The 8Ball & MJG and UGK Verzuz as Scored by an Unbiased Music Editor

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The 8Ball & MJG and UGK Verzuz as Scored by an Unbiased Music Editor

There are few things that can get me out of bed when I’m submerged in the plush memory foam, crochet project in hand with Detroiters on the television: my dog’s whining and a good Verzuz. If you blinked, you would’ve missed this historic matchup as it was only announced three days before it happened.

If you’ve read my previous round-by-round, you know the drill. Despite what the title says, I am actually very biased as a huge Southern rap fan. Still, it was a bit tougher this time around with 8Ball & MJG hailing from Memphis and UGK being one of the most successful acts out of Port Arthur, TX (although they are often seen as synonymous with Houston). The two are both duos, so it makes sense that they’d go head-to-head. Despite Pimp C’s tragic passing in 2007, UGK’s legacy still shines bright with remaining member Bun B standing tall on the Verzuz stage. UGK definitely has the advantage because they enjoyed more mainstream success. Their 2007 hit “International Players Anthem (I Choose You)” featuring Outkast is still a floor-filler 15 years later, and their feature on Three 6 Mafia’s “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” is a staple in both of their catalogs.

That’s not to say 8Ball & MJG didn’t enjoy their own success and their signing to Diddy’s Bad Boy South brought about hits such as “You Don’t Want Drama.” They have also featured on some of the South’s best club hits such as David Banner’s “Gangster Walk” and Three 6 Mafia’s “Stay Fly.” Unlike some of the other Verzuz battles, there was never any bad blood between the two and this was expected to be an exciting family affair.

With all that out of the way, let’s get into it.

Round 1: 8Ball & MJG – “9 Little Millimeta Boys” VS. UGK – “Something Good”

Ball and G’s Comin’ Out Hard was a powerful debut on Tony Draper’s Suave House Records. The hard-hitting “9 Little Millimeta Boys” has that funky bass loop and lays out the duo’s no-bullshit approach: it’s kill or be killed. One of the best parts of the song is the unconventional hook in which a gunshot can be heard and a comically exaggerated “Is there a doctor in the house?” parodies their poor enemy’s demise.

Bun B pulled from UGK’s 1992 debut Too Hard to Swallow for the Chaka Khan-sampling “Something Good.” The brilliantly simple loop taken from The Isley Brother’s effortlessly sexy “Summer Breeze” makes the UGK hit perfect for a beautiful summer drive. The best thing about UGK was they could switch from raunchy and romantic to stonecold killers in an instant. The back and forth of Pimp C taunting the object of his antagonization by describing what it’s like having sex with his girlfriend (or sister?) and Bun B laying out what it takes to be safe from their wrath is a testament to their incredible storytelling.

Nonetheless, I have to give it to 8Ball & MJG this round. There’s something so thrilling and exciting about “9 Little Millimeta Boys” and its youthful energy.

Winner: 8Ball & MJG

Round 2: 8Ball & MJG “Comin’ Out Hard” – VS. UGK – “Pocket Full of Stones (Pimp C Remix)

Ball and G brought out the soulful title track of their incredible debut. It’s at this point I want to praise everyone’s performances, as it sounds straight off the recording. The crowd is not nearly as excited as I think they should be, but I digress. That sample of Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years” brings chills down my spine. However, Bun B had to bring out Pimp C’s remix of “Pocket Full of Stones.” Pimp C’s hook is an earworm for sure, especially that “give it away” refrain in the background. I also may have let out a little scream.

Winner: UGK

Round 3: 8Ball & MJG – “We Started This” VS. UGK – “Choppin’ Blades”

In Our Lifetime is probably my favorite 8Ball & MJG album with the dark introspection they channeled on each track, taking upon influences of Memphis’ rich blues history. The live version doesn’t do justice to the eerie keys and frantic percussion that gives the song an air of paranoia. MJG is such an underrated lyricist and rapper, and his first verse is one of his best.

Then, that swanky G-funk intro (which is a slightly altered version of E-40’s “Captain Save A Hoe”) of UGK’s “Choppin’ Blades” kicked in. That song is the recipe for both a club and street hit. Pimp C’s incredible hook with his soulful croon filled that room. This was a hard one.

