Swizz Beatz and Timbaland want to keep us entertained and in the light amid coronavirus

Super producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland spoke to CNN's Chloe Melas about how they are giving back through music during the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 15, 2020 12:11 AM
Updated: Apr 15, 2020 12:11 AM

Two of music's biggest producers have come together to bring joy in the form of entertainment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, who each have created a long list of hits, are hosting virtual hip hop battles on Instagram Live called Verzuz.

In a recent joint interview with CNN, the two said music is what they believe the world needs in order to "heal."

"Music has always been around to help and heal," Swizz Beatz said. "Me and Tim came together and said, 'You know what? Let's start Verzuz on Live and give the people some entertainment, give them some hope and also educate them. Because Versuz is an educational celebration."

Thousands have joined to watch artists and producers like Ne-Yo vs. Johntá Austin, The-Dream vs. Sean Garrett and T-Pain vs. Lil Jon battle it out in real time.

"What is the thing the world most needs everyday? It's music," Timbaland said. "The sound of music always put a joy in my heart. I know music is the key to what's going on in this darkness and I just felt this was the perfect time."

It's also about "celebrating people behind the scenes," like writers and producers behind hits whose names are less recognized, Timbaland said.

"We had three stadiums worth of people showing up to see two people and they probably didn't know what those two people were responsible for," Beatz added.

A women's edition is next, and Beatz said his wife Alicia Keys might join in.

"We are definitely about to launch Verzuz Ladies because we feel the women play such an intricate part in creativity, period," he said. "The ladies are going to participate in a major, major way."

As for those who are struggling with self-isolation, job loss, loss of loved one, they each offered up some words of support.

"You've got to focus on the light," Timbaland said. "Don't focus on the dark, when you focus on the dark everything goes dark."

Beatz echoed the same sentiment.

"To stay in the darkness is very easy," he said. "Let's do a couple of things that we know is going to make us smile. Call a loved one, check on somebody, surprise somebody, call somebody just to joke around, make yourself come up out of this darkness because the darkness is only what you make it."

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Johnson1254118
Porter71237
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Pike90
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55257

Reported Deaths: 2903
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9825417
Cuyahoga7392372
Hamilton5605197
Marion273038
Lucas2669302
Pickaway218441
Summit2079206
Montgomery191826
Mahoning1805231
Butler151144
Columbiana128860
Stark1079112
Lorain98367
Trumbull91665
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Clark7619
Belmont54322
Delaware54115
Fairfield52916
Tuscarawas52910
Medina50632
Lake48018
Miami45531
Licking44212
Portage42858
Ashtabula42544
Wood40451
Geauga39942
Clermont3906
Wayne35951
Richland3255
Allen30540
Mercer2788
Darke24525
Greene2449
Erie23422
Holmes2203
Huron1992
Madison1928
Ottawa13923
Crawford1345
Washington13020
Putnam12615
Sandusky12614
Hardin12012
Morrow1161
Ross1133
Auglaize1044
Coshocton902
Monroe8817
Jefferson832
Union801
Hancock781
Hocking788
Muskingum761
Preble701
Williams682
Guernsey673
Lawrence670
Clinton660
Shelby644
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot585
Brown541
Defiance493
Fayette460
Knox451
Highland441
Athens431
Champaign391
Scioto380
Seneca332
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Van Wert320
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Vinton222
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