Each Verzuz matchup brings about suggestions from fans, and even artists themselves, as to who should be the next two contestants to step on the stage for a celebratory battle. The pairing of Fat Joe and Ja Rule on Tuesday (Sept. 14) was no different and prompted Jermaine Dupri—who attended last night’s event at Madison Square Garden—to publicly offer Diddy the opportunity to go round-for-round and determine the superior hit-maker.
“Somebody let @Diddy know I’m @thegarden right now! And he gon need some training for me,” Dupri tweeted with a selfie of himself standing outside of the world-famous arena.
Diddy—who has a long-running history with Dupri dating back to the ’90s—responded on Twitter, rebuffing his Atlanta-bred counterpart, arguing that Dupri doesn’t have the firepower to withstand a matchup with him based on his body of work with The Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige alone. He also took the time to voice his respect for Dupri’s musical contributions before concluding that Dr. Dre is the only boardsman in hip-hop that could test his mettle in a battle.
“Beloved you my n*gga but your arms too short to box with God!!” You ain’t got enough hits,” Diddy wrote. “I’ll smash you with just biggie n Mary. But I do have the upmost respect on you as a musical legend. Dre the only one can get in the ring w me.”
Hours later, Dupri replied to Diddy’s tweet, writing, “Don’t nothin’ get straightenin’ but straightenin,” which can be deciphered as him egging Diddy and urging him to step up to the plate and back up his words with action.
Beloved you my nigga but your arms too short to box with God!!! You aiint got enough hits. I’ll smash you with just biggie n Mary . But I do have the upmost respect on you as a musical legend – Dre the only one can get in the ring w me . – LOVE ?
— LOVE (@Diddy) September 15, 2021
Don’t nothin’ get straightenin’ but straightenin
— Jermaine Dupri (@jermainedupri) September 15, 2021
Atlanta rapper T.I. jumped in the fray, voicing his disagreement with Diddy’s appraisal of Dupri while questioning the underlying sentiment that southern rap artists aren’t equipped to go hit for hit with their northern counterparts.
“I disagree,” Tip wrote, adding, “Side note: Why do I feel NY ni**az (Most of which I love,look up to, appreciate and respect)always feel like they so much above competition with their Atlanta (southern)constituents???? @50Cent ducking me the same way (@jermainedupri).”
This isn’t the first time Diddy has challenged Dr. Dre to a Verzuz matchup, as he’s been adamant that he will only face-off against the Aftermath Entertainment founder for over a year at this point. According to Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, at one point, Dr. Dre was actually on board to partake in a Verzuz battle. But the technical difficulties of Teddy Riley and Babyface’s matchup ultimately resulted in a change of heart.
While Diddy’s has had a hand in creating some of the biggest anthems in hip-hop and R&B history, many could argue that Dupri is more creatively involved in the creation of a record, from songwriting to production and all facets in between. This, paired along with his induction to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, makes him a formidable opponent and not one to sleep on. That said, a pitting of Diddy against Dr. Dre, the preeminent producers of the ’90s, would be a historical moment for the culture and arguably one of Verzuz‘s most star-studded pairings.