25 March 2014

Hip Hop March Madness: FIRST ROUND

Herrrrrreeee we go...



The Niftian: Eminem over Black Milk, no contest

Irish Ninja: I have to go with Em. As much as I love Black Milk's work, Em is the biggest reason, next to Dilla, that Detroit gained national recognition as a heavyweight contender in the Hip Hop game. 

Ra'z Al Ghoul: I'm going with Em. He shows he can still do what he used to do especially in those ciphers. 

TwonJonson: I mean it's not even a competition. Black Milk is a better producer than he is a rapper. He is big for Detroit but there's just no comparing these two lyrically.

stayfly: while em has less subject matter than black..you can't front on his influence in the game. consistency is an issue..but when em hits..he goes hard. em.

Winner: Eminem 

The Niftian: Elzhi defeats Common. Common has lyrical history but his strength has waned greatly since the early 00s.

TwonJonson: I'm going with Elzhi, but this is a tough one because of Common's career and how it kinda got rebooted by Kanye's production. Common will clearly still be doin' this shit when he's 70. I personally feel like Elzhi is stronger lyrically but how much has he done solo? The Preface, some Euro tape, and Elmatic are all that come to mind. But these days Common is more focused on being an actor.

Irish Ninja: I'm not sure yet. I hear you about Elzhi's output but I'll be honest, there are a couple Common albums that I'm good without. I know the impact is important but I think how strong they are now is a factor too. Common has flow, but a lot of them I am hearing just aren't as solid as Elzhi. Careers not withstanding, I think if these two were to battle right now. Elzhi might have the edge. Common may rhyme til he's 70, but he might not be good until he's 70. My thing is, if the contenders are still rhyming, who would win it present tense? Everything else is somewhat of a factor but if they are still cutting records presently, then their current performance should be a factor also.

Ra'z Al Ghoul: I love Common.  He is true to the culture. Elzhi I have none of his solo work. I have Slum Village stuff and I introduced myself to them. I agree that his Lyrical talent will keep him in this. This is where my question comes into play. 

stayfly: this is tough..but I gotta go with elzhi. common a vet..and to drop the dreamer/believer joint..testament to skills. but elmatic..that is just super duper tough. one hit knockout.

Winner: Elzhi

Irish Ninja: So, here I gotta give it to Royce. Not saying Lupe isn't a monster, but Royce was nice BEFORE Slaughterhouse and hasn't let up in a minute. That Lupe Lasers was meh and I'm not sure if there was anything memorable about Food & Liquor 2 besides the name.

TwonJonson: I was bout to point that out...Lasers tainted that mans career. He returned to form wit Food n Liquor 2 but people barely know that album exists. Royce hasn't had anything close to a classic album yet though. Lupe's a lyricist and has at least two great albums. But I'm still rolling with Royce because he's just a better rapper, period.

stayfly: Nickel over Lupe for me. Royce got more longevity. One on one, no match. Plus Lupe really been on some extra hard avant garde super conscious shit for a min now, it comes off fake. He was better when he wasn't trying so hard.

The Niftian: I think Lupe wins based off the strength of his first two albums and the fact that Royce doesn’t have a strong singular effort, save his mixtapes. However, those mixtapes banged and I think had a pretty strong influence on the genre. Unfortunately, we can’t give him props for siding with Slaughterhouse.

Winner: Royce Da 5'9 

TwonJonson: Tech been doin it longer, and has remained true to his style the whole time. This new age of Kanye Kardashian and his bitch fits have carried over into his music and ruined it. But i would still prefer to hear some Kanye shit over TECH tho. Give me anything from 808s on back and I'm good.

Ra'z Al Ghoul: Heard two of Tech's songs. I respect his hustle and he owns his shit, but Ye. I'll literally listen to Yeezus before one of Tech N9ne's tracks. I don't rock wit dude like that but I have listened to a few of his joints. I think as an artist Kanye is more accessible than Tech N9ne because of his sound and what he talks about and what not. But as a rapper? I think if these two went toe to toe over the same beat in a cypher, Tech would do work on Kanye.

