Ice Cube Explains Why He Turned Down Verzuz Battles Against LL Cool J & Scarface: I Can’t Go Against People I Admire
Ice Cube (real name O’Shea Jackson Sr.) is not here to compete against those he views as industry greats.
During an appearance on the Bootleg Kev Podcast alongside fellow Mount Westmore members Too $hort and E-40, the N.W.A veteran discussed why he declined invitations to compete against LL Cool J and Scarface in Verzuz battles and how he had a different idea in mind.
Ice Cube said,
“I think they was talking LL at one point, they was talking Scarface at one point. I said, ‘No.’ Verzuz is good, but my concept would have been, ‘Yo, I’m a fan. You do this song for me.’ Like, okay, I get to have LL do my favorite LL songs and he gon’ have me do my favorite Ice Cube songs.”
“And it’s not Verzuz, but it’s love. It’s like, ‘Yo, do this, and he do ‘Rock the Bells,’ and he asks me, ‘Yo, do ‘Once Upon a Time in the Projects.’ That would have been my concept.”
The rapper/actor made it clear that his decision not to participate in the battle was not influenced by the competition itself, but by the fact that he isn’t interested in competing against people he respects and cares deeply about.
Ice Cube added,
“I can’t go against people I admire. LL is an OG to me in the game, so I can’t see it. Me and Scarface love each other, but we don’t communicate enough to do a Verzuz together. I don’t want it to be competition.”
Record producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz came up with the idea for the webcast series Verzuz, which is broadcast on Verzuz TV. The friendly competition was first introduced in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic as a virtual DJ battle, with the creators going head-to-head in its first iteration through an Instagram Live broadcast.
Since then, live rivalries between Ne-Yo and Johnta Austin, Brandy and Monica, Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane, Dipset and the LOX, Teddy Riley and Babyface, and others have taken place.
Scarface appeared to share Ice Cube‘s feelings during an earlier appearance on The Breakfast Club, saying that he was open to participating in a Verzuz with him as long as they could alter the format.
“I’ll do one with Cube on solo. I’ll play all my favorite Cube sh*t, he’ll play all his favorite Face sh*t. I’ll beat him with that. I’ll kill him with the favorite Cube sh*t because I got favorite Cube shit that can’t nobody touch.”
To date, neither Ice Cube, Scarface, nor LL Cool J has participated in a Verzuz battle.
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