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Who Really Won Jeezy & Gucci Mane's 'Verzuz' Match?
Gucci Mane and Jeezy's Verzuz was an absolute slugfest. The match featured the two foes playing their most iconic songs. Here's who we think won.
Thursday night’s Verzuz may go down as the most historic yet. After weeks of confusion and 15 years of conflict, Gucci Mane and Jeezy sat in the same room and squared off in a battle that drew millions of viewers. They didn’t exactly play nice, but the evening went on without any interruption.
This battle was a must-see event, but it didn’t do much to change any stans’ mind. Most of the viewers had already picked their side years before it even went down. During the battle, there was very little banter between the two. Tension was high. And it was clear very early that the two were not friends. After playing “Truth,” his ruthless Jeezy diss, Gucci taunted his opponent and mocked the death of Jeezy's friend. Jeezy stayed committed to being the bigger man and responded by trying to extend an olive branch. (Jeezy would later say on the Breakfast Club that he isn't the man he was 20 years ago.)
But by the end of the battle, things warmed up. The two performed "So Icey" together for the first time in more than a decade. Gucci thanked Jeezy for extending an olive branch. The two went on to party together at Compound, though there was plenty of distance between their crews, so maybe they’ve patched things up for good. (At this point, however, it seems like there’s more ill will between their fan bases than them personally.)
Now we can get down to the music. Please note that this isn’t a competition of who could be more disrespectful, who’s legacy holds up the strongest, or who has the most influence on the modern generation of rappers. It’s 20 Gucci Mane songs versus 20 Jeezy songs. Let's get into it, shall we?
Winner: Gucci. Jeezy played one of the more moving intros from a classic project, Trap or Die, but this round was more of a temperature check. Gucci didn’t waste time pretending this was going to be a friendly affair. He broke all pretense from the jump here, so he gets points for the sheer audacity and the fact that he didn’t keep us waiting. 1-0 Gucci.
Winner: Jeezy. This one wasn't close. There’s a ton of Gucci tracks that could realistically compete with "Trap or Die," but this isn’t one of them. Also, since he’s going second, Jeezy has the advantage of counterpunching. We’ll get back to that later because it was definitely a running theme here. 1-1 Tie.
Winner: Jeezy. Jeezy started the battle off strong with a string of Trap or Die and Thug Motivation 101-erahits. For someone who’s had his share of misses in his later years, Jeezy definitely knows what works in his catalog. In the context of a Verzuz that’s an invaluable skill. I Think "I Love Her" would take a round against one of Jeezy’s lesser songs. But not here. 2-1 Jeezy
Winner: Gucci. Before Verzuz started, a major question was how deep into the mixtape catalog Gucci could go, since this was an official Apple Music event. He reached back to 2012 with a banger from Trap Back. 2-2 Tie.
Winner: Gucci. "Bottom of the Map" is a good deep cut from TM101 but "I’m A Dog" is a cult classic and one of Gucci’s finer early works with Zaytoven. 3-2 Gucci.
Winner: Gucci. This was a battle of two deep cuts that may have been overshadowed by other hits at the time of their release. I’m giving it to Gucci though, but just by a hair. 4-2 Gucci
Winner: Jeezy. It’s a common (and understandable) mistake to play a track that did well commercially but didn’t resonate amongst your core fanbase. “Wake Up in the Sky” is a perfectly fine appeal to Top 40 radio for Gucci but in the context of a Verzuz, he definitely could’ve left that at home. This came at a moment where Gucci tried to goad Jeezy into playing newer tracks. It didn't work. 4-3 Gucci
Winner: Jeezy. At this point, it felt like Gucci was getting to the hits that originally made him a star. Jeezy knew he’d have to balance his early mixtape/TM101 eras with commercial classics from later in his run. TM101 is just a loaded album. 4-4 Tie.
Winner: Jeezy. Once again Gucci played a track that may have done well commercially but didn’t really resonate. “Both” is an extremely forgettable track that seemed like an obligatory Drake collaboration at the time it was released, and feels even more so in 2020. “Go Crazy” was an uppercut. 5-4 Jeezy
Winner: Jeezy. Shit, this one was close. "All There" is a banger from Jeezy’s late catalog with a stellar feature from the late great Bankroll Fresh. Gucci gave the best-backhanded compliment of the evening after Jeezy dropped this, even he couldn’t deny it. It’s honestly tragic, because "Bricks" deserves to take a round, and very well could have against many of Jeezy’s lesser songs. Again, Jeezy picked amazing counter-punches and in this case, he didn’t even have to play one of his strongest cards. 6-4 Jeezy.
