View Full Version : Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group

02-16-2011, 11:50 PM
Today I look at whether or not an artist that was part of a group can ever make a Top MC's of All Time list


First off if you havenít heard that new Pusha T ďMy God (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2a1tl3WCNY)Ē joint then drop whatever youíre doing (including reading this) and go check that shit right now.

Aight you back? No doubt. So recently I found myself in one of those never-ending discussions regarding the greatest MCs of all time. When I started hearing some of the names that were being thrown out (Run, MCA) I quickly dismissed them due to the fact that they were members of groups and therefore I didnít think they could qualify for a top MCs list. Itís not that they arenít good (Run was one of my earliest favorites) but can you really give a rapper that high of an honor if theyíve never carried an album on their own? Isnít part of being the greatest the ability to create a body of work that stands alone as some of the best music of all time, so how can you do that when you always have someone else standing there?

The group thing used to be the norm in hip hop, with Whodini, the Fat Boys, Run-DMC and EPMD. Then along came LL Cool J and this idea of one person rocking the stage evolved into what we have today, as the group mentality is about as extinct as Lilí Kimís career as of yesterday (http://twitter.com/LilKim/status/37724095713902592) ($10 for a mixtape though?). But with LL and Rakim came this higher level of MCing, it was one thing to go back and forth with a couple other rappers on stage, playing off words and lines and thoughts and ideas, but to be the sole MC up there having to carry the crowd for the whole two hours took some serious talent, and to create an album with just your voice that people would play on repeat also took some serious talent, hence the reason why people like Kane will always be held in higher regard than someone like Erick Sermon, who may have beasted a mic, but letís face it, those solo joints never quite lived up to what we got on Unfinished Business or Strictly Business.

Today you see a very small amount of groups, aside from one-hit-wonderís like Cali Swag District but weíre talking MCing here, not just hits. The Wu is still around but never all together and Outkast has been reduced to one MC whoís underrated and another MC who drops one verse every 4 years. As far as groups in hip hop go they are all but extinct, especially when you factor in the egos these mafuckas have itís damn near impossible to keep a group together. So where does 3 Stacks rank? Or Pusha, or any of the Wu members, on a top MCs of all time list? Iíd argue that even with all the solo material Wu members have dropped, and even with the insane maturity and progression Pusha has made from one of the best coke rappers ever to one of the best rappers ever, thereís still not a spot on a top MCs list for rappers who were originally (and became famous while) part of a group. You canít rely on others for half your career and still be included in the greatest, or can you?

Thereís no question we have countless legends at this point, as hip hop has been around for a couple generations now, and while we will always look to everyone from Run to Bun B for lyrical inspiration, the fact is that rappers who came up out of a group always had that crutch, and so half of their fame is owed to their partner(s), unlike LL Cool J or Jay-Z or Nas or Big Daddy Kane, all of whom have given us nothing but classic solo albums from day one. So where do you stand? Can Pusha T even make the list of top MCs of all time or will he forever be boxed in cause of his brother until the casket drops?