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The announcement was made while Jermaine Dupri was on stage during the ONE Musicfest in Atlanta, Georgia, over the weekend, and the legendary producer brought fans into a frenzy after dropping the news.
“I’m saying this to let y’all know the So So Def Bad Boy Verzuz is happening,” Jermaine Dupri said in front of the boisterous crowd.
The battle between Diddy and Dupri has been brewing since September 2021, when the Atlanta native issued the first challenge during an Instagram Live session. Diddy quickly responded by claiming Dr. Dre was his only worthy opponent while telling Dupri: “Your arms too short to box with God.”
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) October 10, 2022
During a visit to Atlanta’s V-103 radio station, Jermaine Dupri responded by bragging about being a Hall of Fame Songwriter.
“I am in the Songwriters Hall of Fame,” he said. “Puff Daddy’s not in the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Steve Stoute and the Trackmasters are not in the Hall of Fame. I shouldn’t have to play nothing. I am in a seat that Puff Daddy can’t pay for.”
When Jermaine Dupri appeared on the New Rory & Mal podcast in January, he said a Verzuz battle between him and Diddy was unlikely to happen.
“I feel like it’s a performance-based thing now and the majority of Puff’s records, who’s gonna perform?” he questioned at the time. “Yeah, [you can bring out] The LOX, but you can’t have nobody do Big’s verses! And I don’t know that Ma$e would come out with him no more, so I don’t think that it would happen based on that. All my people, we rockin’ and we coming’ with a whole lot of energy!”
Despite his doubts about it happening, Dupri was confident So So Def would top Bad Boy’s catalog.
“Puff — and anybody else that thinks about this battle — they try to downplay the Bow Wow era,” he said. “When we get into the 2001, 2002, 2003 era of So So Def, I don’t know that Bad Boy was even in existence… I never seen a Bad Boy record No. 1 on 106 & Park.”
He added: “[The] Emancipation of Mimi came out in 2007. People be forgetting about that whole little patch of records. I’m telling you, I don’t give a fuck what nobody say; Puff Daddy ain’t got nothing for 2007 — not on Bad Boy!”
The duo finally managed to set up an official battle in August when they agreed to face off in a Verzuz-like event after Swizz Beatz and Timbaland sued Triller for missing payments on their deal. Instead of battling, the Hip Hop moguls wanted to showcase the history of their respective labels by playing all of their hits with no drama.
“Since we ain’t fucking with Verzuz no more since ’cause they fucking around with our boys, we don’t need to be going against each other,” Diddy said. “Let’s come together and do that Bad Boy, So So Def in Atlanta. It ain’t no Verzuz, it’s just hit for hit.”
Dupri replied: “Let’s do it.”
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