Finding The GOAT Group: Method Man & Redman vs. Gang Starr. Who Is Better?
“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ 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 (which has been determined), 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 count.
Method Man & Redman emerged as the Wild Card winner in the tournament—as decided by you, the voter. As Meth’s Wu-Tang crew is still very much alive in the bracket, he gets another dog in the fight. However, the famed How High? duo has some serious competition: Guru and DJ Premier. Gang Starr pancaked The Beatnuts in Round 1, and now Meth’ squares up against his “N 2 Gether Now” producer. If the Wild Card champs want to reach the Sweet 16, they must defeat one of the clear voter favorites. Who goes forth? Your vote may be the answer.
Method Man & Redman
(won the readers’ Wild Card vote, taking 13.4% overall)
Method Man & Redman became friends as Def Jam Records label-mates, but as rapping partners, they seem inseparable. From both sides of the Hudson River, the duo figuratively stole The Show soundtrack with “How High?” From successful crews like Wu-Tang Clan (who is also in the tournament) and Def Squad, this teamwork stands apart. For both MCs, their side project marked a lighthearted and smoke-filled escape from the mania of Dare Iz A Darkside or Meth’s sinister role with the Clan. The duo is the essential balance, further demonstrated on a series of tag-team guest features and remixes. Perhaps even more noteworthy than their careers on wax, these master showmen have toured together for nearly 25 years—often during album hiatuses. 1999’s Blackout! proved that the music could be incredible at a full-length level. These MCs can make power-moves on the charts, the road, and even in movies, without compromising their craft or distinct personalities. After two albums, new collaborations between these greats continue to roll out.
(defeated The Beatnuts in Round 1, 93% to 7%)
A DJ/producer from Prairie View, Texas and an MC from Boston, Massachusetts moved to New York, and that’s where Gang Starr would take its most critical strides. Releasing six albums between 1989 and 2003, this duo’s legacy is solidified as one of Hip-Hop’s most influential and cult-respected groups. Several iterations of DJ Premier’s production style helped define New York’s sound in the ’90s and 2000s with his way of chopping samples, creating elaborate chord progressions, and scratching choruses for emphasis. Guru had a unique approach to MC’ing that still stands out to this day, spitting sharply constructed rhymes in a calm, all-knowing spoken-word type of cadence. The voice and the hands made beautiful, cutting-edge music. Together, the duo was able to shine in the underground and influenced generations of artists. After focusing on individual endeavors in the mid-2000s, their chapter came to a close with Guru’s untimely passing in 2010, but their legacy remains timeless, as DJ Premier continues to be an in-demand producer decades after his debut.
So who is the better Hip-Hop group? Make sure you vote above.