Winner: Tie. It’s honestly impossible to pick a winner here. “Who Dat” is a foundational beat for the modern trap sound and “Make the Trap Aye” is a classic in its own right. The takeaway from this round is that there should’ve been a mediator here to have them switch turns. It’d give Gucci a chance to counterpunch like Jeezy did so effectively in the first half. However, I understand how nobody would want to step between these two. 6-4-1 Jeezy
Winner: Jeezy. Gucci had been petty this entire battle, but Jeezy finally returned the favor in this round by playing a heater from one of Gucci’s closest friends, the late Shawty Lo. Gucci’s verse on "Steady Mobbin" is definitely a classic in its own right, but "Dey Know (Remix)" is an anthem. 7-4-1 Jeezy.
Winner: Jeezy. Thug Motivation 103 wasn’t one of Jeezy’s strongest albums, but “Lose My Mind” is definitely one of his strongest singles. A pure club anthem that beats out a strong selection from The State vs. Radric Davis. 8-4-1 Jeezy.
Winner: Gucci. At this point, Gucci’s getting into his mixtape classics. “Way Too Gone” is an under-appreciated gem from TM103 but it’s not holding up against this early Gucci anthem. Gucci is making a comeback. 8-5-1 Jeezy.
WINNER: Gucci. "First Day Out" is such a classic that it birthed a modern rap trend on its own. Every rapper who’s been incarcerated post-2015 has dropped their own version of this song. Every single line of this is iconic. “Air Forces” is a classic track in its own right but “First Day Out” takes this one. 8-6-1 Jeezy
Winner: Gucci. Gucci had finally hit his stride at this point. We’re getting to the point of the battle where every round is basically too close to call, but "Photoshoot" takes this round easily. 8-7-1 Jeezy.
Winner: Jeezy. "Wasted" is a well-known banger that still gets spins to this day. It features a scene-stealing guest verse from Plies. However, "Trap Star" touched the streets, the clubs, and even became a staple for high school and college marching bands across the South. It’s hard to beat a track with horns that majestic, even if the chorus has a spelling error. 9-7-1 Jeezy.
\u201c\ud83d\ude2d\ud83d\ude2d\ud83d\ude2d\ud83d\ude2d\ud83d\ude2d\ud83d\ude2d\ud83d\ude2d\u201d— GUAP (@GUAP) 1605839202
Winner: Jeezy. The knee-jerk reaction here is to give Gucci points for the audacity — and I wouldn’t blame you if you did — but at this point in the battle we just wanna hear the music. This isn’t a battle of who can be the most disrespectful, we’re going song for song. At this point, the battle became super tense, with Gucci saying he's “smoking” on Pookie Loc — a reference to Jeezy's friend who was killed in his altercation with Gucci. After that, Jeezy gave a speech trying to defuse the situation. Jeezy’s speech dragged a bit, but the transition did show how much thought he put into sequencing overall. Allegedly, Gucci said he regretted being so disrespectful after the fact. (That didn't stop Gucci from uploading the song on DSPs.) 10-7-1 Jeezy.
Winner: Jeezy. The word of the day is “anthemic” and there are very few examples better than “Put On,” regardless of genre. Classic song, classic video, classic Kanye West feature. In an old interview, Drumma Boy said he wanted to recreate the classic Chicago Bulls pre-game intro music for this beat. At this point, Jeezy was pulling away and that was mainly due to confusing song choices from Gucci. 11-7-1 Jeezy
Winner: Gucci. “Seen it All” is amazing, and honestly might be a better JAY-Z collaboration than the “Go Crazy” remix. But again, the word of the day is “anthemic,” and "Trap House" is just that. Shawty Redd and Jeezy teamed up for quite a few classics, but he gave Gucci one of his earliest hits for his debut album.11-8-1 Jeezy.
Winner: Jeezy. "I Get the Bag," which features Migos, is a perfectly fine single for 2017 radio play, but it doesn’t hold up in this context. This battle was honestly a testament to how well Thug Motivation 101 held up over time. 12-8-1 Jeezy.
Winner: Gucci. "Soul Survivor" is one of the Jeezy tracks that didn’t really stand the test of time. The track, which features Akon on the hook, hit no. 1 on Billboard’s rap charts, but "Pillz" perfectly encapsulates a specific time period in Atlanta. Advantage: Radric. 12-9-1 Jeezy.
WINNER: Jeezy. Another one of those close battles that pretty much comes down to personal preference. For me, the "J.E.E.Z.Y." hook is just too memorable. 13-9-1 Jeezy.
Winner: Gucci. But how the hell did Gucci wait this long to play this song? It was literally round 24 before Gucci played one of his most notable songs. This battle definitely lived up to the hype, but both rappers left a little meat on the bone. Jeezy didn’t play “And Then What,” “My President,” Kanye West's “So Amazing,” or “Spaceships on Bankhead.” Gucci waited too late to play "Lemonade," and didn’t play “Go Head,” “Freaky Gurl,” or “Trap House 3.” 13-10-1 Jeezy — Verzuz Winner