The Lox vs Dipset: How Verzuz Can Outlive the Quarantine

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on whatsapp
The Lox: Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, Styles P (via Shutterstock)

by Dan Runcie

Every week, Trapital's free memo will give you insights on the latest moves in music, media, and culture. Join 32K+ readers who stay ahead of all the trends:

Last Tuesday’s The Lox vs Dipset Verzuz battle was a win for a lot of parties:

– Jadakiss

– Styles P

– Sheek Louch

– Triller and Verzuz

– the team that edited this perfect clip

– the Timberland boots and shorts combo

– Fat Joe

– New York hip-hop, 40+ hip-hop, real MCs

And if we’re being honest, The Diplomats won too. Sure, Dipset was as disorganized as an early 90s Source Awards show. Their anthems didn’t ring out how they should have. Juelz Santana is lucky he hasn’t had to do a Notes app apology after some of his comments! But the Harlem rappers used this event as a launchpad for a joint tour with The Lox. They’ll make more money as a result. If Verzuz was a group project, then Dipset social loafed its way to the post-Verzuz bump.

Outliving the quarantine. When Triller acquired Verzuz in March, I listed its two biggest challenges: the declining interest post-quarantine, and its dependency on marquee matchups.

The Lox vs Dipset proved that Verzuz can outlive the first challenge with livestream concert-style events. Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater was packed. Jadakiss played to the crowd and commanded the stage. Verzuz has come a long way since Teddy Riley’s tech issues. The concurrent viewership on Instagram was over 600,000, the highest since January’s Ashanti vs Keyshia Cole event.

The second challenge, Verzuz’ dependency on marquee matchups, still exists. Here were the matchups between Ashanti-Keyshia Cole and The Lox vs Dipset:

-NFL Pro Bowl, D’Angelo & Friends, Raekwon-Ghostface Killah, SWV-Xscape, Redman-Method Man, Swizz Beatz-Timbaland rematch, Eve-Trina, Bow Wow-Soulja Boy

No disrespect to any of those talented artists but most of those events came and went with little buzz.

Enough hits to keep demand high. Content creators know that every creation won’t be a hit. It’s true for albums, songs, blockbuster movies, Trapital memos, and Verzuz events. But depending on the company’s cost structure, it needs a certain frequency of hits to justify the rest.

The best-case scenario is for Verzuz to have a Lox vs Dipset level event every few months. The challenge though, is who are the remaining artists with enough interest to participate. Can Swizz and Timbaland convince 50 Cent and Ja Rule? Or Usher and Chris Brown? Or Missy Elliott??

The worst-scare scenario, as I said in March, it that Verzuz becomes hip-hop’s NBA Dunk contest. “Fans would love the superstars to participate, but they won’t because they have little to gain. And the remaining talent can only draw in audiences on rare occasions.”

Read more in Trapital’s Why Triller and Verzuz Teamed Up.

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

Want more? Trapital's free Monday memo will keep you posted on the latest trends in the business of music, media, and culture:

Like this memo? Share it!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
"The stuff that Trapital puts out is fantastic. Really interesting insights into the industry, artists trends, and market trends."
Mike Weissman
Former CEO, SoundCloud
“You tell the true stories. Not just the end product, but how you get to the end product. Your point of view on it is dope.”
Steve Stoute
CEO, UnitedMasters and Translation