Snoop Dogg, DMX compete during Verzuz, Apple Music battle

The contest dubbed Dogg vs. Dog reportedly brought in 2 million viewers to see them go head-to-head in the musical battle

Snoop Dogg and DMX (Verzuz Instagram)

In the most recent Verzuz battle, Snoop Dogg and DMX went back and forth performing and playing their hit records.

The two veteran rappers were featured in the first series battle to stream on Apple Music and Beats 1.

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This spring, Swizz Beats and Timbaland created the Verzuz battle series as a means to entertain their fans while they were home self-quarantining. Since then, the friendly competition has continued to grow, with each battle becoming more engaging than the last.

As a marketing model, the Verzuz franchise has proven to be a benefit to the artists that participate as each contest brings in hundreds of thousands of fans, listening on the social media platform.

According to Variety, being invited to be a guest artist is more than just a social flex on their celebrity friends, but a profitable performance. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the social distancing rules that have been put in place prohibiting live concerts, many artists are not able to earn money through touring. But as participants in the series, they get an extra boose elsewhere. It is reported that the streaming numbers of the artists’ music can increase by as much as 300%.

Artists like Erykah Badu and Teddy Riley also hosted afterparties on their private streams for a small premium fee, funnelling fans from one digital venue to the next.

This type of digital imprint was also attractive to Apple Music, who will now offer an on-demand option for music lovers.

One of the most anticipated contests happened between the “Gin and Juice” sipping Snoop Doggy Dogg and the Def Jam’s sinner-saint, DMX. Some people even hosted prediction blogs in preparation for the epic war.

Together with the help of a live DJ, they kicked it old school.

Titled Dogg vs. Dog, both the Swizz and Timbaland pushed the promotion for the event out through their social media platforms and personally invited their top tier friends and influencers to stop by. While consistently the feed showed over 400,000 people on the live, Swizz reported over 2 million people tuned in.

Uncle Snoop hit some classic dance moves and X’s growl is still 1998 strong! Both of the award-winning musicians rapped their lyrics live, sometimes serving as hypeman for each other.

Snoop played hits from his Doggystyle album for the old school and songs like “Drop It Like It’s Hot” featuring Pharrell for the younger fans. DMX played hits such as “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” and “Where the Hood At?,” but spared no one when he played jam after jam from his critically acclaimed, It’s Dark and Hell.

Music battles are not a new trend. The Motor Town Revenue was a profitable tour vehicle for an early Motown Records. However, the way that Swizz and Timbaland have used new media and technology, they have elevated the musical face-offs to a higher level. The nostalgia and respect for these artists mixed with the demand for distanced entertainment allowed for Verzuz to grow into a well-received brand.  

Innovation and creativity from the creators and the featured artists continue to mold the look and feel of Verzuz with each new battle. 

“It’s a curation, really. It’s a celebration. It’s like musical chess,” Timbaland told Rolling Stone.

Social media is a tell-tale modality to express how successful Dogg vs. Dog was. People were thoroughly entertained and could not wait to reacted on Twitter.

Twitter user @Tee2theB said that she could not stop “smiling all evening.”

Some people posted memes and gifs with the nasty face, signifying their approval.

While the founders constantly stress that this is a celebration, some people clearly have crowned their personal victor.

READ MORE: Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond announced for ‘Healing Verzuz’ battle

“The dynamics of sound and personality have to be there: Sometimes they’re similar, sometimes they’re in opposition.” Timbaland shares, “You want something that works sonically and is entertaining.”

Other Verzuz battles have included Jill Scott vs. Erykah Badu, Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin, Teddy Riley vs. Babyface, and more.

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