It was the battle of the Dogs on Wednesday night (July 22), as Snoop Dogg and DMX faced off as part of the latest heavyweight bout on Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s Verzuz platform. There was no East Coast-West Coast beef here, as the rap titans’ mutual respect for one another couldn’t have been any higher.
With things taking just a bit longer than expected to get going, X and Snoop moseyed into the studio together around 8:15 pm ET. After a quick prayer along with some chicken strips and Kool-Aid, we were off. More than 500,000 fans filled the virtual arena at its peak on the Verzuz IG Live. The pair didn’t leave much on the table when running through a range of street classics and bi-coastal anthems from their decorated discographies — plus some leftovers for overtime.
Snoop leaned primarily on his first decade-and-change as a hitmaker, where he evolved from a young phenom in the early ’90s to a cultural fixture by the mid-’00s — while the Yonkers native rode his five-year run of absolute dominance atop the rap game at the turn of the century, where he ripped off five straight No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 to begin his career.
After 20 rounds in the ring, check out Billboard‘s scorecard below to see which icon we have leaving the dog pound as champion.
Round 1: Snoop Dogg’s “Deep Cover” vs. DMX’s “Intro”
Snoop Dogg didn’t waste any time in landing the first haymaker of the night with the Dr. Dre-produced “Deep Cover.” DMX’s answer falls short of measuring up to Snoop, as X decides to kick off with It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot‘s menacing “Intro” track.
WINNER: Snoop Dogg
Round 2: Snoop Dogg’s “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?)” vs. DMX’s “What’s My Name?”
Another early knockout attempt from the West Coast deity, who gallops to an early 2-0 lead on the back of his G-Funk breakout single “Who Am I?,” which put him on the map as a force to be reckoned with. Even 27 years later, that’s a tough tune to top for just about anyone.
WINNER: Snoop Dogg
Round 3: Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” vs. DMX feat. Sheek Louch’s “Get at Me Dog”
DMX admits that a quick interaction with Snoop actually inspired the title for “Get at Me Dog,” which Dogg told X when they were out and about way back when. Still, with one of the most renowned choruses in hip-hop’s history (thanks to D-Ruff), “Gin and Juice” extends Snoop’s lead to three-zip.
WINNER: Snoop Dogg
Round 4: Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg’s “Dre Day” vs. Ruff Ryders feat. DMX’s “Some X S–t”
Once “Dre Day” comes on, DMX has to be thinking “mayday” with the way things are going for him early on. A heftier X catches his breath and does some damage with a Ruff Ryder anthem of his own with “Some X S–t.”
WINNER: Snoop Dogg
Round 5: Tupac & Snoop Dogg’s “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” vs. DMX’s “Stop Being Greedy”
And Snoop’s got the Tupac collabs in his back pocket?! Just when you think Snoop’s barrage is done, he undergoes a wardrobe change and gets into another bag from his multi-faceted three-decade career to prove that he’s truly one-of-a-kind.
WINNER: Snoop Dogg
Round 6: Snoop Dogg feat. C-Murder & Magic’s “Down 4 My N’s” vs. Jay-Z feat. DMX’s “Money, Cash, H–s”
DMX looks to have survived Snoop’s initial blitzkrieg, as he notches his first victory on the board in round six with the opulent Jigga cut “Money, Cash, H–s” to teach listeners a thing or two about what reigns supreme in this life. The Yonkers resident starts his comeback trail.
Round 7: Snoop Dogg feat. Kurupt, Nate Dogg & Warren G’s “Aint No Fun” vs. Aaliyah feat. DMX’s “Come Back in One Piece”
And here comes The Dog. X gets into his bag of tricks with a tribute to Aaliyah with the lovable “Come Back in One Piece,” which lets fans reminisce on the magic of an unlikely dynamic combination in DMX and Baby Girl. Snoop realizes he finally woke up the Ruff Ryder legend.
Round 8: Snoop Dogg feat. Xzibit’s “B—h Please” vs. DMX “X Gon’ Give It To Ya”
Snoop takes it back to the days he was a No Limit Soldier with the Xzibit-assisted “B—h Please,” but X brings out one of the tracks that he knows will notch him an automatic victory in the snarling “X Gon’ Give It To Ya.” There’s not much Snoop can do to match that anthem’s energy at this point.
Round 9: Snoop Dogg’s “Gz and Hustlas” vs. DMX’s “Who We Be”
A The Great Depression standout cut. “Who We Be” actually earned DMX a Grammy nomination for best solo rap performance back in 2001, and the gritty track earns himself a hard-fought victory by edging out Snoop’s “Gz and Hustlas” as the first half starts to round to a close.
Round 10: Snoop Dogg’s “Tha Shiznit” vs. DMX’s “Get It On the Floor”
“He probably has a bike outside,” Snoop jokes when admiring X’s all-black attire and diamond chain. It’s fitting that the final round of the first half is probably the tightest of the night. Uncle Snoop goes back to the days where his rapping prowess was on display, while X brings the boisterous vigor instructing us to “Get It on the Floor.”
Round 11: DMX’s “F—-n Wit’ D” vs. Snoop Dogg feat. Master P, Nate Dogg, Butch Cassidy & The Eastsidaz’s “Lay Low”
“That’s a robbery song right there,” X growls about his track’s criminal nature. Now, with Snoop being able to respond to DMX’s choices, he unites the Dogg’s alongside the late Nate Dogg and Master P for the sly “Lay Low.”