Irish Ninja: This is where I'm getting stuck. I am siding with Tech on this one. It's not for some indie reason either. I like Kanye's music over Tech's anyday but for real, Tech would rap circles around Kanye. He's got that speed which is a little gimmicky at times, but he has metaphors that go a little deeper. He straight up raps better than Kanye. The way I'm looking at it, this isn't a referendum on their careers. I'm looking at it more as a if these two were two meet somewhere face to face and battle right now, who would take it? 

stayfly: I listen to more Kanye. Respect Tech's underground hustle though. 

The Niftian: Tech Nine has such strength in his albums. Yes, Kanye has that rapper/producer credit to his name, but Tech can honestly rap circles around Kanye, and not just because of his lyrical speed and prowess. His content is fire. Kanye gets off on some socio-political stuff and that gives him points but his metaphors, and style, have been so weak lately. He’s experimenting with his production, which is fine, but his lyrics have suffered as a result, making his albums weaker over time. TECH NIIIIIIIIIINE!!!

Winner: Kanye West



stayfly: TI - been a TI fan longer 

TwonJonsonWith TIP and KRIT its a longevity issue at this point. They are very similar types of artists, the major difference being TI has seen far more success but times were different back then too. I have all of their albums and still enjoy TIs shit. Not all of KRITs projects are great, nor are hardly any of them even considered albums, but I could see him leaving his mark on the game when its all said and done.

Irish Ninja: TI vs. KRIT - I'm siding with KRIT. I think if these 2 were to battle each other in their prime, KRIT would take him, but barely. He's got a little wider range of shit he flows about and I think he could edge TI out

Ra'z Al Ghoul: T.I.- when I was in middle school that's all I heard was him. My aunt had both of his first 2 albums and burn copies for me. K.R.I.T. is nice and he got good music but I gotta go with the King.

The Niftian: Hmm...T.I. has a major strength: he can go street h.a.m. OR he can take it and be introspective. He makes awesome club hits but he can keep his core fans happy. K.R.I.T. is a beast and I'll always be a fan but he doesn't have the strengths, or album dexterity and length, that T.I. has.

Winner: T.I.

stayfly: Stacks - no explanation needed

TwonJonson: Yea its a no brainer between Wanye and 3000. Prolly wont find no backlash amongst us but I would be interested in someone tryna fight Wayne's case lol.

Irish Ninja: Wayne vs. Andre 3K - Andre all day. Even though it really doesn't require explaining, I'm going to. Regardless of whether or not I like Wayne as an artist, he's been doing it a while and has perfected the way HE does it. Like I said before, he's the king of one liners. Wayne has at least one or two lines that he's spit that has taken everyone by surprise, truthfully. With Andre, his rhyme game is stronger and he spreads metaphors over several bars or a whole damn verse. One liners aren't going to stand up to verses crafted like 3K does it.

The Niftian: Fuck Lil Wayne. He has career tenure but that's it. He literally has NOTHING on 3 Stacks. There is not ONE category that he can get 3000 in. 

Winner: Andre 3000

stayfly: Luda - same as TI..been rocking with him longer

TwonJonson: Luda and Bun B....hmmmm. Thats a tough one. Ludas best albums were in the early 2000s then he just fell into that ho-hum slump. Bun B has reinvigorated his career several times and honestly may be more relevant today than Ludacris. Luda has NEVER caught a 2nd wind no matter how hard he tried.

Irish Ninja: Luda vs. Bun B - I think the biggest comparison for this match up is the style. Bun B has shown he has staying power for a minute and Luda has been kinda coasting for a minute, but that's because he was tough all the way and hasn't had to change really. I think if you put both of these cats against each other in their prime, it's a tough call. I'm going to say Bun B, but just barely since he can probably reinvent himself to pull this win out.

Ra'z Al Ghoul: Luda- I listened to UGK frequently and love them but I have/had so many Ludacris lyrics in my head it's not even fair. When Ludacris first came out he was my favorite out the south. I got him hands down.

The Niftian: Luda was a beast when he first came out. His metaphors were unrivaled but I believe that overall he pales in comparison to Bun B's braggadocio and bravado. Bun has revived his career in the wake of Pimp C's passing while Luda is barely making it. 

Winner: Bun-B

stayfly: Scarface - assuming we are taking geto boys into account also..dude is the OG.

TwonJonson: Scarface...the legacy speaks for itself.