Winner: Tie (I can do whatever I want)

Round 4: 8Ball & MJG – “Just Like Candy” VS. UGK – “Front, Back & Side to Side”

I cannot drive, but I love hearing Southern rappers write love letters to their whips. It’s unfair that this incredible track was left on a compilation album. The duo shines on these R&B-influenced tracks.

I would say that Bun B didn’t play fair with his setlist, but UGK just knew how to make some good ass songs. “Front, Back & Side to Side” is all Pimp C (and that incredible Eazy-E sample in the hook, which the song’s namesake also comes from).

Despite this, I’m giving this to Ball and G. That soulful hook just gets to me.

Winner: 8Ball & MJG

Round 5: 8Ball & MJG – “Forever” VS. UGK – “Wood Wheel”

As you can see from the sample names I’ve been dropping, the South loved every coast. 8Ball & MJG, upon signing with Diddy, nabbed so many features on Living Legends, including Atlanta’s own Lloyd. “Forever” opens with the singer’s hook and it’s admittedly a shaky start, but once those wet synths and that rumbly bass kick in, it’s electric.

However, “Wood Wheel” has one of my all time favorite opening lines in hip-hop: “I’m up early ‘cause my n***a don’t sell dope after nighttime.” At this point, you should understand by now that Pimp C was a master at an incredible hook and lyrics that sit with you.

Winner: UGK

Round 6: 8Ball & MJG – “Paid Dues” VS. UGK – “Hi Life”

CeeLo Green wasn’t able to perform his hook on “Paid Dues,” but 8Ball & MJG held it down. This song is one of the eeriest blues-influenced tracks in their catalog, also from 1999’s In Our Lifetime. The two reflect on the struggle to survive, praying that music can save them from crime. 8ball candidly saying “Ok, everybody know everybody done sold dope, ran with a gang/ Pimped some hoes, and snorted a little coke” is a chilling reminder of what normalcy means for different people. It’s a truly powerful song.

UGK took a similar approach on “Hi Life.” Pimp C opens with a heartbreaking anecdote of his grandmother asking when he will go back to church in hopes that he will seek salvation and step away from the streets. A recurring theme throughout Pimp C’s lyrics is how white people perceive him. “Crackers tend to smirk / Offended by the weed smoke coming off my shirt / But still I put in work and front for my folks,” he says, aware that survival trumps how people may see him. Likewise, Bun B asks “Now who in the fuck made it this way for us?”

At the end of this round, Bun B looks at his opponents and says “We talk about real life shit!” Songs such as “Hi Life” and “Paid Dues” exist alongside party bangers, and the South has always been more than the club hits the region is often synonymous with. I have to hand it to both of them.

Winner: Tie

Round 7: 8Ball & MJG – “Bring It Back” feat. Young Dro VS. Bun B – “Draped Up” feat. Lil Keke

8Ball & MJG released their last album Ten Toes Down in 2010 via T.I.’s Grand Hustle. “Bring It Back” should’ve been a bigger hit, and Nitti knows how to produce a damn good one (just take a listen to Yung Joc’s “It’s Goin’ Down”). Just listen to those drums! Young Dro even came out. At this point, I’m nerding out.

But then, Bun B welcomed Lil Keke to the stage for “Draped Up.” Salih Williams is a BEAST behind the boards. He’s responsible for one of the most perfect hip-hop songs in history, Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin’,” and another close contender, “Sittin’ Sideways” by Paul Wall. “Draped Up” is taken from Bun’s debut solo album Trill, and he is ferocious. Those synths and claps are layered into calculated chaos. There is so much happening. Lil Keke’s hook, which is sampled from DJ Screw’s “Pimp Tha Pen” is icing on the cake. I am on cloud nine.

Winner: UGK

Round 8: Tela – “Sho Nuff” feat. Jazze Pha, 8Ball & MJG VS. UGK – “Take It Off”

Let me make something clear right now: I love Tela. He was an unsung hero from Suave House Records. 1996’s Piece of Mind is a masterpiece, and there’s a bit of everything for everyone with such a wide sonic palette it takes influence from. “Sho Nuff” is one of Tela’s biggest hits, and it has everything for the perfect hit in my eyes. Jazze Pha is the secret weapon, and I believe he should’ve taken over on hook duty more than CeeLo Green at their primes. The beat is so simple and works so well, with that wobbly G-funk synth being sampled in Gangsta Boo’s “Where Dem Dollas At,” (which was then sampled by Pimp C for “In My Pocket,” his collaboration with Boosie and Webbie). There’s layers to this! Tela and Jazze Pha come out, I’m screaming, they got gigantic coats on. I was losing my mind. Tela, if you’re reading this: let me interview you.

