Swizz Beatz Clarifies Justin Timberlake Comments After Calling Him Out

By Peyton Blakemore

June 2, 2021

Last weekend’s Verzuz rematch between Swizz Beatz and Timbaland was memorable in more ways than one.

Not only did it mark the first rematch of the Verzuz battle series — Swizz and Timbaland began the battles on Instagram last March — with the producers' return to the Verzuz stage, but it was also the first time Swizz called out another artist during the live battle.

It all began when Timbaland played Jay-Z’s 2013 track “Holy Grail,” which features Justin Timberlake. “Until you can get Justin Timberlake on Verzuz, I don’t really wanna hear those vocals,” Swizz told Timbaland.

While the statement appeared to be made in jest, it became clear later on in the evening after Timbaland played additional JT hits like “SexyBack" and “Cry Me a River” that Swizz wasn't really joking.

“Until Justin let the world know that he—” Swizz began. “Justin gotta come out, he’s coming out."

The famed producer continued, "He gotta admit that he loves the Black culture and he gotta be on this stage. You took from the Black culture, you give to the Black culture. Come to Verzuz and be a part of the Black culture.”

The comment sparked tons of reactions on social media. So much so, while recapping the Verzuz on Instagram Live on Monday (May 31), Timbaland brought Swizz's statement back up, telling him he “went a little hard on my brother JT."

“Look, man, I had to go hard," Swizz replied. "Did you hear how them songs were sounding on that stage? You and JT, it was like JT was in the building. I was like, man!”

He added, “[I] don’t got no problem with JT. … Shout out to JT, we can’t wait to get you on stage having fun, ’cause you deserve it too.”

Photo: Getty Images

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