They had us going the entire time. Ever since Gucci Mane announced the VERZUZ battle with Jeezy was on the way, Hip-Hop had questions. The main one was how? How could two arch enemies, 15 years deep in a beef that has bloodshed and lives lost be in the same room.
As the week continued, Gucci found the spirit of old Gucci and shared memes about killing Jeezy’s homie on Instagram, along with more bait in videos. Jeezy didn’t respond. And then when the battle came the disrespect started instantly as Gucci performed diss records to Jeezy out the gate. Even getting to the point where he said they were smoking on Pookie Loc, a phrase that highlights a celebration of the murder.
That moment came after Gucci performed “Truth,” a now-legendary diss track that references the death of Loc. At that moment, came a change in the room’s aura. Jeezy would intersect and after a brief back and forth he would speak his piece.
“Let me say my piece … I extended my hand because I’m a real man,. The shit we came from in the street, dawg, you see that we been through it … Twenty years. And when I said I wanted to do this shit for the culture, that’s what I wanted to do. I brought you here to show you the world care about what the fuck we got going on ’cause we are the culture. You feel me? Me and you, where we came from, what we been through, n***a, us. All these kids out here doing what the fuck they do ’cause they saw what went on with us. This shit ain’t about me, it ain’t about you. This shit about King Von, this shit about Doe B, this shit about Nipsey Hussle, this shit about motherfucking Pop Smoke, Mo3. And I’m real enough to do that, n***a, because one thing about it, two things fo sho, three things for certain, n***a.”
The moment led into “Get Your Mind Right” but also appeared to be a burying to beef, at least from Jeezy’s side. At the end of the VERZUZ, it all appeared to come full circle, and all the tense moments were seemingly pre-planned as Jeezy, Gucci and both sides of the stage erupted during a performance of “So Icy.”
“Ay, man, listen. I respect, I appreciate you for throwing out the olive branch. I accept that. No disrespect, it’s all love,” Gucci said to Jeezy.
The timing of this moment is important as Hip-Hop has had numerous artists have come under fire, leading to the death of a couple of stars that have yet to shine s bright as they were destined to be. In Hip-Hop’s history, we have only seen a few beefs that have had this deep of roots in hate. Gucci v Jeezy, Jay-Z v Nas, 50 Cent v Ja Rule. Of that group, all are resolved but one. While the latter of the three seems distant, this moment echoes what Jeezy said. It’s bigger than both of them as individuals, it’s a mark of what Hip-Hop can be.
When it comes to beef, there are not many as entrenched into a career trajectory as this one. Gucci v Jeezy has split fans and more, what could have been if they moved past this year before or it never escalated beyond the beef’s origin. To give an idea of how much these two men are important to Hip-Hop:
There is plenty of commentary that highlights the moment between Gucci and Jeezy. And for younger artists, this highlights burying a hatchet. With all of the forces that are already working against our community, there is more power in putting behind petty differences.
Salute to Big Gucci, Sno and for Hip-Hop for taking a step into a positive future.