June 22, 2024

Speculation of ‘Verzuz’ battle between The Roots, Fugees hits social media, Black Thought responds

With music fans still high from the Verzuz battle between The Lox and Dipset on Aug. 3, speculation about another showdown between big hip-hop heavyweights hit social media hard this week.

A flyer stating that an upcoming Verzuz event would feature The Roots and The Fugees began to circulate on Twitter earlier this week and fans have been clamoring to know if it’s true.

The digital flyer states that the two groups would face off on Nov. 29, live at the Village Vanguard in New York City, as reported by Allhiphop.com. The flyer also includes the official logos for Verzuz as well as its new owner/distributor Triller.

However, the official web pages and social media accounts for both Verzuz and Triller have yet to post any information on the supposed forthcoming event. In the meantime, DJ Paul disclosed that he was in discussions with Verzuz co-creators Swizz Beatz and Timbaland about his group Three 6 Mafia doing a battle with chart-topping rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, according to Complex.

However, Paul stated that the plans never fully materialized.

As for The Roots and The Fugees, the event was all but officially denied by Roots co-founder and front man, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter. When asked about the validity of the flyer by HipHopDX, Trotter responded with a “thumbs down.”

43rd Annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival - The Roots
Tariq Trotter aka Black Thought performs during the 43rd Annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on Aug. 12, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Such a Verzuz was unlikely anyway. The Fugees, the Grammy-winning trio of Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel, have done just one gig together since a 2005 European tour, according to Songkick.

Earlier that year, they performed at the BET Awards as they attempted to reunite for a new album, according to Rolling Stone. Although Michel stated at the time they were in the studio working on music, a new album was never released.

To date, The Fugees have only released two studio albums, 1994’s Blunted On Reality and 1996’s The Score. The latter became an instant classic, thanks to the success of “Killing Me Softly.” The album is one of the biggest selling hip-hop albums of all time, surpassing 16 million times platinum worldwide, according to Chartmasters.

The Roots, meanwhile, are 14 albums deep, including three collaborative albums with John Legend, Betty Wright, and Elvis Costello, respectively. Although they have only one platinum-selling album, 1999’s Things Fall Apart, they have become a household name thanks to their nightly gig as the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Glastonbury Festival 2019 - Day Three
Lauryn Hill performs onstage during day three of the Glastonbury Festival on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Hypothetically, if such a battle were to ever take place, The Fugees would have to rely heavily on the solo success of its respective members.

Hill’s lone studio album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was a massive success, earning her five Grammy Awards in 1999. Jean has dropped nine solo efforts and became a hit-making producer for artists like Shakira, Destiny’s Child and Santana. Michel had a platinum-selling single with 1998’s “Ghetto Supastar.”

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