Will Smith Wants to Square Up with LL Cool J in a ‘Verzuz’ Battle

Despite suspecting he’d get dominated, Will Smith challenges LL Cool J to a Verzuz matchup.

In boxing, there are two types of fighters; the ones that are out for the win and the ones that are in the ring purely for the chemical rush. Though he hasn’t strapped on the gloves, even on screen, in 20 years, Will Smith appears to fall into the latter category of competitors.

While on a press run for his new film, King Richard, the rapper-turned-actor-turned-Hollywood-mainstay claimed he’d been itching for the opportunity to do a Verzuz matchup and had already identified a prospective opponent in LL Cool J. Though he’s eager to get back into the figurative ring, Smith doesn’t seem too sure about his chances. “L is going to body me,” the actor admitted to veteran rap journalist, Sway Calloway, sitting alongside co-stars, Demi Singleton and Saniyya Sidney, after revealing he’d already begun early talks with the Queens rap icon (and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee,) about going hit-for-hit.

On the surface, it’s not hard to side with the rapper formerly known as the Fresh Prince. But Smith’s odds aren’t as bad as he seems to think. Both rappers enjoyed overlapping runs of commercial success in the mid-to-late-80s and revived their respective rap careers in the latter half of the following decade after testing the water as actors.

Watch Will Smith discuss a potential Verzuz bout with LL Cool J in the clip below. Hold tight to see if this actually pans out.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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