9 Reasons The T-Pain Versus Lil Jon ‘Verzuz’ Battle Was the Saturday Night Show We Didn’t Even Know We Needed

For every melanated individual over the age of 35, Sunday night was slated to be the music version of boxing’s “Rumble In The Jungle,” the spectacular fight between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali in Kinshasha, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), in October 1974—arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century. (Ali won by an eighth round knockout using his now-famous rope-a-dope style.)

Teddy Riley and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, two musical titans who helped shape black music in the ’80s and ’90s and who are responsible for more hits (and careers) than you can shake a stick at, were set to go head-to-head in the new Verzuz music battle series started by super producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. Well, that didn’t happen. For unknown reasons, we all got notice on Sunday afternoon that the battle royale was postponed, which under normal circumstances would have been a major blow except Saturday night happened.

What happened on Saturday night, you ask?

Well, at 9 p.m., Faheem Najm, better known to the world as T-Pain, and Jonathan Smith, better known as Lil Jon (and now “JONATHAN”), logged into T-Pain’s Instagram account for what would become the epic music battle that we didn’t even KNOW we needed. Reaching over 280,000 people at one point, T-Pain and Lil Jon treated everybody who watched to an entertaining two-plus hours of classics, edutainment and shenanigans. Anybody who joined into the fracas was better off for it. It was a music-off, which means there was a winner and a loser, but be clear, on Saturday night, everybody who was a part of the show won. T-Pain and Lil Jon won. The culture won. Everybody watching won. We all won.

Here are nine reasons why the T-Pain versus Lil Jon battle was the Saturday night show we didn’t even know we needed.

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