The Gleaner, Jamaica: May 24, 2020 – Billboard has named Beenie Man the champ of yesterday’s friendly clash with long-time dancehall rival Bounty Killer, during last evening’s Verzuz battle.

However, it named Bounty Killer the ‘People’s Champion’ for his “off-the-cuff adlibs and manic energy”.

According to the famed US magazine, Beenie Man had the edge in 13 rounds, based on its 26-round assessment, and Bounty triumphed in 10 There was a tie in three rounds.

Billboard hailed the event as the most exciting and entertaining of the Verzuz battles staged by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz so far. The event is streamed weekly via IG Live on Instagram. It was the first to focus on dancehall and reggae.

Billboard applauded the move, given hip hop’s dancehall antecedents.

“Considering the fact that Jamaican sound systems pioneered the sort of ‘beat battles’ have made Verzuz a social media sensation well over half a century ago, the creative decision was more than fitting,” Billboard said.

It continued: “By pitting two icons of the genre, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man in head-to-head competition, this Verzuz battle did not just showcase two of its most respected lyricists ever to hold a microphone, it also tapped into an epic rivalry that stretches back more than a quarter of a century.”

The magazine noted that it was also the first live battle to be live Tweeted by a prime minister, as Prime Minister Andrew Holness shared a screen shot of the battle on his official Twitter page declaring that “Jamaica’s culture is global.”

The clash had some 450,000 viewers, which included the likes of Rihanna, Diddy and Swizz.