Verzuz co-founders Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. (Source: Getty Images)
Verzuz, the quarantine-borne Instagram Live streaming producer and artist competition series started by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, will now be available on Apple Music and Beats 1. The forthcoming July 22, 8 PM EST “Battle of the Dogs” between Snoop Dogg and DMX will be the first official Verzuz battle broadcast via the partnership. Previously, Apple Music and Beats 1 live-streamed a dueling piano Juneteenth episode of Verzuz, featuring Alicia Keys and John Legend.
The move is likely aimed at creating greater structure and longevity for the series. Past battles have featured significant technical difficulties, as well as connection issues posed by solely using Instagram Live. As well, the ability to maintain the series as an episodic-style catalog has not been possible. As quarantine moves into its fourth month with no definitive end in sight, Verzuz gaining sustainability as a breakout music industry leader for compelling content feels necessary. Concerns about paying artists and developing live music options are an industry concern. Ideas like simulcasting Verzuz, for free, via Instagram Live, but making it available via paywalled, subscription-only services like Apple Music and Beats 1 begin to solve this issue.
Peak musical content engagement goals during quarantine spiked 400 percent in the 50 days between D-Nice‘s 150,000 peak viewer March 21 DJ stream to Jill Scott and Erykah Badu‘s 750,000+ peak viewer May 9 Verzuz battle. However, top producers like Pharrell Williams and musical acts with Verzuz-ready catalogs like Jay-Z and Beyoncé have yet to be tabbed to “compete.” It is entirely likely that their involvement could potentially raise those numbers well over one million-plus peak viewers. If this were to occur, having multiple live arms for engagement, as well as the ability to both monetize and archive Verzuz, would be valuable.
For more Verzuz information, visit them via Instagram.
Ebro Darden and J Balvin
The Colombian superstar covered many topics, from the possibility of making an album with Bad Bunny to how he hopes to break down the narco stereotypes of his country. He also discussed wanting to collaborate with artists like Drake, Bruno Mars, and The Weeknd, and what it was like working with Beyonce on the remix of “Mi Gente.”
“I think it was a really beautiful cultural move. People see me with the queen, like, if she’s working with him it’s because he’s for real,” Balvin told Ebro. “She’s not the type of girl that works with everybody.”
“All the other collaborations are helping me a lot to keep spreading the vibe that I want,” he added. “That’s what I love about the situation. We’re showing the world that we’re not one-hit wonders when it comes to global stuff. It’s not a coincidence.”
Watch highlights from the interview below and stream it in full exclusively on Apple Music.
Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Via Twitter)
Last week’s release of Bomba Estereo’s "Fiesta" remix marked Will Smith’s first rap verse in more than a decade. It turns out that The Fresh Prince has more in store, though, including new music and a possible tour with DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Smith revealed his plans during a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 radio. “Jeff and I actually have never done a full tour,” Smith told Lowe. “So I’m looking this summer will be the first time we go out on a full world tour.”
Smith also said that he has recorded over two dozen new tracks. “I’m pretty much poppin’ in the studio every day and I’m looking for artists to collaborate with. I’ve probably recorded 30 songs. I have six or seven that I really like.”
Watch the full interview below.
Related: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” Receives Nu-Disco Remix from Dilemmachine
Dr. Dre revealed today that he has a new album coming out August 7. The announcement was made during his Beats 1 show, The Pharmacy.
The album isn’t Detox, though.
Instead, Dre is releasing Compton A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, a project inspired by the upcoming N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. He said that it will be his “grand finale.”
When asked why Detox never came out, Dre said: “I didn’t like it. It wasn’t good. The record, it just wasn’t good. . . . I worked my ass off on it, and I don’t think I did a good enough job.”
Compton A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre is now available for pre-order on iTunes.
Check out the cover art above and tracklist below.
1. Intro ft. Dr. Dre
2. Talk About It ft. King Mez & Justus
3. Genocide ft. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay
4. It’s All On Me ft. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid
5. All In a Day’s Work ft. Anderson Paak & Marsha Ambrosius
6. Darkside/Gone ft. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar
7. Loose Cannons ft. Xzibit & COLD 187um
8. Issues ft. Ice Cube & Anderson Paak
9. Deep Water ft. Kendrick Lamar & Justus
10. One Shot One Kill ft. Snoop Dogg & Jon Connor
11. Just Another Day ft. Asia Bryant & The Game
12. For the Love of Money ft. Jill Scott & Jon Connor
13. Satisfiction ft. Snoop Dogg, Marsha Ambrosius & King Mez
14. Animals ft. Anderson Paak
15. Medicine Man ft. Eminem, Candice Pillay & Anderson Paak
16. Talking To My Diary ft. Dr. Dre
Here’s an excerpt of Dre discussing the album on The Pharmacy:
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