The Verzuz battle series was one of the best things that came out of this pandemic. It shined a spotlight on many industry game-changers that aren’t celebrated enough on a mainstream scale.
Swizz Beatz and Timbaland created the platform and fans had the honor of seeing Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, John Legend, DMX, Snoop Dogg, Kirk Franklin, Alicia Keys, and more take us in moments of time on IG live. But it’s mind-boggling that the participants of highest viewed Verzuz and arguably the most entertaining one weren’t included in Billboard’s cover story.
“I guess billboard is REALLY THAT GUY 🤔,” Beenie Man tweeted. “When will DANCEHALL get it’s recognition???? Nuh matter how the impact, no matter the hard work, no matter how powerful the music is, them still try it everytime them get a chance. Ah time now man. #FixUp… Big up Swizz & Timz but this is what our genre face! Everybody fwd and tek piece and build up dem thing and then do everything to undermine the genre DANCEHALL where they got it from.”
Swizz posted an edited version of the cover including the Dancehall artists. “To our fans, while we are honored that Verzuz made the cover of Billboard, this would not have been possible without Beenie Man & Bounty Killer who set a big tone for our audience and represented for Jamaica. 🙏🏽🙏🏽,” Swizz wrote in the caption. “Thank You Billboard for the acknowledgement but, we feel this version of the cover best represents THE VERZUZ EFFECT.”
The author of the article defended herself after she was attacked online and reassured that she had no creative control over the cover.