The rap community watched in collective awe as Gucci Mane and Jeezy buried a roughly 20-year feud during their highly anticipated Verzuz battle last November. But 50 Cent apparently thinks the Snowman had an ulterior motive for agreeing to the showdown — selling records.
During a recent interview with The Morning Hustle, the television mogul explained why he thought Jeezy was simply scrambling to push The Recession 2, which arrived the following day.
“I thought Verzuz was something we did when we was stuck in the house,” he said. “Look, as soon as we got out of the house and we come back outside, I was like, Verzuz didn’t make sense to me. Soon as we come back outside I’m like, I don’t know why we’re still doing [Verzuz]. I think when they did the Jeezy, Gucci Mane [Verzuz], I think that that was desperation on Jeezy’s part trying to sell a record.”
Despite Jeezy’s best efforts, 50 thinks his alleged plan failed and added, “The record didn’t sell. But I think that’s what that was leading up to it because they looked at how much a catalog would sell and how much exposure you’ll have ’cause he was releasing a record at that point. Other than that, I don’t know why you would do that.”
The Recession 2 arrived on November 20, 2020 via Def Jam Recordings and YJ Music, Inc. and featured guest appearances from Tamika Mallory, Yo Gotti, E-40, Demi Lovato, Lil Duval, Ne-Yo and Rick Ross. The 15-track project peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 and No. 7 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.
The lukewarm reception paled in comparison to Jeezy’s showdown with Gucci. According to an Instagram post from VerzuzTV, the epic event shattered numerous records, making the Jeezy and Gucci Mane event the most-streamed in the Verzuz platform’s history with over 9.1 million viewers.
“On a minimum level, 9.1 MILLION people watched this epic, legendary showdown between @jeezy and @laflare1017,” the caption read in part. “This viewership number from last night actually makes Verzuz bigger in ratings than the MTV VMA’s, NBC’s The Voice, the Billboard Awards, the CMA’s, the Latin Grammy’s, Dancing With The Stars or The Masked Singer respectively on any given night for those primetime shows this year.”
But Jeezy had his work cut out for him. LaFlare started the battle with his 2012 Jeezy diss track “Round 1” and it only grew more disrespectful from there until the platinum-selling Thug Motivator delivered an impassioned speech about putting their beef to rest. As Jeezy explained to Big Boy of 92.3 The Real, he wasn’t going to allow himself to lose his composure — no matter how much Gucci taunted him.
“I just felt like I wasn’t gonna lose my cool — I wasn’t gonna let anyone, including myself, drag me back 20 years,” he said around the 22-minute mark. “I worked so hard to get in a place where things are good for me. I got multiple things going on, I employ a lot of people, and everybody depend on me. Matter of fact, I got a daughter that I love very much. I gotta make it back home to her.”