Timbaland and Swizz Beatz are back with more matchups. Here are the musicians who came out on top this time around.

By Marcus Jones
Updated March 01, 2021 at 02:05 PM EST
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After a short break, Verzuz returned with new programming and a whole new look. Ever since the high-voltage fun of seeing Beenie Man and Bounty Killer celebrate each other's tracks together in person, the M.O. has become getting two artists with similar catalogs together in one room to put songs that they've worked on up against each other for 20 rounds. No more Wi-Fi issues or older musicians fumbling to figure out how to add the other to an Instagram Live. We now get some corporate sponsors (the events now stream live on Apple Music and play back on Revolt TV), but the wave Timbaland and Swizz Beatz started has only grown bigger.

Here are the new batch of artists who've gone head-to-head, along with the general consensus on who won each matchup.

Jeezy vs. Gucci Mane 

What Did They Play?

Season 2 started with a bang as nearly 2 million people tuned into the "Icy" battle. The beef between Jeezy and Gucci Mane is one of the tensest in on modern rap, with some blood having been spilled over ownership rights to their 2005 single, which they ended up performing at the end. Before that, Gucci jeeringly opened with the diss track "Round 1" directed at his opponent, plus the even more brutal "Truth," but Jeezy kept things calm by sticking to hits like "Put On," featuring Kanye West.

Who Won?

With the snowman keeping his cool, Guwop fizzled out, skipping over some of his more recognizable cuts like "Freaky Gurl" and "Lemonade" in the battle rounds, while Jeezy racked up points with two Jay-Z collaborations, his verse on the Shawty Lo classic "Dey Know (Remix)," and "Who Dat."

E-40 vs. Too $hort

What Did They Play?

Verzuz ended its first year of programming with a battle of the Bay Area. The icons made their influence known early, with Too $hort playing "Freaky Tales," which was sampled in the recent Yo Gotti hit "Rake It Up," and E-40 playing "Captain Save A Hoe," which has been used in songs by UGK and Ty Dolla $ign. E-40 playing his song with Tupac was countered by Too $hort playing his feature on Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death album. Of course, the final round ended with the pair playing their signature songs "Tell Me When to Go" and "Blow The Whistle."

Who Won?

E-40 took an ever-so-slight victory, reminding folks of his low-key ubiquity in rap over the years, with a feature on Big Sean's "I Don't F— With You" and his top 40 entry "U and Dat," featuring T-Pain and Kandi Burruss. Too $hort kept up, though, just off the strength of his solo classics like "The Ghetto" and "I'm A Player (Street Version)."

Ashanti vs. Keyshia Cole

What Did They Play?

While Ashanti's pop success made her a favorite going into the much-delayed battle, it would be foolish to discount all the major R&B hits Keyshia Cole has racked up. Both came out swinging, with the former princess of Murder Inc. Records playing hits "Happy" and "Rock With U (Awww Baby)," while the Oakland songstress countered with her breakout hit "I Should've Cheated" and signature ballad "I Remember."

Who Won?

Cole had a strong showing, especially on the collaboration front, pulling out songs like "Let It Go" with Missy Elliott and Lil' Kim and "Last Night" with Diddy. But Ashanti ultimately won by playing it smart and leaving no songs off the table. Highlights included her playing the "Ain't It Funny (Murder Remix)" by Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule (she co-wrote it, and her vocals are famously still audible on the final version) and combining her biggest hit, "Foolish," with "Unfoolish," a remix with a feature from the Notorious B.I.G.

D'Angelo & Friends

What Did They Play?

Switching up the format quite a bit, this non-competitive solo Verzuz came live from the Apollo with D'Angelo kicking things off early with his version of Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'." The "& Friends" part really started rolling when the R&B icon brought out Method Man and Redman to perform their collaboration "Left and Right," from Voodoo. From the comments to the stage, R&B prodigy H.E.R. sang "Best Part" with D'Angelo filling in for Daniel Caesar. D'Angelo even mixed in a little bit of his Lauryn Hill collaboration "Nothing Really Matters" before later doing that song in full.

Who Won?

Given that this edition was non-competitive, the audience was both winner and loser here. The original idea was for D'Angelo to go against Maxwell on Valentine's Day, so we can lament that not working out, but seeing D'Angelo's big finish running through his classics like "Brown Sugar," "The Root," and finally "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" was well worth it.

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