Now, if you don’t know “Take It Off” by UGK, you might know the tracks that sampled it, most notably David Banner’s “Like A Pimp” (and my personal favorite, “I Will” by Danny Brown). Pimp C lives up to his name, and tracks like this encapsulate his charisma. Some of UGK’s best songs come from when they strip their tough personas in favor of their horned-up, sappy sides. In Bun B’s verse, he even catches himself after he finishes the deed, realizing he pushed his pride aside for a satisfying hookup.

I lean UGK, but then I remember that I just saw Tela on my screen.

Winner: 8Ball & MJG

Round 9: 8Ball – “My Homeboy’s Girlfriend” VS. UGK – “Three Sixteens”

8Ball went into this ready to clear up any misconceptions, addressing the fact that many people assumed “My Homeboy’s Girlfriend” was about Pimp C. Bun B even cleared it up on Twitter over a decade ago. To be fair, the song does start with “My n***a, C, he from Texas, I’m from Tennesee.” 8Ball is such a skilled storyteller, articulating the confusion over having sex with his friend’s girlfriend and the ensuing guilt that is overtaken by the thrill of being caught.

Then you have the closing track of UGK’s 1994 album Super Tight, “Three Sixteens.” Once again, this is a clear ode to their love for West Coast rap, and that G-funk synth with the slowed-down Texas flair is just stunning. DJ DMD’s production is a perfect match for the swagger of UGK, and he’s responsible not only for this track but also for the legendary “25 Lighters,” which is one of the most referenced tracks in hip-hop. Bun B’s menacing line “You know I’m a villain, so why try?” is a reminder for the uninitiated that the South set all this horror-filled rap in motion.

Shoutout DJ DMD. Listen to “Comin’ Up” by Pimp C after you finish this piece and enjoy DMD’s production and Pimp C interpolating Luther Vandross. You’re welcome.

Winner: UGK

Round 10: MJG – “Middle of the Night (Remix)” feat. Twista and 8Ball VS. UGK – “The Game Belongs To Me”

Don’t come for me, but Twista doesn’t always do it for me. However, MJG does. His 1997 solo debut No More Glory, which features a provocative cover of him in front of the confederate flag engulfed in flames, is an underrated Southern rap gem. Throughout the Verzuz, MJG is praised several times for his lyricism. That hook though. I find myself singing it throughout the day because everything from its cadence to its rhyme scheme is superb. Twista did bring his A-game with his performance, and that man has not aged a day! I love that this remix, which was featured on the 1998 compilation U-N-I VS. All Featuring The Universal Emcees, doesn’t simply tack on an additional verse and instead features Twista putting his own spin on the already incredible hook. It was an interesting choice and it worked.

The place erupted when “The Game Belongs To Me” started. No bullshit, just right into Pimp C crooning “I got Bobby by the pound, Whitney by the key / DJ Screw by the gallon, bitch the game belong to me.” I also find myself singing this hook a lot. There’s so much to love about this song, from the creative drug references to Pimp C asserting that pimping has evolved to the Internet in a new technological age. Bun B rides the beat with grace and ease. This song was released as their 2007 album Underground Kingz’s first single before the monumental “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” was released as its second, and I think “The Game Belongs To Me” deserved the same amount of retrospective adoration.

Winner: Tie

Round 11: 8Ball – “Stop Playin’ Games” feat. P. Diddy VS. Bun B – “Get Throwed” feat. Pimp C, Jeezy, Jay-Z and Z-Ro

I have my gripes with P. Diddy that I can write a whole ‘nother piece about, but Bad Boy South was responsible for some of Ball & G’s most accessible and exciting work (plus Boyz n da Hood’s self-titled). I guess P. Diddy lives to see another day. 8Ball’s second solo album Almost Famous was a bit bloated and had some corny songs, but “Stop Playin’ Games” had all the right ingredients to be a crunk hit. That being said, it was a weak pull. I also recognize I may be partial to MJG’s solo output.