Irish Ninja: Scarface vs. Killer Mike - Can't do it, I'm saying Mike all day. Looking at Scarface in his prime and looking at Killer Mike now (considering that he's in his prime now) Killer Mike is a better rapper. I know Scarface is the GOAT of the South but this isn't a question about careers, it's about who can take who in lyrical combat. Cats can have an outstanding record, until they come up against someone that is a little more hungry than they are. Prime time Mike is going in right now. Killer Mike for the upset.

Ra'z Al Ghoul: Scarface- I didn't even know he was from the south until like my senior year, I was surprised. I had to download his albums because I realized he wasn't in my collection up until a few weeks ago. I didn't come up on Killer Mike like that, or at all really, but I think Scarface and 3 stacks top 2 out the south anyways so yeah.

The Niftian: Ooh. Scarface v Killer is a hard one. I'm gonna have to take...fuck, I don't know. Scarface. Fuck.

Winner: Scarface



stayfly: Pac - grew up with this dude. Arguably one of the emcees with most impact in game. Def woulda been movie and rap star. 

TwonJonson: Pac / Quik - I know if we had some true west coast reps on here they would say Quik did more for the overall signature sound of the west coast, but thas really just from a production standpoint. Pac's influence reaches further than just a coast tho, he has done more for the overall culture of hiphop than probably anyone in any category.

Irish Ninja: Tupac vs. DJ Quik - Tupac, hands down. Like Twon said, Quik made more of a mark from his production sound, not his rhymes. Tupac would eat him alive in a cypher

Ra'z Al Ghoul: Pac/Quik- stayed in rotation in my dad's Monte Carlo and Explorer. I love Quik I know both of them had a heavy impact but Pac was global. Quik was just on the west coast. Even now rappers like Dom Kennedy and Schoolboy have mentioned Quik but these are West Coast natives. Pac all the way.

The Niftian: I got mad love for DJ Quik, but not enough to put him over Pac. I think we all agree with Twon's analysis, that Quik stamped his foot on the Left Coast predominately in a production standpoint. Pac stamped his foot all over the damn culture!

Winner: Tupac

stayfly: Snoop - doggystyle is forever a classic.

TwonJonson: Snoop / Short - yet another case of local appeal versus mass. Snoops impact and brand are far more recognizeable, but Short is still doing his thang at 47 and gettin called in for collabs left and right. Snoop got it tho.

Irish Ninja: Snoop vs. Too Short - This one goes to Snoop. Too Short has been in the game FOREVER but I never really thought he was that good. Outside of pimpin' and shit, I don't know what else Too Short raps about. Snoop's style, broader range, and elevated pimp game take this one.

Ra'z Al Ghoul: Snoop/Short- Both also stayed in rotation. I remember way back to Too Short 's freaky tales track. Short still doing his thing dropping nice verses. But Snoop is "Uncle Snoop" he is the living legend from the West. Every rapper that comes on his GGN online show pays homage to him about Doggy Style and some story they have with it. Snoop is the OG. Gotta give it to him.

The Niftian: Too Short and Snoop BOTH have lasting power but in different arenas, so to speak. Yes, Snoop has branched out in various aspects of pop culture, much like Pac before his untimely death. Hell, I would say that Snoop is the MOST prolific rapper in history. But does that translate to a powerful emcee? No, but that's a topic for another day. Too Short and Snoop BOTH have bangers in their catalogue but I think it's fairly safe to say that Snoop's breakout style and flow has had a larger influence on the genre than Short. Short is known for pimpin and Snoop is known for weed, but Snoop's sales and style demolish Short's.

Winner: Snoop

stayfly: Kdot - strictly on potential..and what he's put out so far. Gkmc..def close to classic status.

TwonJonson: Kendrick / E-40 - this situation is similar to the others except Kendrick hasn't had any longevity under his belt compared to the rest. We are def going off potential here but the potentials are so strong its hard to deny him the W.

Irish Ninja: Kendrick vs. E-40 - On an objective level, Kendrick is levels above E-40 in every possible way: subject matter, delivery, wordplay, all of that. Kendrick attacks a mic while E-40 worries about how many syllables he can fit into 16 bars. Kendrick is the champ in this one On a personal level, FUCK E-40. That nigga sucks. I didn't like him when I lived in Cali and it got worse after I moved to Va. I wish his ass would get permanent laryngitis.

