On the night of Thursday, August 3rd, 2021, two American Hip-Hop groups, The LOX, out of Yonkers, New York, and The Diplomats, otherwise known as Dipset, out of Harlem, New York, went head-to-head at Madison Square Garden. The two groups participated in a Verzuz battle. The Verzuz series, created by producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, brings two musicians or groups of musical artists together to highlight their discographies. This battle was one for the Hip-Hop history books.
My niece Alajah Whitehead, my nephew Tracy Meighan, Jr., and I all went down to The Garden for the event. Though we were not inside for the function, we saw celebrities like Fabolous, Jim Jones, French Montana, and Takeoff outside of the building. I saw expensive cars, Mercedes Sprinter Vans, and what had to be millions of dollars worth of jewelry. New York looked beautiful.
When the Verzuz battle began, I was one of what would become over 640,000 people who were in attendance virtually. The event was in-person, and Madison Square Garden seats over 20,000 people. The battle began with the introduction of American ring announcer Michael Buffer. After members of each group went back and forth for a while, The Lox started it off. The night was nothing short of spectacular. Rappers Sheek Louch, Styles P, and Jadakiss not only represented The Lox, but they also represented Yonkers.
The Verzuz battle was playing everywhere. It was playing in Manhattan, it was playing on a television screen at a business in Yonkers, even though the store was closed, and I had it playing when I was driving my niece and nephew home. The Lox won the battle without hesitation. Yonkers was in the house, and I loved it.
The Lox knew their lyrics, helped each other, and they had enough comebacks for Dipset to make the night feel like true Hip-Hop in New York was supposed to. Sheek Louch, Styles P, Jadakiss, had a major and beautiful stage presence. They brought energy, movement, and a plethora of hit songs. Technician The DJ was on cue with the group so much that anybody who saw the battle knew what time it was. Dipset rapper Juelz Santana purposely bumped into LOX rappers Styles P and Jadakiss, so Jadakiss took Juelz Santana’s bandana off his head and threw it on the floor of the stage. Iconic.
The day after the battle, I decided to go from neighborhood to neighborhood in Yonkers and ask people how they felt about the event? I started filming on Riverdale Avenue in Yonkers. On foot, I made my way to Palisade Avenue, Elm Street, Spruce Street, Cliff Street, Oliver Avenue, Ashburton Avenue, and Warburton Avenue.
I had a lot of people tell me not to film them. A group of people on Palisade Avenue permitted me to film The Memorial of Juelz Santana’s Bandana. In less than four days after the completion of the video, Yonkers Reactions To The Lox VS. Dipset Verzuz Battle, it now has over 232,000 views and almost 4,000 likes on Youtube. I gained well over 500 subscribers on Youtube too. People from across the world are commenting on the video and are looking at my channel. All I did was ask people in my community how they felt.