Thanks to their explosive Verzuz battle on Aug. 3 at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, The Lox and The Diplomats experienced a swell in streams that rank among the best streaming weeks of each New York rap group’s career.
The contest pitted the three members of The Lox — Sheek Louch, Jadakiss and Styles P — against Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey, who represented The Diplomats (also known as Dipset), whose lineup has changed multiple times since their 1994 founding. The face-off was the latest installment of the popular series, which began online in March 2020; in-person events, however, have become more common as restrictions have eased in certain areas. Fans were permitted at The Lox/Dipset showdown, with other rap luminaries, such as Fat Joe, French Montana, A$AP Ferg and Fabolous, in attendance. Total viewership, meanwhile, including virtual streaming via the Verzuz series’ official partnership with Triller, topped 5 million, according to the streaming service.
That large reported viewership translated to big streaming numbers for both acts. The Lox came out on top in that category, though , with 3.4 million U.S. on-demand streams of their songs in the week ending Aug. 5, according to MRC Data, up 215% from 1.1 million in the week prior (ending July 29). Within that span, The Lox peaked at 1.4 million on-demand streams on Aug. 4, the day after the contest, a higher sum than they’d earned in the previous seven days combined (1.23 million).
In terms of their all-time streaming weeks, the 3.4 million total is The Lox’s fifth-best, following the weeks ending Sept. 3, 2020 (6.6 million), Dec. 22, 2016 (4.2 million), Sept. 10, 2020 (3.9 million) and April 15, 2021 (3.5 million). Notably, the three leading weeks in that count both stem from new album releases at the time — 2016’s Filthy America … It’s Beautiful and 2020’s Living Off Xperience, respectively — while the April 2021 death traces its high sum to streams from The Lox’s collaborations with DMX, who died on April 9, 2021.
For The Diplomats, activity surrounding the Verzuz contest gave the rap clique their best weekly streaming performance in nearly three years. Their songs generated 2 million U.S. on-demand streams in the week ending Aug. 5, an improvement of 117% from the previous week’s sum of 919,000. As with The Lox, The Diplomats also saw their best daily total on Aug. 4, with 580,000 clicks on the day.
That weekly figure of 2 million secures fourth place among The Diplomats’ best career streaming weeks, trailing only the week ending Nov. 29, 2018 (4.8 million), Dec. 6, 2018 (2.7 million) and Nov. 23, 2017 (2.01 million). As with The Lox, The Diplomats’ top two weeks stem from new album releases, with the group’s Diplomatic Ties released on Nov. 22, 2018. The 2017 week’s activity spike resulted from their reunion for a Spotify RapCaviar live event and an accompanying single release.