In April, during one of the earlier Verzuz battles, mega-producer Scott Storch competed against Mannie Fresh in an interesting showdown. At the time, people questioned whether the matchup made sense. While both individuals are legends in their own right, Fresh has regional notoriety, while Storch’s discography is more mainstream and spans across genres. Months later, after improvements in Verzuz’s technology and production, co-creator Swizz Beatz has acknowledged that the pairing between Storch and Fresh was “a little bit off.”
“I think that was an unfair Verzuz, to be honest,” Beatz said in an interview with GQ. “I think we owe Scott Storch a rematch, and I think we owe Mannie Fresh a better match. I think that one was a little bit off with the curation.”
During the Storch and Fresh battle, both producers were prepared to spar. The New Orleans native leaned heavily on humorous skits. Scott, on the contrary, pulled out his collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé, Chris Brown and JAY-Z.
In post-Verzuz interviews, Fresh told “The Breakfast Club” that he apologized to Storch for his skits because many of the fans deemed them inappropriate.
“I called Scott myself the next morning and I was like, ‘Hey homie, I feel like this. A lot of people are upset about the skits or whatever,’ and I was like, ‘I apologize bro if I went too hard on you,’” he said. In reference to opinions that he lost the battle, he explained that he “didn’t know it was an R&B beat battle.”
Scott — who was originally slated to go hit-for-hit with T-Pain — said he learned he was battling Fresh “moments before” the actual showdown. “I felt that he and I, our catalogs live much further away from each other—and in different time periods as well. So it was an odd match,” he said. He also addressed critics who claimed he played songs that didn’t credit him as the producer.
“I’m not going to play something if I’m not one of the main nucleuses or foundations of what these tracks are. I really feel the co-production and writing, whatever I contribute, I bring mine to the table,” Storch said. “Sometimes, the credits don’t reflect what went down on the record. In terms of me legitimately being a part of everything I played...100%. Come on.”
It’s not certain who Swizz and Timbaland have in mind to battle Storch and Fresh, but until that announcement is made, fans can tune into tonight’s competition between trap stars Gucci Mane and Jeezy.