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Jay-Z Cites Lack of Competition as Reason for Not Doing a Verzuz Battle: ‘No One Can Stand on That Stage With Me'

Photograph by Mason Poole. Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.
Billionaire businessman and rap icon Jay-Z has nothing but smoke for anyone suggesting he entertain a battle on Verzuz, the music platform that rocketed to popularity mid-pandemic pitting artists in head-to-head competition with their contemporaries.

During a surprise appearance Tuesday on Alicia Keys’ Twitter Space, celebrating her new album "Keys," the artist made it clear that there would be no battle for him because any opponent would be outclassed.

“Ain’t nobody that can stand on that stage with me. I ain’t gonna lie, no disrespect. Everyone’s amazing, they’ve done what they’ve done. No one can stand on that stage with me. I'm just telling you guys the real... there’s not a shot," replied Hov to Genius’ Rob Markman when asked who might be able to go toe-to-toe with him on the Verzuz stage.

Jay-Z said as much while talking with Alicia Keys and Rob Markman on Twitter Spaces as the group discussed the R&B icon’s latest album, Keys.
He followed up with a reference to his "Grammy Family Freestyle," a cypher made in an appearance on New York's Hot 97 in 2006, considered by many to be one of the best freestyles ever, to illustrate the disparity between himself and other rappers.

"You got to stand in front of the ‘Grammy Family Freestyle’ live? No one has ever even seen me perform that. You got to stand in front of that? That ain’t never going to happen,” Jay added.

Most other artists espousing such sentiment might come off as cocky, but the Brooklyn-born rapper may have the resume to back up such a weighty statement. Beginning with 1996's "Reasonable Doubt" his discography is littered with cultural touchstones and classics. He has also received the most Grammy Awards (23) ever awarded to a rapper.

In recent weeks he landed on the 94th Academy Award shortlists for Best Original Song for his work on "Guns Go Bang" from Netflix's The Harder They Fall, which he performed and wrote with Scott 'Kid Cudi' Mescudi (the film's director, Jeymes Samuel, was also a co-writer). If the 52-year-old becomes an Oscar nominee, it could mark the first time in the award's history a husband and wife have competed against each other in the same category. His wife Beyoncé is also on the shortlists for her song "Be Alive" from the Warner Bros. movie "King Richard." There are 13 other songs on the shortlists.

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