Ra'z Al Ghoul: Epheezy/K.Dot- I have every E-40 album. My dad had this in my ears as well. The Hall of Game was my favorite album by him. Definitely put on for the Bay. His slow to fast pace raps and made up verbage is amazing, but I gotta go with Kendrick. Off skill alone K.dot is even more dynamic than E-40 was/is. GKMC is his Reasonable Doubt, Doggy Style, Illmatic and not even because it's his first album, he really crafted the album. With all the controversy he caused based off his Control verse and his freestyle he SLIGHTLY has a 3 Stacks effect. Gotta go with the King of N.Y.

The Niftian: Kendrick all day. It's almost not fair since we only have mixes and independent releases to go off of for K.Dot but the kid is a fucking genius and will be scoring for a long time. It's apparent that's he isn't a one hit wonder and will be lyrically slamming cats for years to come. E-40, as goofy as he can come off, is still a beast of his coast. I'd go so far as to say that E-40 still has more rank and stain than K. Dot in the west...but that won't last long. And MIKE, how can you say you don't like 40 water?!?!?! YOU'RE the one who turned me on to him in Afghanistan, bruh!!! You forgot about "My Ghetto Report Card???" That album is a banger ALLLL the way through!!! "Yay Area" with the Digable Planets sample?!?!?!?!?!?! "She Say She Love Me" with Bun-B?!??! "Tell Me When To Go" used to get you HYPE in the gym after work!!! Man, it's not often that I can listen to an album from cover to cover and stay crank. That album does it for me, and it came out eight years ago! If Kendrick wasn't such a fucking beast on the mic, I'd give it to E-40 on the real. However, Kendrick cannot be denied.

Winner: Kendrick Lamar 

stayfly: Game - It was good day is probably one of my top 25 hip hop songs. And nwa was revolutionary. But can't front like I eff with them a lot. Like PE or Beastie Boys or RUN DMC..I respect their stamp on history..but I don't got em on repeat. Been a Game fan from day 1..documentary..Classic.

TwonJonson: Cube / Game - I feel like all of my picks would be the exact opposite if I was from LA but I cant front like I grew up on Cube either. The Game was the strongest, and other than snoop, the ONLY west coast rep making noise for most of the 2000s. Gotta give it to Game.

Irish Ninja: Game vs. Cube - Cube maybe a pioneer, but Game is the stronger emcee. Comparing lyrics from these cats in their prime, Ice Cube just doesn't have it to the degree Game does. The fact that Cube also pulled an Eddie Murphy and started doing family movies while Game stayed true to his makes me think that in their prime, Game Would have been hungrier. Game is the victor here.

Ra'z Al Ghoul: Cube/Game-  I didn't really come up on cube like that and outside of N.W.A. I only heard one album. Game however, I was rocking with him heavy when he first came out. The Documentary I played from front to back. He still is putting out nice albums. Jesus Piece was hot. Game got my vote.

The Niftian: I want Ice Cube over Game, and this is why: Game's first album was fucking bananas. His second album was aight. Then he turned into a whining, sniveling bitch. His lyrics reflected that. He's wishy washy. Sometimes his shit bangs and sometimes his shit is rank like skunk weed: you want to like it cuz it's weed but it's low quality, so you just tolerate it if there is nothing else around. His last album was ok but it was very skippable. What hits does he really have, save the strength of one album? Cube has classics for DAYS! Ignore the fact that he has turned into an actor, because that is not relevant for this convo. Snoop has been acting, too. Pac was acting, too. Cube is staying true to his style and it still works for him. Despite the family safe movies, he is still grimy with his lyrics. Yea, you don't hear him on the radio like when we were kids but it doesn't take away from his impact. He's still getting features. Game also has one fractured group behind him (G-Unit). Cube? N.W.A. and WCC, anyone? Game doesn't have too many hits outside of what he did with Fif. Cube has achieved legendary status with two groups AND by himself. Cube all day. Game isn't a scrub, per se, but he can't wrestle with Cube's discography or street status. Cube making family movies and Coors light commercials and will STILL bust Game's ass upside the head, lyrically and physically!

TwonJonson: I think regardless of number of votes, Cube should get the W off Darts breakdown alone. Im not afraid to admit I was ill qualified to even speak on his career.

The Niftian: Man, and I'm not even a huge Cube groupie. I just know that he has a better EVERYTHING over Game, and I do like Game. That Red Album was nice, for the most part. But I honestly think ALL of us (except maybe Ra'z, not being funny) know more Cube songs than Game songs. *shrugs* I could be wrong but I doubt it.

