After Hip Hop fans heard that T.I. said he wouldn’t battle Busta Rhymes on the second season of Verzuz, the self-proclaimed King of the South got a lot of backlash, with many saying that he was backing down. The Atlanta MC said it was because of a generational gap, being that Busta came onto the scene ten years before him.
Then, on October 25th, 2020, Busta, T.I. and Swizz Beats got on the phone, and said that T.I. Busta, and Young Jeezy will be in a three-way battle, after Busta said that he’d battle two people when T.I. had turned down the first response.
T.I. asked Busta would he be willing to just play songs that came out after 2001 (when T.I.’s first album dropped), and Busta accepted with no hesitation. Swizz Beats then said that Jeezy accepted quickly as well, and so now there will be history made on Verzuz with the first battle of its kind with three MC’s instead of two.
How the Initial Possible Battle Between Busta and T.I. Began
Fat Joe went crazy on The Fat Joe Show when Busta said that he’d battle T.I. on Verzuz if given the chance. “T.I. is a legend, King of the South,” Joe said to Busta in the video interview. “As a celebration of hip hip and of music, would you battle T.I. on Verzuz?”
“First of all, happy belated birthday to my brother T.I.,” Busta responded. “Second of all, me and T.I. have one of the most incredible relationships, we don’t gotta speak every day. T.I. knows how I stand tall for him. I put myself in the line of fire for T.I. when I need to, because I love him. I love that brother like my brother for real. But the one thing about me that I think everybody knows pretty well, is I respectfully compete beyond description. I sit in the f*****g smoking section….T.I., it is intriguing to me that you have such a concern with New York MC’s. I wanna understand what that’s about. But, from one brother that loves ya, to another brother that knows I love ‘em, I’m begging you to step in the ring with me. Im’ma bust yo ass…”
T.I. soon after caught wind of what was going on online about Busta’s Challenge, and responded that he wouldn’t do it on a walk to the set of his show ExpediTIously. “I done seen all the sh*t ya’ll kickin’ up,” he said in the video response. “Ya’ll messy as hell man.”
“Busta, Bus-a-Bus” T.I. continued. “I f**k with you bruh. I respect my elders, man. I mean, I ain’t trying to be funny about it at all. Just speaking honestly. Busta, you was in Leaders of the New School. I was a fan of them, still am. But I didn’t know we were reaching back, like, through generations! That’s a huge generational gap there, isn’t it? And I have an exponential amount of respect for you. If that’s the case, gimmie Melly Mel then. If that’s the case, I mean I can’t call out Rakim. I mean much respect to you. But ya’ll wouldn’t put Brandy up against Dionne Warwick…I don’t know man…it’s like Mike Tyson and George Foreman…”
In one video, T.I. actually said that he thought the L.L. Cool J would be a better battle for Busta’s generation. He went on to announce that he would battle Jeezy. “As far as my good brother young Jeezy. It’s gonna be an honor. I promise you this Verzuz battle couldn’t be in the hands of a better man. Ya’ll are in for a ride….”
The Generational Gap Between Busta Rhymes and T.I.
Leaders of the New School a group that consisted of Busta Rhymes (Trevor Smith, Jr.), Cut Monitor Milo (Sheldon Scott), Dinco D (James Jackson), and Charlie Brown (Bryan Higgins) formed the group in 1989, and released their first album A Future Without a Past in 1991 under Elektra Records during the Summer of 1991.
T.I. (Clifford Harris Jr.) was ten years old at the time. He dropped his first album entitled I’m Serious a decade later in the fall of 2001.