The internet has been railing as Verzuz made Billboard magazine's cover without the Jamaican artists being included in the cover art. Verzuz TV took to Instagram and made a post to wit: "To our fans: While we are honored that Verzuz made the cover of Billboard, this would not have been possible without Beenie Man & Bounty Killer who set a big tone for our audience and represented for Jamaica. Thank You Billboard for the acknowledgement, but we feel this version of the cover best represents THE VERZUZ EFFECT."
Now Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, including other artists, are calling out Billboard to change its cover as they were left off the cover art completely despite them being arguably the most impactful since the series started. The dancehall pair Verzuz battle garnered the most in viewership with hundreds of thousands tuning in to watch them perform.
The "Warlord" has since called Billboard executives “some d*** riding hypocrite groupies [that] conveniently forget the reality but dem cyaah stop di glory with a fraud story".
Currently, the Swizz Beatz photoshopped version of the cover art and nod of gratitude will have to suffice, but key industry players in the Jamaican music insist they’re not backing down against Billboard’s actions. “For decades we have been waging a battle for slots at commercial radio. When streaming arrived we hoped for a level playing field but it seems we have a bigger fight on our hands. We are left on the outside while the party is going on inside. #TimeNow you opened the door and let us in,” the statement read.
It continued, “Great people work at the DSP’s and media platforms who tell us how much they LOVE Dancehall, Reggae and Jamaica. Why are we not feeling the LOVE? #TimeNow to have curators, programmers and decision makers at these platforms who are a part of our culture and will actively promote and support it. #TimeNow DSP’s pay us what we deserve for streams in the region. Our music is seen as spice to flavour Awards shows. We need to be on the main menu. #TimeNow for us to get the nod. #TimeNow for you to remove us from the imaginary box you have us in.”