Irish Ninja: You are right, but I still stand by my decision. I'm not looking at what they did, those are stats as far as I'm concerned. I'm looking at who takes who in a battle. I don't think Cube would take Game.

The Niftian: Bro, I honestly see Cube over Game in a battle, real talk.

TwonJonson: I dont think its anywhere near that clear cut. No Vaseline??????? Colder than ANY diss record in Game's stash. 

The Niftian: Hell, colder than a lot of people's disses. Damn...shit went hard. He took on a whole fucking group. Even made one nigga die of AIDS...damn! lol ok, I'm done,

TwonJonson: Now that I think about it, it really would not feel right puttin Game over Cube. That would just be REAL "young-nigga" of us to do that. I think CUBE should get the W even tho Game got 4 votes, myself included. Darts breakdown trumps ours and I feel we would be doing Hip-Hop a disservice putting Game over Cube.

Irish Ninja: I'm gonna have to sit with this one and get back to you. I'm not going to change my vote because hip hop says I have to though. I think that would be more of a disservice to hip hop than anything. I rocked Lethal Injection,Death Certificate and Predator like it was no one's business. It's because of those albums I really didn't fuck with too much he did after 2001. I feel after he hit the 2000's for some reason a lot of his stuff sounded stale to me. Anything he was doing new sounded like the same shit from the 90's with updated beats. Since they are both rapping now I have to compare what they are doing now. not what they did that led up to now. And right now, I don't feel Ice Cube can take the Game in a battle. We keep going back to why someone SHOULD win based off their stats, but if we are doing this in March Madness fashion, stats don't mean a guaranteed win. I still say for those that are still doing it now, current skill should be a factor.

The Niftian: Game is good, yes, but I really don't see him having the intensity to defeat Cube. And yes, overall career should be a factor. Game has no classic songs, just a really fucking good intro album. But without Dre and Fif, his light has been relatively dismal with a few flashes of niceness.

Winner: Ice Cube



stayfly: NAS - no explanation needed..just fyi..ima vote nas all the way. once i was mature enough to listen to illmatic..i was done. goat. plus..like i said before..he cut from rakim cloth..but easily surpassed him imo.

TwonJonson:  Nas is like Rakim 2.0. Rakim will always be your favorite rapper's favorite rapper, but since i'm nowhere near 40, I could never see myself calling him MY favorite. I respect his
influence on Nas, but I feel like Nas is easily in the top three best rappers of all time, if not THE best.

Irish Ninja:  Nas vs. Rakim - Rakim has definitely earned the right to be considered the definition of a dope MC. He is the mold that a lot of East Coast MCs are cut from. Having said that I think we all in agree, so far, that Nas took Rakim's lessons and ran with them. This a case where the student became the teacher. Nas for the win.

Ra'z Al Ghoul:  Nas/Rakim- I respect Rakim and everything he did for the culture and how he is "your favorite rappers favorite rapper." I used to rock with Rakim and a lot of other old school artists tough when I was a kid which is why I know the stuff I know now, but Nas is NAS. He has had a heavy influence in the game for niggas who can actually rap and are lyrical. He's somehow came up in every hip hop conversation I've had with people like LeBron James does so Nas get the dub.

The Niftian:  Although Rakim is the God MC, I have to give this one to Nas. Rakim will always be a legend but his torch had been passed down a long time ago. As far as I'm concerned, if the torch is passed, then you don't get the same level/amount of kudos. And since that torch was passed to Nas, he gets it. Yea, Nas had a couple of subpar albums (sorry, Ang, but "I Am" sucked lol) and questionable singles (his bodyguard's "Oochie Wallie" verse was better than his) but he has bounced back in fiery fashion after Stillmatic. He realized that he didn't need commercial hits in order to be favored in the limelight. And well, winning hip hop's second largest beef in history against Jay-Z definitely helped (yea, he one, but that's an argument for a different day, lol). Rakim can get play on my Sirius XM anytime and I'll listen now and again and I'll always respect the R, but he doesn't have the overall strength and ability to damage like Nas does.

Winner: Nas

stayflyRAE - yes the roots hold a solid spot in my personal hip hop timeline ("you got me" is top 10 hip hop songs for me)..but the wu played a larger part in my life. and the purple tape is a 1000% classic. i even copped actually tapes recently (twice)..money well spent..now just need cassette player.

