Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are teaming up with Lena Waithe to release a documentary inspired by their beloved Verzuz series. According to Deadline, the two series co-founders will join forces with Amazon Studios, Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions and Good Trouble Studios to produce Gifted & Black, which will air on Prime Video.
Deadline reports that Gifted & Black will explore “the traditions of Black music to connect, going from the plantation to the Pulitzer Prize.” The film is also “set against the backdrop of the pandemic and the recent racial reckoning,” taking inspiration from Swizz and Timbo’s Verzuz phenomenon.
“I’m grateful to Swizz and Tim for trusting us with something so historic,” Waithe said of the project in a statement. “Verzuz is more than just two artists going song-for-song. It’s a testament to the power of Black people. It’s the joyful celebration of legacy that we all needed. With this documentary, we’re excited to take audiences behind the scenes of this global phenomenon, while also paying tribute to the artists that shaped us.”
“We could not be more grateful to Amazon for seeing the vision and this film wouldn’t be possible without our amazing filmmakers, James Adolphus and Ben Selkow,” Waithe added. “They have flown to every city, interviewed every artist and continue to capture history as it happens. We can’t wait for the world to see how this whole thing comes together.”
“When we first started this mission the entire world had hit rock bottom,” Swizz said. “People were going through so much and Tim and I felt we should do something to help folks escape. The rest is history. We made the magical call to Hillman Grad because we only wanted people to see the best of the best.”
“Swizz and I are excited to show the world everything that took place behind scenes during the process, while celebrating the artists that helped us build Verzuz,” Timbaland added. “Thank you to our entire team, Hillman Grad, James Adolphus, Ben Selkow, Amazon, Triller and everyone involved. Verzuz came from our love of culture and our love of music and the fact that it has become the force it is today is way beyond anything Swizz or I could’ve imagined.”
According to Deadline, Gifted & Black will feature interviews and archival footage. So far, a release date for the film hasn’t been announced.
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