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VERZUZ: Fat Joe Vs Ja Rule

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

You can’t tell the story of hip-hop without talking about the East Coast versus West Coast beef of the 90s. When Long Beach legend Snoop Dogg linked up with the late great Earl Simmons a.k.a DMX for their Verzuz head-to-head two years ago, it was all love and it was a great win for the culture.

So Verzuz is coming back this spring with another bicoastal battle, and it’ll involve two of the most hardcore rap groups from the 80s and 90s when Los Angeles’ Cypress Hill goes up against Queens, NY’s Onyx.  The pair will square off for the webcast series’ boxing special titled “Lineage of Greatness” on Saturday, May 14.

The event was revealed yesterday on Verzuz’s social media along with the company’s lineup for the spring and summer of 2022. To kick things off, Easter Sunday will showcase a contest between two heavyweight gospel duos. Sister Erica Campbell and Trecina Atkins-Campbell (better known as Stellar Awards winning combo Mary Mary) go up against the legendary brother-sister tandem from one of the first families of gospel music, Bebe and Cece Winans.

Verzuz’s schedule also announced events for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day Weekend, Juneteenth, and an “808 Day” special in collaboration with the electronic instruments company Roland (all of which have no further information provided or have the details blurred out for now). But what’ll really get music fans riled up is the brand’s lone event in July: its first “label vs. label” matchup.

While the number of possibilities is substantial when considering all the genres of music there are, one of the likeliest outcomes was actually teased six months ago: Bay Boy Records versus So So Def.

Jermaine Dupri, CEO and founder of So So Def, paid a visit to Madison Square Garden last September 14 to watch Fat Joe and Ja Rule engage in their own Verzuz battle. And that was when he called out Diddy on Twitter and wrote, “Somebody let @Diddy know I’m @thegarden right now! And he gon need some training for me.”

Ever the competitor, Puff didn’t appreciate the move and dismissed Dupri as small potatoes. In fact, Diddy called out a name from the days of his East Coast-West Coast beef. “Beloved you my n*gga but your arms too short to box with God!!! You aiint got enough hits,” the Bady Boy CEO responded. “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.”

But three days later, the two would butt heads again, and this time in a virtual face-to-face on Fat Joe’s Instagram Live. “I don’t know who don’t want to be there,” Joey Crack said. “If Jermaine Dupri and Puff go at it…This is colossal, this is gigantic. They need about 30 – 40 songs…”

And Fat Joe’s guest Snoop Dogg agreed. “They both got catalogs, they both got great production, they got great songs they rapped on, great artists they produced,” he replied. Them two right there, that’s a party!”

Dupri happened to be available for the IG Live show that night, so Fat Joe let him in. And Diddy wasn’t about to let JD think he could get away with the perceived disrespect. Zip to the 62-minute mark in the video below to see when the Bad Boy Records CEO enters the chat, and watch the two go at it in real-time. And tell us who you think is going to have to “hold this L” in a Verzuz battle between Diddy and Dupri!