TwonJonsonOh my LAWD. This isn't fair to have to choose one. Black Thought is one of a very small handful of artists who began their careers in the early 90s and has maintained that same level of ability throughout.
But at the same time, so has The Chef! Only Built for Cuban Linx was one of the first albums I ever heard, and I still keep it in heavy rotation. This one's a toss-up for me. But I'm leaning toward Thought. I feel like The Roots as a whole DEFINE what the true essence of Hip-Hop is.

Irish NinjaRaekwon vs. Black Thought - I can already tell this one is gonna be a hot button one, if not in BITM then definitely with the readers. Both these cats are dope emcees. Both will be remembered as influential and for some both of these cats will be in their all time top 5. Personally, I didn't really fuck with Black Thought until Things Fall Apart, and even then I wasn't fucking with Black Thought, I was fucking with The Roots as a collective. I think Black Thought the emcee will not be remembered as strongly as The Roots as a collective. Black Thought has flow, but for me, he was never as LYRICALLY strong as Raekwon. I agree with Twon that The Roots as a whole define the essence of hip hop, and is because of all the parts coming together as a whole. But Black Thought's rhymes against Rae's ? Raekwon is the champ in this round.

Ra'z Al GhoulRae/Black Thought- I feel like this is out of my hands. I listened to the Wu slightly but this was hard for me to come across and actually acquire the work. The only nigga from the Wu I actually have a basis with is Meth who is my favorite member.I have Only Built 4 Cuban Linx but I only listened to one or two songs. I'm still trying to actually know where my culture came from while still paying attention to the new. Black Thought I have listened to even less from him AND the Roots not by choice, just from being overwhelmed with all of the music that y'all came up on and still trying to play keep up instead of enjoying it when it actually released. I'm doing double the work. I gotta give this to Rae solely off of my familiarity with him.

The NiftianRae v Thought. This one sucks. Y'all know I want to pick Black Thought, right? I mean, Raekwon is a fucking beast and my second favorite member of the Wu after Ghostface and before Method Man, but Black Thought is Black Thought! Man, fuck it. This one is too close to call for me, so I'm going with my homey, Thought.

Winner: RaeKwon

stayfly: HOV - no secret i aint big B.I.G. fan (i like the kid..but get outa here with top 5 talks). but that takes nothing away from jay. like nas..when i was able to appreciate reasonable doubt..i was sold. and most of college was rocafellad out. consistent..until recently. but he is a business..man. 

TwonJonson: These are the artists I latched onto before anyone else, and in my younger years I undoubtedly saw them both as the best. The fact that BIG's timeless legacy was built off the strength of ONE album is an accomplishment no other artist will ever be able to top. On the other hand, Jay has stayed true to his motto of "I Will Not Lose" and continues to make noise despite the fact his lyricall ability has kinda fallen off a little. Biggie's best work far exceeds Jay's, but Jay has more great work under his belt over his seemingly endless career. I'll give the W to Jay on this one.

Irish Ninja: Jay-Z vs. Biggie - The only true fair comparison between these two is to do it when they were both rhyming at the same time. During that period, Biggie was the better MC. It's even been argued that the only reason that Jay-Z is the man now, aside from his evident business savvy, is that his main lyrical competitor was gunned down. I can't say if Biggie would have taken him now because no one really knows. Look at the state of Bad Boy now. But if we take it back to where they were occupying the same space at the same time? Biggie takes it.

Ra'z Al Ghoul:  Big/Jay- I'm going to be rocking with Jay the whole tournament. I came up on Jay. The nigga literally got me through middle school, high school, college, and the military. I've been listening to Jay to keep me from spazzing out on people & whooping somebody's ass when I'm heated. Every time I think I understand a Jay lyric or verse, I read his book and get dumbfounded because I didn't know it could mean THAT. Hov was in my psychology book in college for his lyrics and his use of the English language with entendres, alliteration, soliloquies, and a whole bunch of other uses with poetry. Even now with MCHG niggas think his lyrics have fell off, not to me. If you read what the Magna Carta was and apply it to Jay's life you're just going to sit there like, "yo this nigga is smart." He turned an Era into an album off of his life. With the tracks on there its so much depth to his lyrics like on "Oceans" he's talking about the withering of our race as blacks because of "Yacub" (which he stated on that Nigga we made it track), niggas not realizing he's STILL dropping 5%er lyrics (now known as the Nation of God's & Earth's) but people not paying attention to the meanings of his songs. I hear a Jay's verse and I just know I'm not going to understand it all the way. I love Big Ready to Die was my favorite shit to smoke too but Jay on a different plateua now. At the time Big was better but now? Hell no.

