Finding The GOAT Producer: Organized Noize vs. Erick Sermon. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Producer” begins. The third installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest producers vying for the #1 spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no deserving beat maker is neglected. The contest will consist of six rounds, NCAA basketball-tournament style, commencing with the Top 32, then the Sweet 16 and so on, until one winner is determined. For each battle, two producers (or collective of producers, e.g. The Neptunes) will be pitted against one another to determine which one advances to the next round.

Similar to the presentations in “Finding the GOAT MC” and “Finding the GOAT Album,” for each battle there will be an editorial about each producer that contextualizes the match-up, as well as sample songs, to help voters in their consideration. There also will be a poll in which votes will be cast, and readers will be able to see the % differential in votes, real-time. Though there also will be an enormous amount of debate in comments, on social media, in barbershops and back rooms, which we encourage, only votes cast in the official ballot will count. In prior “Finding the GOAT” battles, just a handful of votes often decided the results, in early and late rounds. So while we want everybody to talk about it, be about it too, with that vote that counts.

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Today’s (January 11) matchup features the first producer collective thus far in the competition, in the form of Organized Noize. The Atlanta, Georgia outfit faces New York City’s Erick Sermon, pitting some of Southern Rap’s most memorable sounds against one-half of iconic duo EPMD. A trio whose most prolific work came in the form of Outkast’s 1994 album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Organized Noize has also been heralded for major contributions to Ludacris, TLC, and En Vogue. While Sermon is recognized for his aforementioned iconic work alongside Parrish Smith, his collaborations with Keith Murray and Redman, as part of Def Squad, and his solo work have also been defining moments in his career. Now, leaders of The Dungeon Family and E Double face off. Cast your vote below.

Organized Noize

Organized Noize, the Atlanta, Georgia trio of Sleepy Brown, Ray Murray, and Rico Wade, are the strong roots that are at the foundation of Outkast, Goodie Mob, and Future. Albeit as versatile as any, the production collective has a sound that starts with instrumentation and pure musicality. Out of that, the trio creates rhythms that are the vehicle on which Andre 3000 and Big Boi’s flows cruise and Goodie Mob transports listeners from afar to the Dirty South. From TLC’s most memorable hit to Ludacris’ weekend anthem, Murray, Brown, and Wade have been some of Hip-Hop’s most dependable sources of sound. Compared to their contemporaries, Organized Noize have played a background role.

Erick Sermon

Long Island, New York’s Erick Sermon is cut from the mid-1980s cloth of self-contained album-making. He and EPMD partner Parrish Smith cooked up some of the funkiest Hip-Hop records of their day, care of at least three businesslike albums. Just as the tandem shared the mic, they worked alongside each other behind the boards. The sound was undeniable. However, by the early 1990s, E-Double proved just what he was solely bringing to the table, as he handled the sounds on albums by Redman and Keith Murray (his Def Squad band-mates). Meanwhile, the “green-eyed bandit” stole the show on his sonic contributions to singles by K-Solo, Shaq, and LL Cool J. With some of the thickest drums and most grabbing rhythm patterns in Hip-Hop, Sermon made the sound of the genre sound big, meaningful, and hit the chest of the listener. In the 2000s, with changing trends in Hip-Hop, Sermon adapted through channeling Marvin Gaye for a Pop-savvy tribute. Just as he did for years with PMD, Erick has been able to share the loads with RZA, Dr. Dre, Teddy Riley and others. Amenable and creative, the E-R-I-C-K has been able to not only survive the times, but shift them with a plethora of techniques and the constant belief that Hip-Hop carries its Soul and Funk from the ’70s.

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So who is the better producer? Make sure you vote above.