Swizz Beatz has revealed that Dr. Dre almost took part in a VERZUZ battle but pulled out at the eleventh hour.
VERZUZ is the popular entertainment series that pits producers, songwriters and artists against each other in a rap battle style format on Instagram Live and Triller.
Competitors take it in turns playing a song from a list of 20 from their discography, as fans, friends and fellow artists watch on. A winner is later decided by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.
Kicking off in March last year after Timbaland and Swizz Beatz issued challenges to one another, artists that have taken part so far have included: T-Pain, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Brandy, Monica, Rick Ross, DMX, Snoop Dogg, D’Angelo and many more.
Speaking in a new interview, Swizz has revealed that one artist who almost took part in the battle series was Dr. Dre, before changing his mind after seeing the technical difficulties experienced by Babyface and Teddy Riley during their VERZUZ bout in April.
“When Dr. Dre wasn’t feeling the sound from Teddy Riley and Babyface, that hurt our heart,” Swizz told The Breakfast Club. “If you go back, Dre was at the Teddy Riley one, he came at the end. He was supposed to announce that he was going to do VERZUZ that night!”
“I don’t think he was going to announce who he was battling,” continued Swizz, after DJ Envy asked whether or not he was slated to battle Diddy. “He was going to announce ‘I’m ready, I’m coming.’ Then he got on the phone like, ‘Man, I can’t be a part of nothing that sound like that. My legacy is quality.’
Swizz added: “I was like, ‘We just lost Dre over the sound? That one felt pretty crazy. But since then, the energy has been pretty good.” You can watch the interview below.
Last Saturday (March 20), Wu-Tang Clan MCs Raekwon and Ghostface Killah went head to head in the first VERZUZ to be streamed through Triller following its recent deal with Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.
The series has announced a number of upcoming battles including longtime rhyme partners Method Man and Redman, who will face off on April 20 in a “4/20 Special”.
Elsewhere, The Isley Brothers are set to go head to head with Earth, Wind & Fire on Easter Sunday (April 4), and SWV and XSCAPE will battle it out on May 8.
Meanwhile, cassette reissues of albums by 2Pac, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre are on the way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Death Row Records.