E-40 vs. Too Short in ‘Verzuz’ Battle of Bay Area Icons: See Billboard’s Scorecard & Winner For the Showdown

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The Verzuz battle between two legends of the Bay Area on Saturday night (December 19) was a party like no other, as E-40 and Too $hort faced off to close out the year in spectacular fashion. Apple Music, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland pulled out all the stops as the unique stage set up had the two rappers pay homage to the Bay’s hip-hop history with two lowriders, and a street sign representing the crossing of Oakland and Vallejo. 

Over 250,000 fans logged into their Instagram accounts to tune into the legendary battle — which took quite some time to get started. Big Von and DJ Slowpoke got the audience fired up in the chat with an early warm-up to kick off the event, and after waiting over 40 minutes, fans were relieved to see E-40 and Too $hort finally arrive. The legendary rappers poured up a drink, gave a cheer and got right to work on a night full of speaker-knocking anthems, hilarious dance moves, and nostalgia. “If you from The Bay you finna win tonight,” said Too $hort. 

Here’s how Billboard broke down each round between the two generation-spanning rap vets, with the overall winner announced at the end. 

Round 1: Too $hort’s “Freaky Tales” vs. E-40’s “Da Bumble” 

Too $hort kicked off round number one with the speaker-rattling classic “Freaky Tales.” E-40’s “Da Bumble” was a good counterattack, but it wasn’t as hard-hitting as $hort’s first choice to clinch the opening round. 

WINNER: Too $hort

Round 2: Too $hort’s “Life Is…Too $Hort” vs. E-40’s “Captain Save A Hoe”

Too $hort’s “Life Is .Too $Hort” rang through the NorCal soundstage, but it wasn’t enough to top E-40’s 1993 classic “Captain Save A Hoe.” E-40 gets the dub in this round. 

WINNER: E-40

Round 3: Too $hort feat. Lil’ Jon’s “Shake That Monkey” vs. E-40 feat. T-Pain & Kandi Girl’s “U and Dat”

“I walk into the room and tell all the b–ches what to do,” Too $hort said before going through his 2003 team-up with Lil’ Jon & The East Side Boyz, “Shake That Monkey.” Unfortunately for him, E-40 had a counter ready with his 2006 top 20 Hot 100 hit “U and Dat,” which got the party started in the Instagram chat room.  

WINNER: E-40

Round 4: Too $hort’s “Gettin’ It” vs. E-40 feat. Nate Dogg ‘s “Nah, Nah” 

The Bay Area legends spoke briefly on their time running around in the streets before going through their respective hustler anthems. Too $hort called on his 1996 Shorty B-produced inspirational record “Gettin’ It,” but you can’t deny Nate Dogg’s undeniable hook on 40’s classic “Nah, Nah.”  

WINNER: E-40

Round 5: Too $hort’s “Don’t Fight The Feelin’” vs. E-40 feat. B-Legit & Mac Shon’s “Sideways” 

One of the earliest rounds in this battle where it was hard to pick a winner. Both artists came out with bangers in “Sideways” and “Don’t Fight The Feelin,” but the point goes to 40 Water for his entertaining stage presence. 

WINNER: E-40

Round 6:  Too $hort’s “I’m A Player (Street Version)” vs. E-40 feat. Suga-T’s “Sprinkle Me” 

Too $hort made it cool to be a player in hip-hop when he made his debut in the late ’80s. There’s no song that better in that in his catalog than (the appropriately titled) “I’m A Player.” 

WINNER: Too $hort

Round 7: Wiz Khalifa feat. Too $hort’s “On My Level” vs. Luniz feat. Dru Down, E-40, Humpty Hump, Richie Rich, Shock G, and Spice 1’s “I Got 5 On It” (Remix) 

This round focused on features from these legendary rappers. Too $hort performed his verse off Wiz Khalifa’s “On My Level” but he admitted 40 killed him with his verse on the remix to Luniz’s all-time local anthem “I Got 5 On It.” 

WINNER: E-40

Round 8: Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz’s feat. Too $hort’s “Couldn’t Be a Better Player” vs. Lil Jon feat. E-40 & Sean P’s “Snap Yo Fingers” 

E-40 and Too $hort decided to show love to their frequent collaborator Lil’ Jon in this round. There’s no clear winner between “Snap Yo Fingers” and “Couldn’t Be a Better Player.” This round is split between the two rappers.  

WINNER: Tie 

Round 9: Too $hort’s “Call Her A Bitch” vs. E-40’s “Yay Area”

The Bay Area had a whole other nickname because of E-40’s “Yay Area.” This round goes to E-40 by default.  

WINNER: E-40  

Round 10:  Too $hort’s “Gangsters & Strippers” vs. E-40 feat. YG, IamSu! and Problem’s “Function”

Too $hort’s upbeat “Gangsters & Strippers” was a good pick, but E-40’s “Function” blew the roof off the show. The fans couldn’t contain themselves hearing the voices of YG, IamSu! and Problem just trying to function alongside E-40. 

WINNER: E-40

Round 11: E-40 feat. 2Pac, Mac Mall & Spice 1’s “Dusted ‘N’ Disgusted” vs. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Too $hort & Diddy’s “The World Is Filled…”

Now leading off, E-40 was on a strong run and tried to keep it going with “Dusted” — which contains a 2Pac feature casual hip-hop fans may not have heard. But Too $hort cunningly played his feature off The Notorious B.I.G’s “The World Is Filled” from 1997’s Life After Death. Point awarded to $hort for playing B.I.G right after Pac.