The Niftian:  I'm not a big fan of Big, pun intended. However, that doesn't mean I don't like his work. Hell, I get crazy hype whenever "Notorious Thugs" comes on, but I only listen to Biggie's part. After that, I tune out. The man was a lyrical mastermind, and that was considerable given his size. People like Biggie and Pun put it down for big dudes and let you know that even though he black and ugly as ever, he couldn't be denied. I only ever fucked with cocaine as a police officer but that didn't stop me from blasting the "Ten Crack Commandments" and knowing every single one by heart. But...yes, there is a but...his impact isn't as sincere as Jay-Z's on the genre, in my opinion. I honestly feel that had he not been killed, he'd be floating in the wind right now. That's Diddy's recipe for success: use 'em and lose 'em, and I don't think he'd be as relevant today. Jay-Z, on the other hand, has a proven track record with multiple albums. His finger is on the pulse of the genre and he is widely respected from coast to coast. Who do you know that can sign their number one enemy to a record deal under them and then drop the label? Jay Z is not only a smooth lyricist, but he's a crazy businessman in the culture. Notice I said "in the culture." I'm leaving out the 40/40 club and the alcohol endoresements and allodat because it's irrelevant. He's a beast in the culture. Hell, he's Hova the God. He may not have been the lyrical tough guy that Biggie was, whupping ass on record, but really, there was no need to even talk about it. He stayed in his lane, for the most part, and took over a whole genre. My verdict is still out as to whether Jay writes his rhymes or not, but if that IS true? Whew...beast. Classic bars and classic lines...even if most of them are stolen just to big up his brother and big up his borough.

Winner: Jay-Z

stayfly: PUN - i hate to sacrifice ghost..but latins going platinum was destined to come. first time i had an emcee i "looked like" and could relate too. i loved having peoples asking me what he was saying in spanish. even if i stuttered i would still shshshshit on you.

TwonJonson: DeadInTheMiddleOfLittleItalyLittleDidWeKnowThatWeRiddleToMiddleMenWhoDidn'tDoDiddly. Yeah that line alone did it for me. Ghostface will always be one of my favorite rappers but what Pun was puttin out during his short lived reign was nothing short of brilliance. 

Irish Ninja: Big Pun vs. Ghostface - Yo, this one is a little harder for me to decide than I thought. Looking at the tale of the tape while Pun was above ground, Both these cats had crazy metaphors, they both were somewhat underdogs of their crews at the beginning(Pun being a bodyguard and Ghost being the faceless member of the crew). On one hand, I don't know too many people that thought that Ghost was gonna be the heavyweight of the crew, people just assumed it'd be Method. On the other hand, Pun's  3 albums were solo, where Ghost had two were collabs (Ironman, Bulletproof Wallets) But looking at the albums that came out between these two until 2001. Ghostface was stronger, and he wasn't even in his prime yet. Ghostface = victorious.

Ra'z Al Ghoul: Face/Pun- I remember listening to Pun because of my Pops. I can't remember too much of his lyrics now but I know I'm rocking with pun because I fucked with his hooks so heavy while I didn't know a lick of what it was he was saying. I like Face a lot and his Slick Rick style so this is a hard one for me because once I saw the similarities Ghost face was my nigga. I gotta go with Pun.

The Niftian:  Ghost and Pun. Man, Pun was a beast and that Deep Cover line Twon wrote gets me crazy every time...but I don't see him as being as full of range as Ghost. Man, Ghost is a master storytell, funny as hell and his flow is so different from what anyone else spits. Pun has spawned a generation of clones, but who can spit like Ghost? My only beef with Ghost is that his albums aren't consistent and some of his best works come with features, as opposed to him shining completely on his own. But, I vote for the Tony Starks.

Winner: Big Pun




  1. TECH NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE should have won!

  2. I'm playing the Ironman and The Documentary albums today to honor the fallen.

  3. I'm surprised there aren't any comments on the Tech/Kanye match up (besides Dart) lol