WINNER: Snoop Dogg
Round 12: DMX’s “What These B—–s Want” vs. Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell & Charlie Wilson’s “Beautiful”
Snoop gives it up for what DMX was able to do on this record. Does it get any rawer than DMX namedropping all of the women he’s been romantically involved with in the past? That kind of authenticity is just part of the DNA that makes X one of the most unique legends in rap history.
Round 13: DMX’s “How’s It Goin’ Down” vs. Snoop Dogg’s “Pump Pump”
The pair is clearly comfortable sharing the stage with each other by this point, as the chemistry going back-and-forth is on point. DMX jokes about how he used to take his shirt off when performing “How’s It Goin’ Down,” but that won’t be happening tonight. Snoop says he’d join him on team skins, but X jokes they’ll look like the number “10” standing next to each other.
Round 14: DMX’s “It’s All Good” vs. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg’s “B—hes Ain’t S–t”
X explains this is one of the rare records he actually recorded in California. Snoop gets himself back in control with his tag-team partner Dr. Dre on “B—-s Aint S–t,” which finds DMX stepping in to provide background vocals and rhyme most of Snoop’s verse.
WINNER: Snoop Dogg
Round 15: DMX’s “Slippin'” vs. Snoop Dogg’s “Murder Was the Case”
DMX quickly answers with one of the staples from his discography. The emotional “Slippin'” is sure to get everyone in their feelings, as the record shows off the range that DMX possesses. Another point for X who now positions himself to possibly steal the battle.
Round 16: DMX feat. The Lox & Mase’s “N—az Done Started Something” vs Snoop Dogg feat. The Dramatics & Tha Dogg Pound’s “Doggy Dogg World”
With just five rounds to go, Snoop and X know it’s time to raise the stakes and bring out the heavy hitters in their repertoires. Snoop plays it safe, while DMX unleashes the explosive “N—z Done Started Something,” which finds him putting on a rap seminar to close out the track.
Round 17: LL Cool J feat. Method Man, Redman, Canibus, DMX, & Master P’s “4,3,2,1,” vs. Snoop Dogg feat. The Eastsidaz’s “I Luv It”
A round showing love to a pair of posse cuts. X rhyming alongside Method Man, LL Cool J, Redman, Canibus, and Master P are enough rap heroes on one beat that it had Snoop jealous — to the point he was wondering if they had room for an extra eight bars for him to join in on the fun.
Round 18: The Lox Featuring Lil’ Kim & DMX’s “Money, Power & Respect” vs. 50 Cent feat. Snoop Dogg’s “P.I.M.P. Remix”
DMX fires off a Lox classic in “Money, Power & Respect,” which we just heard Jadakiss rock in his battle with Fabolous earlier in July. With a ton of directions to go, Snoop Dogg fumbles the bag with the “P.I.M.P. Remix” when he has a ton of heat still in the stash. Point DMX.
Round 19: DMX’s “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” vs. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg’s “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang”
Is there really a wrong answer here? No, there’s not. Two prized fighters metaphorically exchanging musical haymakers which makes for one of the best rounds we’ve seen in Verzuz’s short history. This is like choosing your favorite child — you just don’t do it. Let’s plead the fifth here.
Round 20: DMX’s “Party Up (Up in Here)” vs. Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
There’s only a handful of rap songs that you know has everyone’s approval from ’70s babies to Gen Z. “Party Up” is one of those anthems. When X’s multi-Platinum smash is played and it doesn’t immediately raise the energy in a room within seconds, we’ll know it’s time to move to a different planet.
Overtime: Snoop Dogg
Overtime brought out the best in the culture. After DMX realized he didn’t fit “Where the Hood At” in his 20 and a couple of Snoop tunes, the pair of rap goliaths sat down like they were kicking it at the studio alone and began freestyling back-and-forth over whatever the DJ had lined up. Snoop’s effortless rhymes showed why his mind’s still as sharp as ever, as he pushed X to bring out The Dog in himself once again.
Wider Catalog: Snoop Dogg
Snoop jumped around from era-to-era with ease and he didn’t even open up his reggae or gospel bag for the Verzuz crowd. With nearly three decades of hits to his name, there aren’t many catalogs that match up with Snoop’s versatility across hip-hop. Who else has No. 1 hits with Pharrell, Katy Perry and Akon on their resumes?
Biggest Snub: Dr. Dre “Still D.R.E.” Featuring Snoop Dogg (Point: DMX)
Even though there’s no way Snoop could appease everyone with his choices for 20 records, as he easily could’ve gone for another 20, it was baffling to see him not bring out the iconic “Still D.R.E.” — especially since he continued to go to the Dr. Dre well throughout the night.
Best Banter: DMX
When DMX is comfortable, he’s going to be hilarious without trying. He’s got that kind of humor that is going to work without him even realizing he’s being funny. Whether it was him questioning Swizz on the number of viewers tuned in, calling out workers on set, or joking that he’d be the shape of a zero if he took his shirt off, X was full of foolery.
Biggest K.O.: Snoop Dogg
Thinking back to the early portion of the battle, it’s amazing that DMX responded as well as he did when it looked like it was going to be a long night for him. The near-K.O. came in round two, when Snoop surprisingly brought out the heavy-duty machinery with his debut single “Who Am I?”
People’s Champ: Tie
A win for “the culture” is a term we’ve thrown around loosely in the past, but that’s just what this was, and in the purest sense. Two OGs were celebrated and gave us a night full of entertainment and laughs while reminding us they were two of the best to pick up a mic. Wednesday night was also the closest thing to a live concert we’ll probably see all year.
FINAL SCORE: DMX, 12-10-4