Timbaland Details How He And Swizz Beatz's Verzuz Pushed For Triller To Provide 43 Artists With Equity

Back in September 2022, what were initially trials and tribulations turned into triumphs.

As previously reported by AfroTech, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz reached a settlement agreement with Triller over the Verzuz acquisition. The turn of events came after the music legends sued the company for $28 million for a breach of contract. 

The resolution resulted in an increase in the ownership stake that was provided to the artists Timbaland and Swizz Beatz brought to Triller as part of the original deal. 

In an interview with Earn Your Leisure, Timbaland went into detail about how that clause of the deal came to be.

As Verzuz was one of the biggest cultural moments during the pandemic, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz felt it was only right to have the featured artists get equity under their belt.

“Me and Swizz wanted to be the first to call in these artists to get on an [Instagram] live to perform. It’s only right — y’all helped us build this company — we gotta give back to y’all,” Timbaland said. “And nobody’s ever done that when it comes to Black business and really teaching our culture.”

He continued: “We made a call and we said, ‘Something about this don’t feel right.’ And that was the biggest thing that made us stick with Triller because we said, ‘Yo, the only way we’re going to do this is if we can bring our people with us. And they get part of the pie because anybody else gonna be like, ‘Nah,’ But me and Swizz got on the phone before we got to that point — before we went to Apple and all of those [platforms] — we called 43 artists. And if you know what dealing with an artist…it’s a lot of work.”

Despite the great efforts on their end, the two didn’t make any profit for nearly two years.

“And we really believed in it. And we didn’t make no money for like about two years,” Timbaland shared. “Two years just off of the love of building this platform and we still building. It’s a hell of a journey.”

In September 2022, it was reported that Triller was on track to clear $100 million in revenue, according to a press release.

“Triller has been growing tremendously,” said Mahi de Silva, CEO and Chairman of Triller, in a previous statement. “At our inception in 2019, we were a zero-revenue company; now we are on track to break $100 million in revenue this year. The Triller app has been downloaded more than 350 million times, and the company works with dozens of the world’s largest brands and thousands of top artists, disrupting the entire creator community.”

According to Timbaland, there are “big” Verzuz battles on the way. Additionally, he and Swizz Beatz are trying to balance dealing with the business side of the Triller deal while keeping their audience happy.