Back from Miami. Back in business.
This week Vibe Magazine tries once again to remain relevant post- Bad Boy vs. Death Row Wars of the late 90s which they helped ignite. Vibe is now posting up the Best Rapper Ever tournament which you can print out, fill out, and submit. I just completed mine, and I wanted to get your feedback on several tough match-ups I had to face in my bracket:
Andre 3000 vs. Black Thought: Two of the most technical and accomplished MC’s of all time. Andre is a 3 seed while Thought is overlooked as usual, sitting at 14. This matchup occurred in Round 2, way too early for my liking. As a fan, I’ve studied these guys and memorized verses of each going back to ’96.
On stage, I don’t think anyone could take Thought in a battle. But overall, I picked Andre 3000 by the strings on his grandmama turban from ATLiens.
Lauryn Hill vs. Scarface: L-Boogie hasn’t spit a sixteen in ten years and still holds a 5 seed–incredible. In my eyes, she’s still the best female MC ever. Face Mob remains royalty and rightfully holds down the 4 seed. Both MC’s are respected by fans, critics, and fellow artists. I probably thought about this one the longest–The Fix and Miseducation still get burn in the Rocc Mobile.
Scarface, but L-Boogie’s verse from “The Score” had me conflicted for 10 minutes after the pick.
Rakim vs. Method Man: Ra is the original God MC, the #1 seed as expected. Meth disposed of CL Smooth and Ice-T in the first two rounds as the #9 seed. Most writers and older fans would simply give Rakim the victory and keep it moving. Hell, I’ve done the same thing in many argument over the years. But I’ve been thinking about Method Man historically the past few weeks after the squabble with Joe Budden about this very list. Sure, Johnny Blaze doesn’t have a flat out classic album but he’s still one of the most influential and popular MC’s of all time. And have you heard Blackout 2?!?! Tical really went in to make a statement on that album. What exactly has Rakim done since 1998?
Meth’s live show, consistent output, and new album with Redman was enough for me to give Tical the edge over The R. A classic case of “what have you done for me lately”. An upset that needed to happen.
Notorious B.I.G. vs. Big Pun: This showdown is the one most people have discussed in real life for the longest time. I’m of the belief that only Eminem rivals Big Pun, a #5 seed, in terms of virtuoso technical ability. Capital Punishment is a mainstay for executioner east coast lyricism. But c’mon: Biggie is the total package. The flows, wordplay, and hooks he was making at 24 years old are still fresh and widely imitated today. Pun wanted nothing more than to be the Latino Big Pun with a dash of Kool G Rap. But Big is the foundation for every serious MC who came after him. You can’t build a house without a blueprint.
Biggie in a landslide.
Ghostface vs. Jay-Z: It’s no secret that Ghost is my favorite MC of all time and that Jay-Z is my pick for the best MC ever. This matchup was heart vs. head. There’s nothing I’d like more than to have #5 seed Tony Starks upset #2 seed Hov in order to fully make heads realize that Starks is a top 10 emcee on ANY list. Album for album, he’s the most consistent MC of all time and the 3rd best storyteller ever behind Slick Rick and Biggie. He’s the proven heavy hitter from the Clan in terms of solo releases. Even his worst album, Bulletproof Wallets, is a banger.
Sadly, I’m not new to this I’m true to this. Even with his recent output of yacht rap on several guest appearances the past two years, I have to pick Jay-Z. The man has done it all. He’s changed everything. Unfuckwitable. The truth. DAMMIT!
If you have completed your bracket or just hate on my picks above, let me know in the comment section.