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V is the Roman numeral for 5. That's mostly coincidence, but let's go with it.
Since we were first sidelined by the global pandemic, a number of options have popped up to keep us virtually entertained. Among the most enduring of these is Verzuz, the brainchild of superproducers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, which pits a pair of artists against one another as their catalogs do battle, song for song, for a number of rounds.
Basically, a 5th quarter.
Like its band counterpart, Verzuz battles crown no champion - that's for the audience to decide. Each Verzuz has its own personality. Some have been strictly business, others all love, and some have been so tense you were sure something was going to pop off. While mutual respect generally abounds, that doesn't necessarily mean there's a shortage of bad blood or unresolved beef at play as well.
At their best, Verzuz artists have played offense and defense. A battle is not about queuing up your 20 songs and letting the DJ play. You next song should be a response to what was played before, or vice versa. Strike and parry; parry and strike. The paradox is that while the exhibition isn't scored, to the degree it is, it's scored round for round: How did what you dropped match up with what your opponent had to say? Strategy matters. In the end, we're the ones that will score the rounds, but whether Verzuz or the 5th, one fact remains:
The audience wins.