Jeezy has no regrets about participating in a Verzuz battle against Gucci Mane. The rappers put their differences aside to take part in the virtual series together, and the “Put On” emcee revealed that his motivation to do it was that he “wanted to do this shit for the culture.”
Jeezy spoke at length about the battle during an appearance on Big Boy’s Neighborhood radio show on 92.3 on Friday (Nov. 20), and said that although he hadn’t yet reflected on it, he knows it was something he needed to do.
“I look in the mirror and as long as I feel like that integrity is there, then that’s how it starts. So I didn’t feel like any integrity was compromised,” he said, and added that he did feel tension in the room but didn’t let it affect him. “I just felt like I wasn’t gonna lose my cool—I wasn’t gonna let anyone, including myself, drag me back 20 years. I worked so hard to get in a place where things are good for me. I got multiple things going on, I employ a lot of people, and everybody depend on me. Matter of fact, I got a daughter that I love very much. I gotta make it back home to her.”
“I’m not putting myself in no position to prove no point to nobody that I’m real. I been real. … It’s solid, ain’t nothin’ ever gonna change that. I don’t have anything to prove. The only thing that I gotta prove to myself is I wanna be better than I was yesterday,” he continued. “That would have been an L for me to walk out of there and be like, ‘Yo, I just really lost my composure out in the world because somebody was playing with me like we in the sixth grade.’”
The rapper says he hopes the whole thing is a takeaway for others, and that things don’t have to end with violence, and he’s glad he had a chance to squash his beef with Gucci in a way that other rappers like Tupac and The Notorious B.IG. never got the chance to do in the past before their deaths.
“I just think I’ve grown—I’m quite sure he has too. I just think it was God’s will that it would come back around full circle with a platform like that, at a time like this where everybody’s paying attention,” he added. “Whatever happened in the streets it’s for us to figure out right now. When we did it, I felt like for the culture, it was a thing to do. And I felt like for what I was seeing happening in the streets … I’m like, ‘This because of what people think we got going on.’ … This where we got the chance to fix that.”
The Atlanta rappers broke the virtual series’ all-time viewership record, bringing in a total of more than 9.1 million viewers across multiple platforms. Fans took over social media with reactions to the battle, and Verzuz said they had a total of 7 billion social media impressions across the world.
Watch the full interview below.