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Swizz Beatz and Timbaland sell Verzuz to Triller

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One year after launching Verzuz, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have sold the powerhouse platform.

Triller Network, the parent company of the social-networking app Triller, has acquired the global live stream music series. While financial details weren’t disclosed, Swizz and Timbaland will become large shareholders in the Triller Network and serve as brand visionaries on the Triller Verzuz management team.

The Verzuz co-creators have also allocated a portion of their equity in the Triller Verzuz combined company to all 43 performers who have appeared on Verzuz to date. Artists becoming shareholders and partners in Triller Network include John Legend, DMX, Alicia Keys, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Jeezy, Nelly, Ludacris, Brandy, Monica, Gladys Knight, D’Angelo, and more.

“This is a momentous occasion not only for Verzuz and Triller but the music business as a whole,” said Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. “By putting Verzuz in the Triller Network ecosystem and expanding the Verzuz brand to be side by side with the powerful Triller app, we will be able to continue to grow and evolve the music business as a whole, as we have been doing. To have partners in Triller who share our vision, specifically to celebrate and elevate the amazing artists who continue to shape culture around the world and give the consumer more direct access, is game changing.”

Added Swizz and Timbaland, “We couldn’t be happier to be elevating Verzuz and Triller and to recognize, in a very real way, all of the artists who have helped make Verzuz the global phenomenon it is today. Our dream, the artists’ dream, today is realized, which is no small feat. Triller Verzuz is a company that’s by the artists, for the artists and with the people.”

“There is no more disruptive and innovative brand in music today than Verzuz,” said Bobby Sarnevesht, Executive Chairman and co-owner of Triller. “Verzuz and music are synonymous, and both Triller and Verzuz share the ‘artist first, music first’ vision. We view this acquisition as more of a partnership than an acquisition, as Swizz, Timbaland and the other 43 artists who are all becoming shareholders and partners in Triller Verzuz from this day forward become our voice.”

As of now, there are plans to keep Verzuz on Instagram and Twitter in addition to Triller. But it won’t be returning to Apple Music after the deal expired. “We should be smart and just put it only on Triller. But we have strong core audiences on Instagram and Twitter as well. So for right now we want to leave everything in place,” Swizz told Billboard.

Verzuz launched in March of 2020 amid the cancelation of live events due to the pandemic. The platform has become a cultural phenomenon, amassing more than five billion impressions across platforms including Instagram and Apple Music. Earlier this year, Verzuz partnered with the NFL and plans to venture into additional sports verticals, comedy, and live events in the future

SOURCE: Rap Up

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HBO Max Acquires Morgan Freeman & Lori McCreary’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN For Streaming Starting November 19

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Following the Gravitas Ventures day and date theatrical release, HBO Max has acquired exclusive streaming rights to the award-winning, critically-acclaimed film THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN. The film will debut on the platform Friday, November 19. Based on a true story, the film was directed by David Midell (NightLights), produced by Midell and Enrico Natale of Redbird Entertainment, and executive produced by Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and Gary Lucchesi of Revelations Entertainment, along with Sharad Chib, Chris Paladino and Milan Chakraborty.

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, which won a bevy of prestigious awards during its festival run, tells the heart-breaking true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder who was killed by the police during a welfare check after his medical alert device was accidentally activated. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances and the overly aggressive policing tactics that make the news on an all-too-frequent basis, the life of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. ended at the hands of those who were sworn to “protect and serve.”

The film’s HBO Max debut date, November 19, 2021, is the 10-year anniversary of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s death.

While the title of the film gives away its tragic end, the real-time reenactment of Chamberlain’s final moments alive are a powerful reminder of how interactions with the police can, and do, end for many people of color, and people with mental health challenges, in the United States.

As a former behavioral therapist, and on the autism spectrum himself, director David Midell comes to this material with an added layer of personal experience. “Our goal all along has been to ask important questions about how our criminal justice system treats people of color, people in low-income areas, and people living with mental health challenges.

“I always say it’s bigger than my dad,” Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. said. “It’s about all the lives that have been lost in this pandemic of killing black men, women and children. And I just hope that the film is…going to force a discussion.”

Producing partners Freeman and McCreary were incensed that the film could not find distribution, and immediately offered to help by using Freeman’s voice and Revelations’ brand to help amplify the story. “We simply could not stand by and see this film ignored. Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s story, whose death in 2011 was largely ignored by the national media, deserves to be known by the world,” states Freeman and McCreary.

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN comes at an important time in the national conversation about systemic racism and is a searing example of law enforcement’s sometimes callous and cruel treatment of people of color, echoing recent high-profile incidents involving George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, among countless others. THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN world-premiered at the Austin Film Festival and won the Audience Award and the Narrative Jury Award there. At the Urbanworld Film Festival last year, it claimed the Jury Award for best US Narrative, and continued winning at festivals, and led to an independent Spirit Award Nomination for David Midell in the “Someone to Watch” category.

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