in 2007. People be forgetting about that whole little patch of records. I’m telling you, I don’t give a fuck what nobody say; Puff Daddy ain’t got nothing for 2007 — not on Bad Boy!”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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