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The Verzuz battles have gone from a COVID-19 quarantine phenomenon to a full-on business move for Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

Their series quickly shifted from two artists “battling” it out on Instagram Live by playing their best career hits to a celebration of music that boasts over one million viewers.

While there have been plenty of rising artists of recent years who want a piece of the Verzuz pie, Swizz and Timbaland remain dedicated to showcasing the icons and legends who have helped pave the way for many of the artists topping the charts today.

While speaking with Joe Budden on Instagram Live for Beatz’s Zone Radio, Swizz shared that he believes newer rappers should be “paying taxes” to the icons.

“We can’t mix the hype with the reality of what this all started from,” Swizz said. “I want to raise a million dollars for each icon that started hip hop. Kool Herc on down.” Budden agreed.

“The fact we’re not paying taxes on who started hip hop shows we don’t f*cking really love hip hop,” Swizz continued. “The fact we don’t pay taxes as artists to those icons that paved the way, took the lower cut for the music that allow us to feed our family… F*ck the government. We need to be paying taxes to the creatives of hip hop that gave us freedom of speech to move forward. I’m going to go so hard with that.”

Swizz added “Melle Mel, Grandmaster Flash, and Sugar Hill Gang, minimum a million a piece.”

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