After declaring, multiple times in interviews over the last 12 months, that he would never do a VERZUZ battle, Dancehall superstar Sean Paul says he is now willing to do VERZUZ, but only the way R&B superstar D’Angelo did it on February 27, that is: with no opponent in sight.
In February Dangelo engaged in the first and only solo VERZUZ, breaking the format by featuring in what was a one-sided battle, according to Pitchfork. Accompanied by DJ Scratch, D’Angelo sang his own songs and featured guest spots from H.E.R., Method Man and Redman.
But in a recent interview with Two Bees TV, when the host, Miss Two Bees, told Sean Paul that she felt that if he were to change his mind and engage in VERZUZ, it would be a celebration that would push the genre more to the forefront, Sean pinpointed D’Angelo’s performance as his ideal.
“I saw that an I was like: ‘that I would do’. As I said, it is supposed to be a joyful noise unto the Lord and when I have to answer phone call the next day and tell somebody if I like Keisha Cole or Ashanti, I am like: ‘di both a dem sexy no hell and di both a dem can sing – amazing. I don’t wanna pick…and that is how I think it should be.”
“I think what they were doing is try spice up the virtual side a things, because it can be a little monotonous, but honestly, the way D’Angelo did it, I would do that yeh,” he said.
The Dutty Rock artist said earlier in the interview that, among other things, that he was trying to “be the change that I wanna see in the universe and stay away from things like that”.
“The whole VERZUZ, I respect everybody that did it; I respect the people that put it on, respect the platform, but that was just the stance I took on it. It is called VERZUZ battle and I don’t wanna battle nobody in the music. I wanna build champions; I don’t wanna kill champions,” he said, quoting Vybz Kartel.
“Music is a mission, not a competition,” he added, quoting Capleton.
“I did a song called Lion Heart in which I’m kinda clashing the whole culture at that point and I am saying whose gonna hate me now for me saying my opinion that I don’t like clashing. It’s not the focus of what we should be pinpointing right now. We should be getting that cash; we shouldn’t be clashing. We should be collaborating and doing great things…”
When the host said she saw a tweet after the Beenie Man-Bounty Killer VERUZ face-off which said ‘that clash culture is what pushed the genre this far, but it’s also the same thing that is holding us back’, Sean Paul said that he did “not really agree”.
“I agree that at this point it holds us back. What it did make us was potent emcees, ‘cause I had to be ready if anybody would come for me,” the Temperature artist said.
“So yeah, but when you look at myself, Shaggy, Koffee, Konshens, Charly Black, Gyptian, Serani, none of us clash and all of us stream amazing numbers. I am one a di bigger ones. So I would beg to differ that clashing actually pushed the whole genre somewhere, because there was years Bounty and Beenie was warring and that was all the genre talked about. But I snuck by and I did well in the international circles. So did all of those other artistes that I just mentioned.”
He added: “So I think the focus is just wrong in us thinking that clashing brought us to where we are. It was people like me that brought us to where we are; people like Shaggy and people like Koffee. Bounty Killer and Beenie Man did something for the immediate genre – excitement, and that’s dope and it take a lot of skill to do, but at the same time that time has passed and kids come around in terms of the younger generation and they are doing it; they call each other’s mothers names and kids names in songs now, that’s in no way pushing the genre forward.”
Sean Paul said he even has “been around many people” who say the enjoy his music but that they “don’t like the full Dancehall thing because of the clashing”.
“To me all of that clashing that we did to show how great we was, to each other we have already done it, and when we embellishing violence now and glorifying it, it’s at point now where a person like me have to speak u and say: ‘where did that actually carry us?” he said.
The Wolmer’s High School old boy said pointed to further evidence that clashing reaped no sustainable rewards, noting that no artist has ever been signed any major labels because of his/her clashing prowess.
“I would like to know, who got signed really from all that. And because their minds was all geared towards that type of thing, that is why some of them got signed and put all that in the albums and go nowhere. So I beg to differ that it put us on no map. Our beautiful, amazing, vibesy, creations of music did. I mean if you look at Gyptian compared to even Mavado, Gyptian has gotten on the radio more than Mavado. So has Charly Black. You judge it for yourself. Tell me,” Sean Paul said.