Finding The GOAT Group: N.W.A. vs. UGK. Who Is Better?
“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no deserving band of MCs and DJs is neglected. The 2018 contest consists of seven rounds, NCAA basketball-tournament style, leading to a Top 32, then the Sweet 16 and so on, until one winner is determined. For each battle, two groups are pitted against one another with a ballot to decide which one advances to the next round. Though there will be an enormous amount of debate in comments, on social media, in barbershops and text messages, which we encourage, only votes cast in the official ballot (below) count.
Next up, two regional pioneers square off. Front, back, and side-to-side N.W.A. influenced UGK. However, both groups blazed unique trails, musically and geographically. Despite tragic losses shortening the possibilities of these acts, both brands are immortal in the eyes of Hip-Hop. Only one squad can advance to Round 2. Your vote below may be the difference-maker.
When Hip-Hop Heads think of West Coast groups, N.W.A. steps forth is one of the first and most impactful. The Compton, California-based quintet of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella ushered Gangsta Rap to the mainstream consciousness during the late 1980s, spawning classic material both as a group and separated as solo artists. The group’s proper debut, Straight Outta Compton, produced songs that were monumental and made some of the boldest statements Rap music has ever witnessed: “F*ck Tha Police,” “Gangsta Gangsta,” and “Straight Outta Compton.” In between the pageantry of gun-toting, carousing, misogynist gangsters on the edge of sanity, Ni**az Wit Attitudes could speak for the voiceless far beyond Hub City. Arguably, the collective lost its best lyricist (Cube) after just one album. By 1991, the remaining four disbanded. In less than four years, leader Eazy-E was diagnosed with AIDS and passed away shortly after. In just two albums and a compilation, these brothers gave Gangsta Rap an Attitude that still rings strong.
The Underground Kingz built a brotherly bond and the perfect chemistry. Bun B’s deep voice mixed so well with Pimp C’s more aggressive and falsetto tone. This Port Arthur, Texas duo was able to create six albums, culminating in their 1996 landmark LP Ridin’ Dirty. Signed to Jive Records for more than 15 years, UGK did a lot with a little. This band achieved plaques without the video or marketing resources of its peers. True to its underground theme, Bun and Chad stayed their Slab music course. Despite cult success early in their discography, the last decade of UGK became its most successful—thanks to chart-topping hit “International Players Anthem,” featuring OutKast and produced by Three 6 Mafia. Sadly, in late 2007, Pimp died of a heart attack. As much as any surviving Hip-Hop group members, Bun carries the UGK torch for his partner and made the Underground Kingz rule to a court of influenced millennial rappers.
So who is the better Hip-Hop group? Make sure you vote above.