God was looking down on me and knew if Bun B brought out Jeezy, Jay or Z-Ro, I would’ve gone into cardiac arrest. Bun B missed his cue and did his verse acapella which was just incredible. The room briefly stewed over the incredible threat to “slap her in the face with a Pie à la Mode,” which I will never fully understand. Does he just have that on hand? In any case…

Winner: UGK

Round 12: 8Ball & MJG – “Relax and Take Notes” feat. Project Pat and The Notorious B.I.G. VS. UGK – “Murder”

8Ball & MJG did Biggie justice in sampling his 1999 posthumous single “Dead Wrong” featuring Eminem. Those Bad Boy ties came in handy because this song is the definition of a banger. Sadly, no Project Pat. MJG is particularly vicious on this one, going as far as to say the ghost of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is with him to guide him on a murderous rampage. It’s brutal in the best way.

Pimp C was a talented producer, which not many people seem to remember. He produced several tracks on their landmark 1996 album Ridin Dirty, which was praised by the late Tupac. With that out of the way, we need to discuss Bun B’s verse. Holy shit. Bun breathlessly lays all his cards out on the table: threats, sex and murder. It’s easily one of the most impressive rap verses in history, from the rhyme schemes to wordplay.

I have to stop doing ties…

Winner: Tie (I can’t hear you over my indecisiveness)

Round 13: 8Ball & MJG – “Space Age Pimpin’” VS. Jay-Z – “Big Pimpin’” feat. UGK

And here we have our pimp portion of the night, kicked off by 8Ball & MJG’s “Space Age Pimpin’.” I feel like it’s worth clarifying for those uninitiated that this doesn’t mean Ball and G are involved in prostitution, but they know how to pull the ladies. Nina Creque’s sexy hook lays out the silk sheets as the two rappers exchange exciting nights of passing glances turned into steamy hookups.

Now we get into “Big Pimpin’,” and the story behind the song and video is a great one to tell. First of all, Bun B thought Jay-Z calling him to propose the collaboration was a prank. Pimp C hated the Timbaland beat, telling MTV “It sounded like a pop record to me. I didn’t want to do it. It scared me, because I didn’t know how people was going to take us going in that direction.” Bun B begs Pimp to do it, and he will only give Jay eight bars. No more, no less. Pimp agrees but then bails on the Hype Williams-directed video shoot in Trinidad. After shooting their scenes, they find a spot in Miami that vaguely looks like Trinidad and they finally get Pimp C out of the house to complete the video. It’s also worth noting that UGK was also involved in some issues with their label Jive at the time, which he also references in his verse.

In those eight bars that Pimp laid down, he murdered it. It was short, sweet and to the point. It gets some points taken off because Pimp C couldn’t stand it, but also some points tacked back on because, despite all of his reservations, he completed an incredible collaboration. Honestly, I’m with Pimp C. I don’t like that beat. If I could suggest a better track for this matchup, “I Left It Wet For You” from Super Tight. Would’ve matched that cocky pimp energy a lot better.

Winner: 8Ball & MJG

Round 14: 8Ball & MJG – “Pimp Hard” VS. UGK – “Let Me See It”

At this point, if you aren’t pimpin’ then clearly you aren’t paying attention. You kinda have to by now, and 8Ball & MJG offer a little extra push with “Pimp Hard,” produced by the incredible Jazze Pha. I’d also like to retract my previous statement because the two are definitely talking about prostitution in this track, and they will spend all of their girls’ money. 8Ball clarifies that he will take the girls out to eat after they’re done, but in an ideal world, they wouldn’t.

I almost gave it to them, but UGK’s “Let Me See It” came in with those record scratch noises. Oh man, this is the electrifying opener of their 2001 album Dirty Money. It arrived after a five-year hiatus but didn’t get nearly as much attention because of the aforementioned conflict with Jive, who failed to properly push UGK’s momentum following their collaborations with Jay-Z and Three 6 Mafia. “Let Me See It” is UGK at some of their most depraved, and I love it. Pimp C’s whispery dominance on the hypnotic hook makes way for Bun B listing off every type of woman the duo has messed around with. Bun B is the star of this song, balancing Pimp C’s enthusiasm with a calculated cockiness.

