Billboard, the American music magazine, has named Beenie Man the champion of Sunday’s friendly clash with long-time dancehall rival Bounty Killer, during the Verzuz battle.
However, it named Bounty Killer the ‘people’s champion’ for his “off-the-cuff adlibs and manic energy.”
According to Billboard, Beenie Man had the edge in 13 of the 26 rounds while Bounty triumphed in ten rounds and there was a tie in three.
Billboard hailed the event as the most exciting and entertaining of the Verzuz battles staged by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz so far. The event is streamed weekly via IG Live on Instagram. It was the first to focus on dancehall and reggae.
Billboard applauded the move, given hip hop’s dancehall antecedents.
“Considering the fact that Jamaican sound systems pioneered the sort of ‘beat battles’ have made Verzuz a social media sensation well over half a century ago, the creative decision was more than fitting,” Billboard said.
“By pitting two icons of the genre, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, in head-to-head competition, this Verzuz battle did not just showcase two of its most respected lyricists ever to hold a microphone.It also tapped into an epic rivalry that stretches back more than a quarter of a century,” it also pointed out.
The magazine noted that Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness shared a screen shot of the battle on his official Twitter page, declaring that “Jamaica’s culture is global.”
The clash had some 450,000 viewers. Among them were Rihanna, Diddy and Swizz.