Saturday night’s Verzuz battle between Ludacris and Nelly had all the hallmarks of the Instagram Live collaborations.
The moment attracting the most attention was about a different kind of battle. During one of Nelly’s blackouts, Ludacris surprised fans with a 90-second snippet of a new song, “The Silence of the Lambs,” produced by Timbaland, who was on the phone with him. While the low-riding track musically is a solid latter-day Luda banger, the lyrics, which mention R. Kelly and Bill Cosby, two men famously incarcerated for abusing women, immediately caused an uproar on Twitter.
“I love R. Kelly, but around my daughters I’m not comfortable,” Luda raps in the first verse of the song, shortly after mentioning “Bill Huxtable,” and before saying racists are still drinking from “Roseanne’s bar” and later mentioning banished former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Lil Wayne joins in on the second verse, and Luda later raps, “Rap brought me back to restore a little bit of balance, n—a.”