WINNER: Too $hort

Round 12: E-40’s “Hope I Don’t Go Back” vs. Too $hort’s “The Ghetto” 

The Bay Area natives went back to their early beginnings speaking about living in the ghetto and being fortunate to have been able to make it out. But E-40’s “Hope I Don’t Go Back” was not going to beat Too $hort’s “The Ghetto” and the fans in the chat let it be known. 

WINNER: Too $hort

Round 13: E-40 feat. Leviti’s “1-Luv”  vs. Too $hort feat. Erick Sermon, M.C. Breed & Kool-Ace’s “Buy You Some” 

Too $hort was looking to extend his winning streak in this round and he didn’t disappoint. His long history collaborating with East Coast artists can not go unnoticed and the crowd felt that with the gritty “Buy You Some” featuring Erick Sermon, M.C. Breed and Kool-Ace.  

WINNER: Too $hort

Round 14: E-40’s “My S–t Bang” vs. Snoop Dogg feat. Too $hort & Mistah F.A.B.’s “Life Of Da Party”

It was like 40 knew he had to do something as he turned up a notch with “My –*t Bang.” His efforts looked very slim though, as Too $hort took another point by performing his verse off Snoop’s “Life Of Da Party” — even bringing out feature co-star Mistah F.A.B. himself . 

WINNER: Too $hort 

Round 15: Snoop Dogg feat. featuring E-40, MC Eiht, Goldie Loc, Daz & Kurupt’s “Candy (Drippin’ Like Water)”  vs. Too $hort’s “Cusswords” 

Feeling the vibe of the last round, E-40 played his own Snoop collaboration “Candy (Drippin’ Like Water)” — but it wasn’t going to top what $hort had ready in the chamber. When $hort did a quick outfit change and threw on the iconic Oakland A’s jacket for “Cusswords,” it was the perfect way to cap the brief run he went on in the previous four rounds. 

WINNER: Too $hort

Round 16: Big Sean feat. E-40’s “I Don’t F**k With You” vs. Kelis feat. Too $hort’s “Bossy” 

It seemed E-40 was going to take this round swiftly with his scene-stealing verse on Big Sean’s “I Don’t F**k With You” but Too $hort was ready to counter with his feature on Kelis’ “Bossy.” The decision ultimately went to the fans, who responded more to E-40’s selection. 

WINNER: E-40

Round 17: Yo Gotti’s “Law” featuring E-40 vs. Too $hort’s “Burn Rubber” 

Too $hort kept his foot on the gas with “Burn Rubber.” Although E-40 tried to swing the tide in his favor with his Yo Gotti teamup “Law,” it wasn’t enough to topple the bass-heavy cut off $hort’s fifteenth studio album Married to the Game

WINNER: Too $hort

Round 18: E-40 feat. Keak Da Sneak & Turf Talk’s “Muscle Cars” vs. Too $hort feat. Lil’ Kim ‘s “Call Me”

E-40 and his hilarious dance moves while performing “Muscle Cars” Keak Da Sneak and Turf Talk stole this round. Too $hort’s collaboration with Lil’ Kim “Call Me” was not the right choice for this point in the showdown, at all. 

WINNER: E-40

Round 19: The Federation feat. E-40’s “Hyphy” vs. Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz feat. Ludacris, Too $hort, Big Kap, and Chyna Whyte’s “Bia’ Bia’”

There should probably be a limit on how much these artists should drink during Verzuz. Too $hort would’ve taken this round if he didn’t forget his entire verse on Lil’ Jon’s “Bia’ Bia’,” but instead this one goes to E-40. 

WINNER: E-40

Round 20: E-40 feat. Keak da Sneak’s “Tell Me When to Go” vs. Too $hort’s “Blow The Whistle” 

There was no fitting way to end this entertaining battle without these two tracks. Fans were elated when E-40’s defining mid-’00s smash “Tell Me When To Go” rang through the speakers, but it became impossible to pick a winner when $hort’s classic “Blow The Whistle” followed right after.  

WINNER: Tie  

BONUS ROUNDS

Overtime: Tie

Following the match, Too $hort told the audience he didn’t want to battle anymore and instead wanted to play the deep cuts. E-40 kicked it off with “Choices (Yup)” which $hort said is his favorite song by the Vallejo native. From then on, hundreds of thousands of viewers went on a long ride through the Bay as both rappers unleashed more records from their extensive catalogs.  

Wider Catalogue: Tie

Both rappers have careers that have spanned decades and the Instagram faithful couldn’t decide who had the better catalog all night. It’s hard especially when both these guys have hits with 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Lil Jon and more. 

Biggest Snub: E-40 “Gouda” (Point: Too $hort)

Although E-40 held his own with very strong picks, fans wanted him to play his 2006 heater “Gouda” — which he eventually got to in overtime — and they might’ve been right that not getting to it in regulation was a miss. There was a shift in momentum when $hort went on a run after putting his Oakland A’s jacket on for “CussWords.”

Best Banter: E-40

There’s not a lot of rappers that can flip and warp their voices the way E-40 does — even when he’s not rapping. Hearing him share stories with $hort with his trademark wobbly West Coast lingo was the highlight of the night.   

Biggest KO: Too $hort 

For the first 10 rounds, E-40 threw haymakers at Too $hort that were tough for him to counter. Things changed when DJ SlowPoke played “CussWords” and $hort pulled up with an outfit switch that included a gold chain, a retro Oakland A’s jacket and matching fitted. From then on, $hort picked up his momentum straight through to the end of the battle. 

People’s Champ: Tie 

From E-40 bringing joy to fans with his hilarious dance moves to Too $hort dishing out fresh game like it was the ’80s all over again, both men came out on top in fans’ eyes and represented The Bay in full force.  

FINAL SCORE: E-40, 11-10-5

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