While T.I. is being replaced by Gucci Mane in Thursday’s (Nov. 19) season two opener of the Verzuz battle show in a lyrical showdown with Jeezy, Tip’s team tells Billboard that the King of the South still plans to appear on the wildly popular head-to-head series.
A spokesperson for T.I. tells Billboard that the rapper was unfortunately not able to do the originally announced Nov. 19 date, but that he’s working on setting up a different Verzuz battle in the future with a different, as-yet-unnamed opponent. Before getting penciled in for the Jeezy battle, T.I. had publicly turned down Busta Rhymes‘ offer to throw down.
Ironically, Jeezy’s original dream opponent on Verzuz was Gucci, who reportedly declined the offer at first. Jeezy told The Breakfast Club in a recent interview that Verzuz’s co-creator Swizz Beatz called him about the opportunity and he said, “I was like ‘Yo, Swizz … If I do it, there’s only one person I’d do it with. And he was like ‘Who?’ ‘Gucci, reach out to him. Let me know what’s up.'” He said Swizz came back a short time later to say that Gucci had “respectfully declined.”
Jeezy and Gucci had a longtime feud that reached back to 2005, when Gucci killed one of Jeezy’s associates, Henry “Pookie Loc” Clark III. The incident happened during an alleged home invasion at Gucci’s house, but he didn’t call the police after the shooting and Clark’s body was found a few days later. Police later dropped the charges.
The Atlanta rappers will face off at 8 p.m. ET on Instagram and Apple Music on Thursday. To date, the intensely watchable series has featured a series of popular showdowns between such pairs as Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch, Nelly and Ludacris, Teddy Riley and Babyface, Timbaland and Swizz, Lil Jon and T-Pain, RZA and Premier, and Jill Scott and Erykah Badu, among many others.