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.
Part of hip hop’s stated ethos is to tell stories of places and situations society may not be familiar with, or to explore uncharted topics. While this group’s subject matter was not exactly original and their New York City setting was highly recognizable, they regaled fans with vivid imagery that was, perhaps, unparalleled.
Havoc and Prodigy broke the hardcore East Coast rap mold by overdosing on aggression. In “Shook Ones Pt. 2,” Prodigy warns: “For all of those, who wanna profile and pose / Rock you in your face, stab your brain with your nose bone.“
A highly publicized feud between the two high school friends prompted a hiatus in 2012 and for a while there, it seemed like Mobb Deep's reign was coming to an end, but they patched things up last year. And if their 2013 A3C appearance, new album, national tours, and the Hip Hop ABCs Letter M votes are any indication, Queensbridge is still a making an impact 22 years after their formation.
Did we get it right? Who gets your vote for this letter?
Infinite Skillz is a Hip Hop fan and emcee. Click here to find out more about his music.