On November 19, southern rap legends Jeezy and Gucci Mane will battle on the season 2 premiere of Verzuz. Fellow Atlanta emcee T.I. was Jeezy’s original opponent, but swapping him for Gucci Mane has piqued rap fan’s interest more than the original matchup. Because, unlike a majority of the previous Verzuz’s battles, this one has a lot of personal history attached.

Many in Hip-Hop believed Jeezy versus Gucci Mane would never happen. Their relationship deteriorated almost instantly after their first time working together. In 2005, their collaboration on “Icy” became a hit in the southern region. Animosity grew when both men were gearing up to release their debut albums and felt “Icy” should appear on their respective projects.

“Icy” wound up on Gucci’s album Trap House. Jeezy stated that he didn’t receive royalties. Both men have denied that their differences started over the song’s ownership, but the tension between the two would make its way to wax shortly.

Deeper Than Rap

Gucci and Jeezy went back and forth taking shots at each other on songs, but it was Jeezy who escalated the situation. At the end of “Stay Strapped,” he placed a $10,000 bounty on Gucci Mane’s chain. This led to an attempted robbery on Gucci Mane at his home.

On May 10, 2005, five men entered Gucci Mane’s Atlanta residence to rob him. A scuffle ensued, and Gucci shot one of the assailants. The unnamed man later succumbed to his injuries.

Later reports confirmed the individual was an associate of Jeezy’s as well as one of his artists. Gucci was charged with murder but was acquitted after it had been proven that he acted in self-defense.

A New Gucci Mane

Atlanta’s rap scene is often known for its unity, but the chances of Gucci and Jeezy burying the hatchet seemed slim to none. Throughout the years, both men continued to take shots at each other in interviews and on songs. Their entourages also engaged in physical altercations on their behalf.

In 2013, Gucci was charged with two counts of possessing a firearm by a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty the following year and served two years in prison. During this time, Gucci began to transform. He kicked his addiction to lean and exuded a more enlightened train of thought.

Upon his release in 2016, Gucci Mane was a different person. A diet change saw him go from an out of shape loose cannon to a zen master with a six-pack. Fans and rappers alike joked how the new Gucci they were seeing must be a clone because the change was so drastic.

In fact, both men seem to have grown tremendously since 2005, which prompted many within the culture to ask if a reconciliation was possible. While Gucci was incarcerated, Jeezy continued to be one of the leading voices in southern rap. He went from resident trapper to an elder statesman in Hip-Hop.

When asked about the potential of squashing the beef, Gucci and Jeezy didn’t rule out the possibility. However, they admitted it wouldn’t be as simple as some would believe it to be, even with their newfound maturity.

However, when asked this year if he would appear on Verzuz, Jeezy admitted that the only person he felt would be a formidable opponent was Gucci. But according to Jeezy, Gucci declined the offer. Gucci would tweet that the only way he would do Verzuz is if $1,000,000 was on the line. For many Hip-Hop fans, this signaled that this was never going to happen.

All that changed on November 14, when Gucci Mane tweeted out that he and Jeezy would lock horns. Fans became ecstatic that the fantasy match was becoming a reality. But once the initial shock subsided, people started to question if the two men would be able to be in the same room given their history.

With over a decade of bad blood between the two of them, tonight’s Verzuz battle will be arguably the most anticipated one to date. Both Gucci and Jeezy have engaged in some trash talk via social media. But is this just playful competitive banter, or are wounds that haven’t fully healed beginning to reopen?

Gucci Mane vs. Jeezy will take place on Instagram and Apple Music at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET.

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