Finding The GOAT Group: Brand Nubian vs. Jungle Brothers. Who Is Better?
“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual competition 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 match-up, 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 or those using the official hashtags on social media count.
This next showdown involves two game-changing Hip-Hop crews with a message in their music: Brand Nubian and Jungle Brothers. These groups both received five-mic ratings from The Source magazine for their debut albums. Now, they face-off against each other. Your vote may settle a very close race.
This group hailing from New Rochelle and the Bronx, New York has made an indelible influence on Conscious Hip-Hop. The collective has consisted of three MCs which are the boastful Grand Puba, the introspective Sadat X, the intellectual Lord Jamar, in addition to DJs Alamo and Sincere. When they emerged in 1989, Brand Nubian’s approach to song-making was combining lyrical substance with the samples and sounds that still made bodies move right along with the listener’s mental. In addition to their playful and stylish rhyme deliveries, the Nubians offered a challenging brew of educational and politically charged lyricism, often referencing their 5 Percent Nation ideology. With Puba absent in the cipher for two albums, B.N. has released six LPs together in their career. Standout works include 1990 debut, One For All, which was given a coveted five-mic rating from The Source magazine; Sadat, Jamar, and Sincere’s In God We Trust, released in two years later, and ’98 reunion LP, Foundation. Eleven years since Time’s Runnin’ Out, Brand Nubian still tours together, and forms like Voltron for the occasional feature.
The Jungle Brothers helped Hip-Hop’s paradigm shift away from its haughty fashion standards and braggadocio lyricism in the late 1980s. The concoction of Afrika Baby Bam and Mike G’s spiritually enlightening songwriting, African diaspora, safari apparel, and eclectic sampling across every genre imaginable with DJ Sammy B’s precise cuts created something new and different for Rap. Jungle Brothers have six full-length albums in their catalog, but their seminal albums are the first two: 1988’s “five-mic” certified Straight Out The Jungle, and 1989 follow-up Done By The Forces Of Nature. The J Beez eschewed Hardcore Rap, and continued the legacy of their Universal Zulu Nation tenets of peace, unity, and knowledge, and having fun. One of the first Native Tongue acts out, the Brothers help introduce the world to Q-Tip, but would commercially live in the shadows of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. Outside of Hip-Hop, this group’s integration of House music made them ambassadors of ’80s and ’90s Hip-Hop into other genres. Today, the collective still performs with a spirited live show and an impressive catalog of beloved grooves.
So who is the better Hip-Hop group? Make sure you vote above.