The Hip Hop ABC's: Letter B

A weekly series spotlighting the best artists in hip hop, one letter of the alphabet at a time.


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It is nearly impossible to get a bunch of passionate hip hop fans to agree on anything. But I tried anyhow, starting with a series of polls on Facebook that aimed to figure out which emcee or group was the best in the game as driven by the letters of the alphabet. No specific rubric or criteria was given; just a simple request for answers to the question, "Who is the best emcee or hip hop group beginning with the letter 'A'?; 'B'?; 'C'?; 'D'?..." and so on. The responses were immediate and spurred some pretty spirited discussions. A general consensus was ultimately reached for each and per the request of Music Editor Leilani Polk, I'm bringing the poll results to Ear Buds. Each week, I'll reveal a letter and its "winning" artist, and then I'll re-open the question for further debate. Once we finish the first 26, we'll start it all over again fresh.

We determined 'A' - check here for the winner, then vote on your own faves - and now we move to 'B'...

With names like Big L, Bun B, and Busta Rhymes, the competition for letter B was fierce. Had we included Biggie Smalls aka the Notorious B.I.G. in this group instead of under the letter 'N', it would've been even harder to decide on a winner.
 But the second letter in The Hip Hop ABC's brings us our second group and our first trip to New York City. Who wins the letter B? Find out after the jump.

The Beastie Boys were one of hip hop’s most versatile groups. If Run DMC and Aerosmith had triplets, they would have been named Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D. These three former punk rockers wove their distinct voices in and out of rap verses with the precision of synchronized swimmers and the exuberance of seniors on skip day.

They always seemed to have more fun than anybody in the game yet their ongoing humanitarian efforts will have the more lasting impact. Their first full-length, 1986's License To Ill, is a personal favorite and still gets rotation even though it is almost three decades old. With six other platinum albums issued over a 20-year span, many fans can’t agree on which is the best.

The debate over this letter was fierce but the Beastie Boys are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and that is kind of hard to argue with. But you can go ahead and try. Who gets your vote?

Infinite Skillz is a Hip Hop fan and emcee. Click here to find out more about his music.


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