A flock of notable names flooded the Verzuz Instagram account on Saturday night (March 20) to watch Wu-Tang Clan legends Ghostface Killah and Raekwon The Chef face off in the latest battle.
Of course, it wasn’t much of a “battle” per se considering both MCs are from the same crew, but the spirited event captivated the modest audience of about 100,000, which included Big Sean, DJ Khaled, Ashanti, Jermaine Dupri and Cypress Hill’s B-Real. Despite the smaller turnout, Hip Hop was fully represented with Wu-Tang classics such as “Can It All Be So Simple,” “It’s Yourz,” “C.R.E.A.M.” and a slew of solo hits.
Round 1 started with Ghostface Killah spitting his verse from the 2002 G. Dep single “Special Delivery” featuring Diddy, Keith Murray and Craig Mack and Rae getting busy on the mic with the 1998 Outkast single “Skew It On The Bar-B.” Round 2 found Ghost rapping the Supreme Clientele track “Ghost Deini” and The Chef following up with “10 Bricks” from his 2009 solo album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II.
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Ghost and Raekwon both switched up their look throughout the roughly three-hour event. At one point, Rae stepped out rocking a gold rope chain while Ghost sported a luxurious, white ostrich feather coat. But perhaps one of the most touching moments of the evening was when Inspectah Deck came out to perform “C.R.E.A.M.” with Rae.
Toward the end of the song, Rae gives Deck a hug and says, “Love you Deck. This muthafucka right here is a fucking marksman on the mic. One of those fuckin’ muthafuckas on the mic that I tell people all the time, that record muthafuckin’ ‘Protect Your Neck,’ this man responsible for that shit.
“He responsible for lighting the wick. Listen, we salute you to the maximum. The great Inspectah Deck, you always be one of my muthafuckin’ top G’s from the family. You know what it is, flower time. Nothing but love. Thank you, man. No question.”
Multiple surprise guests also popped in, including Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s son Young Dirty Bastard, the inimitable RZA, Masta Killa and the often elusive Cappadonna. The 20-round event ended with Rae’s “Heaven & Hell”(featuring Tony Starks) and Ghost’s “All That I Got Is You” (with Mary J. Blige), which appeared to make both iconic rappers emotional. While wrapping up the event, they both talked about the love they have for each other and encouraged others to follow suit, especially when it comes to respecting your elders.
“Tell your peoples, your friends, anybody you love, you gotta tell ’em you love ’em — now!” Ghost says. “Not later, say it now. You ain’t a bitch because you say, ‘Oh I love you.’ I tell my brother I love him all the time, yo. Because you only get one life. Life is like a video game with just one name. This game of life is only one man, that’s why we gotta take care of ourselves.
“I don’t give a fuck — go see the doctor. Just know what the fuck you got. You don’t gotta take the medicine or nothing, just go see if you’re sick inside because you don’t want it to get too late and then it’s like, ‘Yo, you took too long. We can’t save you now.’ C’mon, man. I didn’t want to cry.”
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Those aching for more Wu-Tang-flavored Verzuz matchups are in luck. Shortly after the Rae and Ghost event wrapped up, co-founders Swizz Beatz and Timbaland announced Method Man and Redman would step into the arena for a special “How High” Verzuz on April 20, the international weed smoker’s holiday.
The event will be preceded by Earth Wind & Fire versus The Isley Brothers on Easter Sunday (April 4). Until then, watch the Raekwon and Ghostface Killah Verzuz in full below.