Verzus? Where you at bruh?
Verzus fast became one of the culture's great treasures. Starting in the national lockdown, it was a great (and rather entertaining) pass time. When you don't have to be up for work in the morning, staying up till the early hours with a drink (or 7...) in nostalgic bliss wasn't a problem but then the world started up again...
The battles continued with some of THE most epic match ups we've seen and created some of the most legendary, iconic and meme-worthy moments of the decade so far.
(Also, if you haven't been in the Twitter green room for the people's commentary, you truly missed out)
The last Verzus was the RnB boys of the early noughties. The line up included Ray J, Bobby Valentino, Pleasure P and Sammie on the undercard, then Mario and Omarion as the main event and what a night it was; the 14 year old girl in me was living her best life!
With that said, we know they're still capable of putting on a show, doing the numbers and engaging the audience, so what happened? Well, Verzus was sold to Triller, the shows became a more mainstream affair and more diversified in their streaming offerings i.e live game play, exhibition boxing and stuff of the like. Which, I suppose from a business standpoint made sense; you want to keep your core audience entertained but diversify and appeal to a wider fan base. Personally, I think they ran before they could walk. After lockdown the landscape was different, we all had to get back to our lives so we really didn't have time for the DJ competition, then for the main acts to be late to the stage, then the sound/streaming to stop mid song and the countless "I'm tryna give you yo' flowers bro" between every. single. song. (I mean the latter is neither here nor there, I was just over it)
To be fair to them, these are all kinks that could have been worked out over time if they put a little more focus into perfecting the streaming experience.
It's now almost November, the last post on the Verzus instagram was early August and I can only put this down to the fact that co-founders Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are suing Triller for messing up the church's money. Triller owe 28M in missed payments, all the while driving the brand into the ground.
I understood the selling of Verzus; sometimes it's a smart move to take the branding to another level but when you sell to an entity that's so commercial, you lose the essence of what the initial brand was built on. It was created by the culture, for the culture; and as the saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Should Verzus return, I believe it will take a solid few line ups (please, give us Busta Rhymes, we deserve it!) and consistent content to draw back and retain their fan base after such a hiatus, because a wise man once said "Yesterday's price, is NOT today's price" (IYKYK). We're gonna need a little more than intermittent connection and a function that is forever running behind schedule.