For 15 years Gucci Mane and Jeezy have been involved in a bitter feud that ultimately turned deadly. So fans were understandably shocked when the rappers linked for a Verzuz battle last night. But alas, these are the times we live in – when we trade rap beef for IG Live battles and Travis Scott marks the occasion with merch.
News of the rappers' Verzuz battle hit the internet last week when Gucci took to Instagram to make the announcement. The news shocked hip hop fans who know just how contested this Atlanta beef is. One famous fan, Travis Scott, even took it upon himself to commemorate the historic Instagram Battle with two tees through his Cactus Jack imprint.
After much anticipation, Jeezy and Mane’s Verzuz face-off finally took place at Atlanta’s Magic City. 1.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the tense battle unfold. In some highlights, Jeezy refused to stand up, Gucci bragged about his outfit, Jeezy tried to upstage his opponent by bragging about his real estate, and the pair played searing diss track after diss track.
It felt as if at any moment, things were going to go left. And then the two rappers announced plans to end their feud right there with a joint performance of “Icy.” This was not just another friendly Verzuz battle between industry peers, this was a truce for the culture. Prior to last night, Mane and Jeezy have perhaps one of the most spiteful rivalries in modern hip hop, that it even resulted in a death.
So why was this Verzuz battle such a big deal? It all goes back to 2005 when Jeezy and Mane first collaborated on the track "Icy." Jeezy believed it would feature on his debut album, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, but instead, Mane beat him to the punch and debuted it on his first independent album, Trap House.
Following the release, Jeezy claimed he was never paid for the collab. He subsequently dropped the track "Stay Strapped," where he called Mane out by his government name – Radric Davis – and put a bounty on his head. The following war of words resulted in some of the greatest diss tracks ever.
However, shots weren't only fired on wax. In May 2005, the violence got physical when four men broke into Gucci Mane's house and assaulted him. Mane responded to the raid by fatally shooting one of the assailants, Henry Lee Clark III, aka Pookie Loc, one of Jeezy's associates.
As it was an act of self-defense, Mane was later acquitted of the murder, however, things understandably remained sour between him and Jeezy. The latter dubiously claiming he had nothing to do with the attack.
Fast forward to 2020. The rappers have seemingly buried the hatchet and have amicably battled it out track-for-track on Instagram. So, has Covid killed the rap beef once and for all?
If Twitter were to judge it: Yes. Check out some of the hilarious ways people are reacting to the surprising Verzuz below.