The next battle on the Versuz schedule appears to be at hand, and, unfortunately, there’s no Mary J. Blige or Missy Elliot involved. In fact, this new battle won’t even take place on the hallowed stage; all the action is underway behind the scenes, in the form of a new breach-of-contract lawsuit from producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz against streaming app Triller, per The Hollywood Reporter.
With the suit, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz seek compensatory damages of $28,095,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as pre-judgment interest, THR reports. The production duo, who founded Versuz in March 2020, allege that the app missed multiple payments outlined in Triller’s initial contract.
Timbaland and Swizz Beatz first began Versuz in the midst of COVID-19, battling each other during an inaugural Instagram Live that quickly spiraled into a cornerstone for the culture. Brandy v. Monica, Redman v. Method Man, Ashanti v. Keyshia Cole, Fat Joe v. Ja Rule, and Jill Scott v. Erykah Badu mark just a selection of the match-ups that have graced the Versus stage since that first battle.
Triller, a TikTok-style app helmed by Ryan Kavanaugh, announced it was acquiring the rights to Versuz in March 2021 for an undisclosed sum (which THR now estimates fell somewhere in the mid-eight figures). The same deal made Timbaland and Swizz Beatz majority shareholders in the app’s parent company Triller Network. The deal was set to be upheld through a series of scheduled payments. However, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz allege that after making the first two, Triller defaulted in January 2022.
The producers then entered a settlement agreement (padded with $120,000 in legal fees) with the app mandating: “If Triller breaches any payment obligation under this Agreement and fails to cure within five (5) days after receiving written notice of such breach, the full unpaid amount remaining due under this Agreement shall become accelerated and be deemed immediately due and payable.” Again, Triller allegedly missed the payments; after sending a final notice for dues payable in April, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz say they still haven’t seen the money.
In other, shorter words: it’s cough-it-up time at the app. We have a feeling former Triller Fight Club darling Jake Paul, who left the startup for Showtime back in 2021, might be getting a Future-style “thinking about you” text in the near future.