New York, NY (August 9, 2021): The highly anticipated ‘TrillerVerz’ event this past Tuesday night, August 3 held in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden set record-breaking viewership numbers as well as receiving high praise from hip-hop legends and journalists in attendance.
Viewership totals for the event surpassed 5,000,000 views, the highest music or sports broadcast of 2021 and third highest of any network show in the last year as fans took in the evening of world class professional boxing followed by the first ever, live Verzuz rap battle between New York City legends, THE LOX and DIPSET.
Below is a chart detailing the debut of ‘TrillerVerz’ as it relates to the average viewership of other top network shows over the last twelve months.
2020 Sunday Night Football (NBC) – 6,216,000
2020 Thursday Night Football (FOX/NFL) – 5,008,000
2021 TrillerVerz Debut (August 3, 2021) – 5,004,000
2020 Monday Night Football (ESPN) – 4,494,000
2021 This is US (NBC) – 2,636,000
2021 The Masked Singer (FOX) – 2,599,000
2021 Grey Anatomy (NBC) – 2,519,000
2021 Equalizer (CBS) – 2,442,000
2021 9-1-1 (FOX) – 2,442,000
2021 The Bachelorette (ABC) – 2,308,000
2021 The Bachelor (ABC) – 2,283,000
Among the celebrities from the sports and entertainment world in attendance was legendary rapper Fat Joe who gave his thoughts on a lengthy Instagram post the morning after.
“I’ll let you be the judge of the winner, hip-hop won. And I was so honored, I went to sleep smiling. Trillerverz was so real yesterday, so New York. The people tuned in because they know. It was so incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never been in an atmosphere so electrified in my life. And that’s a lot to say. It was one of the greatest moments in hip-hop history. Everyone who thought they were the toughest, every girl who thought they were the hottest, there was danger in the air.”
“You can never run away from history. You have to attend these places. I had to go with the Hermès. I could’ve worn a black tee. I could’ve worn this, but I had to go with Hermès. I had to go with so much diamonds that would blind the average person. Why? Because I knew this was history.”
Continued Fat Joe, “I had goosebumps, I was neutral but I was losing my mind when the stuff came on with me. I almost pulled a Lil’ Mama and ran up on the ring. I wanted the smoke at that point. When they dropped that shit, half the audience looked at me.”
Additional praise came from Rolling Stones’ Jayson Buford, who attended the event. “Most important about TrillerVerz is not only veterans getting their due, especially after the passing of DMX, Black Rob and even the more recent Pop Smoke. It was also a night paying respect to the rap culture in its birthplace of New York. It wasn’t a nostalgic event: it was an event to show the tremendous importance that hip-hop still holds, the way it brings people together and why it is a significant part of Black American life.”
“It was an event rap battle born from the streets that spilled into Madison Square Garden. It was exactly what the forebears of the genre thought about when they created it on Sedgwick Avenue.”
Writing for Complex, Andre Gee, “Swizz Beats and Timbaland have come a long way from their impromptu Instagram Live battles in the early days of the pandemic, with Swizz in his car and Timbaland’s daughter having to step in and teach him how to work Instagram. Verzuz is now a cultural staple. And now, with Triller, Apple, Ciroc, Peloton and other name brand corporations involved, and the country starting to open up more (I think?), it’s on the verge of becoming big business. With money involved come heightened expectations from patrons.”
Billboard’s Mark Elibert was also effusive with praise, “The New York crowd that repped Harlem, Yonkers and the five boroughs played a massive role in the event with their boisterous reactions to the classic records played by these legendary collectives. Guests such as Fat Joe, French Montana, Fabolous, A$AP Ferg and more also added to the massive star power inside the Hulu Theater.
“Swizz Beatz and Timbaland's Verzuz platform has provided hip-hop culture with memorable moments from each battle, and this edition was no different. From Dipset's fresh outfits dripping all over the stage to Jadakiss stealing the show with his microphone banter, the essence of New York City hip-hop was on full display Tuesday night.”
Also, in attendance from BroBible was Connor Toole, “There’s no doubt that anyone who was equally invested in watching boxer exchange punches and seeing The Lox and Dipset exchange verbal jabs easily got their money’s worth.”