Winner: UGK

Round 15: 8Ball & MJG – “Mr. Big” VS. UGK – “Return”

Now some may not know this, but Karl Marx was inspired to write The Communist Manifesto after hearing 8Ball’s opening verse that details his frustration with his minimum wage job. Yes, that was a bad joke. “Mr. Big” is one of the standout tracks from Comin’ Out Hard, and my only gripe is that they didn’t include the incredible eulogy that opens the song on the album itself. It’s a thrilling tale of a triumphant come-up, from rags to riches that infects the duo with devious inclinations. But then, my dreams came true.

“Return” is my favorite UGK song. Pimp C, who always delivers a hell of an opening line, swoops in like Superman on the opening track of Super Tight. I wasn’t expecting to hear this, but maybe my desperate pleas to Bun B on my Instagram story did the trick. This song’s opening lyric “It all started with a “Pimp C, bitch so what the fuck is up?” / Told ‘em something good / Ease up my muthafuckin cut” references their 1992 debut EP The Southern Way’s opening track “Cocaine in the Back of the Ride,” whose opening line is a favorite of Pimp C’s to reference. It also calls back to “Something Good” off their debut. “Return” is an appropriate title, and while it was early on in their career to be boasting the way that they were, you could tell they were going to make history. Bun B is hungry on this track, with braggadocio that unfolds and continues on throughout their career. Wow.

Winner: UGK

Round 16: 8Ball & MJG – “Armed Robbery” VS. C-Murder – “Akickdoe!” feat. UGK and Master P

Few are able to convey deviancy in the way 8Ball & MJG can, and “Armed Robbery” is a testament to that. You have to pull up the lyrics while listening to fully appreciate it, although the Mission: Impossible theme sample also gets the point across. Ball and G paint a vivid, thrilling picture of committing armed robbery. MJG is able to escape successfully, reminding the listener that “the longer you stay, the quicker you get arrested,” but 8Ball isn’t so lucky, being apprehended by the feds after escaping to Jamaica. It’s storytelling at its finest, void of metaphor and full of pure skill as you hang onto every word.

Greg Street, the host of the Verzuz, comes out in Tela’s coat. Street brings a special comic relief to the whole event, and that tickled me. Bun B sets the tone before he goes into his song and says “Let’s keep it criminal” with a sly smile. I did not know where this would go.

C-Murder’s “Akickdoe!” kicks (heh) in, which was a very pleasant surprise. I understand why Bun chose to do Pimp’s verse for this one since it’s a showstopper, but I wish he would’ve done his own too. His laundry list of weapons deserved a chance to shine.

Winner: 8Ball & MJG

Round 17: 8Ball & MJG – “Friend or Foe” VS. UGK – “Diamonds & Wood”

“Friend or Foe” is an awesome song, but having someone as magnetic as E-40 on your own track puts more pressure on you to give it your all. The duo holds their own with an erratic, paranoia-driven reflection on trust issues. MJG outshines everyone, playing around with his flow as he asks rhetorical questions to try and quell his fears.

But then you have a song as incredible as “Diamonds & Wood” in the mix. Sheesh. Again, Bun only chose to highlight Pimp C’s verse which I respect. UGK oozed that country luxury they rap so much about, with their shiny diamonds juxtaposed against the smooth wood grain of their steering wheels. However, Pimp C also ends his verse with “Glitter and gleam ain’t all what it look like / So I keep swanging out here clanging tryna live my life,” reminding everyone that there’s still a lot more to him despite making it big. You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.

Winner: UGK

Round 18: 8Ball & MJG – “Lay It Down” VS. Pimp C – “Knockin’ Doorz Down” feat. P.O.P. and Lil Keke

“Lay It Down,” the closing track of 8Ball & MJG’s second album On the Outside Looking In, was the only big hit from the album. It’s a predictable sophomore slump, sandwiched between their electric debut Comin’ Out Hard and their triumphant third album On Top of the World. “Lay It Down” was a recipe for a hit with a chant for the hook, which also serves as a reminder that Memphis laid the groundwork for crunk music, a genre often thought to have originated in Atlanta. I recommend everyone rewatch the Verzuz and go to 1:56:30 to witness the nasty breakdown of the song which fully transforms it into its crunk glory for a few seconds. It’s incredible.

