Swizz Beatz Brushes Off Backlash Over “Verzuz” Deal With Elon Musk

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 13: Swizz Beatz attends the 2024 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on April 13, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Many observers criticized Swizz Beatz and Timbaland for their decision to partner with Elon Musk, citing accusations of racism against the tech billionaire. The backlash intensified when they announced an exclusive distribution deal for Verzuz with Twitter on Juneteenth, a day celebrating emancipation from slavery, amidst ongoing controversy over Musk’s promotion of a misleading tweet about Black-on-white crime statistics. In response to the criticism, Swizz Beatz defended their partnership in an Instagram post on June 21, emphasizing that they believe it’s the right move for themselves and for the Verzuz series, while maintaining their principles.

“We will show you better than tell you. Blessings to all,” Swizz Beatz captioned the post, which also included photos from their meeting with Musk. Addressing specific concerns in the comments section, he pointed out that Verzuz has been on Twitter’s platform since its inception, countering claims of sudden betrayal or sell-out behavior. He stressed that despite the partnership, Verzuz remains 100% Black-owned, retaining full ownership of its intellectual property and company.

Despite his confidence in the decision, Swizz Beatz acknowledged the timing misstep regarding the Juneteenth announcement and engaged with critics who questioned their motives. He dismissed accusations of selling out, reassuring followers that they would come to understand their perspective soon enough.

In addition to managing the fallout from the partnership, Swizz Beatz hinted at upcoming musical projects, including a potential reunion for Tha Dogg Pound. This teaser suggested ongoing creativity and activity beyond the Verzuz series, signaling a continued commitment to music and community despite the controversy.

As the situation unfolds, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland hope their audience will see the long-term benefits of their decisions and appreciate their efforts to navigate a complex business landscape while staying true to their values and their artistic mission.