7:52 PM PT -- Welp, Gucci Mane went there! He played "Truth" ... his infamous diss track boasting about fatally shooting Jeezy's friend Pookie Loc, and as they say, s**t got real.
Jeezy immediately stood up, but instead of charging at Gucci or threatening violence, he hit back with a speech about why they were doing this battle. Jeezy said, "I brought you here to show you the world care about what the f**k we got going on, because we are the culture."
He shouted out King Von, Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke, Mo3 and other rappers killed in gun violence ... and then dropped his own track, "Get Ya Mind Right."
Crazy tense moment, but at the end of the battle, Gucci and Jeezy made peace. Can we get an "Amen?"
6:13 PM PT -- Stacey Abrams made a surprise guest appearance before the Atlanta rappers started their battle, and she put the focus on Georgia's upcoming election for 2 Senate seats.
Stacey thanked Jeezy for his work in getting folks in his state registered to vote. She did a lot of the heavy lifting too, but game recognizes game.
Georgia's upcoming January runoff election pits two Democrats against two incumbent Republicans, and it's a chance for Dems to flip the Senate.
Jeezy and Gucci's Verzuz battle is drawing over a million viewers, so Stacey had a huge platform to make her voting pitch.
The setting for Gucci Mane and Jeezy's highly-anticipated Verzuz battle is fit for a king ... and strippers, 'cause it's going down at a famous ATL strip club.
TMZ's obtained behind-the-scene video and pics inside Thursday's face-off going down at the world-famous club, Magic City. It's unclear if a red carpet will be rolled out for the MCs but they're definitely getting the royal treatment ... with 2 thrones for them to sit and spit lyrics.
The crew worked hard to turn the strip joint into an awesome set for the season 2 kickoff of Verzuz ... which streams live Thursday at 8 PM ET on Apple Music and on Apple Music's official Instagram account on Instagram Live.
There's always concern for security and our production sources tell us that base is definitely covered. We're told the Nation of Islam will be there for protection. As for Atlanta PD ... we're told the dept. is aware of the event ... adding that Magic City's an area where it commonly has additional patrols.
As we reported ... Gucci already drew first blood when he openly touted the fact he killed one of Jeezy's best friends. Remember, Gucci posted a meme earlier this week mocking the shooting of Jeezy's former labelmate, Pookie Loc in the 2000s. Pookie allegedly attempted to break into Gucci's home, and Gucci fired in self-defense.
Gucci's joked about the fatal shooting before. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out when they finally face off on camera together. It's gonna be 🔥.