Unfortunately, it was no match for Pimp C The Mediator’s “Knockin’ Doorz Down.” It was the last single off his final studio album Pimpalation, released a little over a year before his tragic passing in 2007. It’s an eerie send-off in hindsight, and Pimp C goes out in style. Accompanied by the Godfather-themed music video, the song finds a fresh-out-of-jail Pimp C reflecting on the state of Houston rap. He attempts to squash the beef between Lil’ Flip and T.I. (which was later resolved thanks to J. Prince, known beef-squasher), who fought over the King of the South title that Pimp C crowns to DJ Screw. He does the same for Slim Thug and Z-Ro, suggesting a tour that would make the two a lot of money if they settled their differences. The last pair he tries to reunite is Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, whose beef began when Wall attacked Chamillionaire’s brother at a nightclub after being frequent collaborators. In the music video, Pimp C adds an extra verse acknowledging that most of these men, aside from T.I. and Lil’ Flip, had made up.

Pimp C’s magic is fully realized on “Knockin’ Doorz Down,” and that historic opening verse stirred the genre. He comments that all these feuds are unproductive and says “All you record company people need to shut the fuck up” and “the white people laughing at ‘em, that’s what’s happening,” demanding that these predatory executives keep their hands out of his beloved community, as they see these fights as entertainment. He only had one verse on the song, but it was enough. That was what made him special. Whether it was eight bars on a Jay-Z track or 16 on a UGK joint, Pimp C commanded every speaker, headphone and stage. May he rest in peace.

Winner: UGK

Round 19: 8Ball & MJG – “You Don’t Want Drama” and “Don’t Make” VS. UGK – “One Day” and “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” feat. Outkast

Speaking of 8Ball & MJG’s crumbs of crunk, “You Don’t Want Drama” is a floor-filler. That sticky synth provided by Bangladesh (who also produced Lil Wayne’s “6 Foot 7 Foot”) is grimy as hell. Per my previous Verzuz analysis, I judge many songs by how much it makes me want to punch something. I’m throwing hands to “You Don’t Wany Drama.” Then, the duo leads into “Don’t Make,” also produced by Bangladesh. At this point, I’m fighting the air in my living room. How no one walked in on me is beyond me.

Bun B took a different approach, choosing not to match the energy and instead pay tribute to the 21 lives lost in the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas which took place a week prior. “One Day” centers around Ronnie Spencer’s chilling chorus (“One day you’re here, baby, and then you’re gone”) and is structured like a play in three parts. Mr. 3-2 reflects on selling crack as a means of survival, Bun B admits he gets high to avoid thinking about the death around him and Pimp C ruminates on the cruelty of life, paying tribute the deceased child to former UGK hype man Bobo Luchiano, who stepped down from his role after losing his son in a house fire. As Bun B rapped “This world we livin’ in, man, it ain’t nothing but drama / Everyone wanna harm ya,” it was a sobering reminder that it’s difficult to feel safe in such a scary world.

The mood was lightened with the smash-hit “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You),” which 8Ball was happily singing along to in the background. The sample of Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You” will have anyone’s ears perk up. Pimp C’s iconic verse doesn’t need anything more than a round of applause. Then, Big Boi came out as another entrant in the “Who has the biggest fur coat” contest, which I think Tela narrowly won. God, I love Big Boi.

Winner: Tie (Write your own breakdown if you’re mad about it)

Round 20: Bun B – “You’re Everything” feat. David Banner, Rick Ross, 8Ball & MJG

Not technically a round but rather a beautiful display of brotherhood, Bun B closed out the show with “You’re Everything” from his second solo album II Trill. That sample of Jodeci’s “Cry For You” is put into a new context as a love letter to the South, warts and all. While Rick Ross was not in attendance, the inimitable David Banner was. Those who know me know I am a rabid David Banner fan, and he put that Mississippi grit on full display. It was disappointing that 8Ball & MJG didn’t get to do their verses, which are arguably the highlights of the song. I can’t complain much because I got spoiled tonight.

FINAL SCORE: 8Ball & MJG – 10, UGK – 14


Maybe I should’ve gone easier on the ties, but I nonetheless stand by my decision. You can message me on Twitter to discuss this Verzuz. If you’re Tela or David Banner, my interview invitation still stands. Happy Memorial Day!

Jade Gomez is Paste’s assistant music editor, dog mom, Southern rap aficionado and compound sentence enthusiast. She has no impulse control and will buy vinyl that she’s too afraid to play or stickers she will never stick. You can follow her on Twitter.