The 4/20 Verzuz between Method Man and Redman had everything you’d expect. There were hits like “How High” and “Dis Iz 4 All My Smokers,” performed live by the longtime friends. There were guest appearances by Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Inspectah Deck, and Cappadonna, Def Squad’s Keith Murray, and more. There were endless shout-outs to Staten Island and New Jersey. Then, there was the unexpected: A FaceTime call from Russell Simmons in the middle of the showdown. No, that wasn’t a hallucination. After the pair reminisced on their Def Jam days, they got a FaceTime call from founder Russell Simmons, who appeared to be in pajamas and in bed. Simmons has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by 20 women — including former Def Jam executive Drew Dixon, a main subject of the 2020 documentary On the Record. Talk about ruining a high.
Method Man and Redman did acknowledge the day’s guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin, the police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. “You get what you put out there,” Redman said. “He deserved every fucking bit.” The pair also paid tribute to two iconic New York rappers who died earlier this month, DMX and Black Rob. They performed their 1997 collaboration with DMX and LL Cool J, “4, 3, 2, 1,” in honor of DMX.