Wu-Tang Clan members and longtime collaborators Ghostface Killah and Raekwon faced off in a much-anticipated Verzuz battle Saturday where both rappers delivered 20 rounds of highlights from their Wu tenure, solo careers and notable features.
Over the course of the nearly three-hour livestream, fellow Wu members and associates like the RZA, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Masta Killa and Ol Dirty Bastard’s son Young Dirty Bastard dropped in to participate in the battle.
“You know there’s a war going on, right?… This shit right here is gonna get real, real fucking serious,” Raekwon warned before the competition started. “I don’t know what kind of battles you’re used to, but I know the battles we grew up on, it’s gonna get real serious.”
During the battle, where both Ghostface and Raekwon fired verses at one another, the duo reminisced about their long history together and showcased their camaraderie during occasional ceasefires; after Raekwon delivered the opening verse to his “Incarcerated Scarfaces,” Ghostface surprised him by rapping Raekwon’s second verse a cappella. “I had to take that, that was a leg shot,” Ghostface joked.
For 20 rounds, both rappers traded highlights from their careers, both together and separate: “Ghost Deini” vs. “10 Bricks,” “Criminology” vs. “Nutmeg,” etc; both of those Ghostface tracks appear on the rapper’s Supreme Clientele, which Raekwon voted as the best album ever in his ballot for Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums list.
For multiple rounds, the duo also helped each other out, with Ghostface jumping on Raekwon’s “Criminology” and the pair performing their remix of “Jodeci’s Freek’n You” together.
The Wu cameos included Cappadonna stopping by for Raekwon’s “Ice Cream,” Inspectah Deck supplied his verse from Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.” and Masta Killa appearing during Raekwon’s “Glaciers of Ice.” Around the 1:50:00-mark, RZA appeared to pour drinks and lead a celebratory toast to the proceedings.
In February, D’Angelo performed his first concert in nearly five years for the first-ever solo Verzuz livestream. After the Raekwon/Ghostface battle, Verzuz announced their next two showdowns: The Isley Brothers vs. Earth, Wind and Fire on April 4th and a special 4/20 match between Method Man and Redman.