Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Bun B vs. Mystikal…Who You Got?
We have reached the second round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). We are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups in a “playoffs style.” Since Fall 2014, and for the next several months, we will roll out battles, starting with artists from similar eras paired against one another, until one undisputed King or Queen of the microphone reigns supreme.
Next up, are two former Jive Records label-mates who became independent mainstream stars. Bun B takes on Mystikal, after the former No Limit star beat out his present YMCMB label-mate Juvenile by a closer margin than some. Both of these MCs put on for their Southern cities, not only bringing international attention to Port Arthur, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana, respectively, but introducing the masses to Bounce and Slab Music. Although they made plenty of anthems for the club and the trunk, each veteran is regularly touted in lyrical circles, with deeply original styles and deliveries. Round 2 is heating up, with two giants clawing for a Round 3 berth (click one to vote):
Voting For Round 2 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets
Bun B (First Round Bye)
The Trill O.G. Bun B has manifested a wise-uncle, nice guy image throughout Hip-Hop in the last 10 years. In fact a grandfather, Bernard Freeman is one of the coldest, most ruthless voices on the mic, especially as found on early UGK records. The Port Arthur, Texas MC combined his love of Rap with an iron-clad G-code surrounding all things. For four albums, Bun Beata and Pimp C chipped away at the barriers holding back their immense musical, lyrical, and personal influence. By the early 2000s, the wall was down, and the longtime gold-selling artists had a #1 album, an “international” hit, and the new crop of MCs hanging on their every cue.
B’s drawl, cadence, and convincing tones made him a unique MC. Influenced greatly by the rigid flows of Ice-T and Too Short, Bun added versatility, in delivery much like his spectrum of subject matters. A B-Boy in the first place, Bun’s work—with the Underground Kingz and solo—fought to prove that his city (not just Houston or Texas) had talent, substance, and style. More than 25 years deep, Bun B remains one of the most active, trusted, and respected O.G. voices in Hip-Hop, not just from what he’s done, but what he is still doing.
Other Notable Songs:
In the would-be wave of New Orleans artists to smash the mainstream in the late 1990s, Mystikal was among the first. Prior to his No Limit Records enlistment, Michael Tyler took his extremely independent self-titled 1995 LP, and four months later, linked with Jive Records (KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest, Spice 1) to release the gold-certified Mind Of Mystikal. With a loud, boisterous style, the rapper was in the school of Busta Rhymes and Sticky Fingaz—yelling, aggressive, animated. However, in his raps, Mystikal forever reminded audiences that he was a boy from the bayou, adding to the uniqueness of the approach. And if you listened closely, the MC had a lot to say under the amplification.
Joining No Limit Records in the 1990s, Mystikal added flare to the movement of the Miller Family (Master P, Silkk The Shocker, C-Murder, TRU). Before the mass-signings, it was ‘Kal whose feature work, and two platinum albums added diversity and acclaim to P’s brigade. Afterwards, it was also Mystikal who did it again, reaching double-platinum in 2000’s Let’s Get Ready. Mystikal is one of the few southern artists present at the burgeoning movement who has maintained his success. Legal woes and a lengthy incarceration halted the rapper’s career extensively. However, crossing town to the YMCMB family, Mystikal is currently the secret weapon in Lil Wayne‘s armory. With a host of hits, Mystikal is often the southern MC forgotten about in GOAT lists, deserving to get a long look.
Other Notable Songs:
So…who you got?