Finding The GOAT Group: Public Enemy vs. Boogie Down Productions. 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.
A Sweet 16 clash for the ages takes place as Public Enemy faces off against Boogie Down Productions. In the late 1980s, these two groups emerged packing messages for the people around some game-changing Rap music and showmanship. By 1988, these crews would come together to tell everybody to “Stop The Violence.” While both acts are built around one MC with an ensemble of musical and vocal players, B.D.P. would segue into KRS-One’s solo career by the early 1990s. Meanwhile, P.E. remains active for almost 35 years. This is not an easy bout. Chuck D and company have trampled two rounds of opponents in this tournament. Meanwhile, KRS and Scott La Rock’s posse narrowly bested Run The Jewels to reach the Sweet 16. Every vote will matter in deciding which New York Hip-Hop giant makes it to the Elite 8.
When Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Public Enemy formed in the mid-1980s, their mission was to disrupt the status quo of not just the Rap industry, but all of Pop culture. During the Long Island, New York collective’s formative years, the Black community was being ripped apart by rampant drug abuse, political disenfranchisement, and lulled by the apparent whitewashing of mainstream media. True to their name and logo, P.E. stood out as targets for combating these forces with truths—about oppression, inequality, and a media agenda. Chuck D stood as the front-man and the booming voice of power. Flavor Flav played hype-man and a jester in the commanding court. Meanwhile, martial arts expert Professor Griff led the group’s military aesthetic including S1W soldiers. DJ Terminator X’s scratches matched the energy of the delivery in this high-powered demonstration. P.E. debuted with an iconic hat trick of three LPs: Yo! Bum Rush The Show, It Takes A Nation Millions To Hold Us Back, and Fear Of A Black Planet. The groundbreaking sampling techniques of their in-house production crew The Bomb Squad on songs such as “Don’t Believe The Hype,” “Fight The Power” and “Welcome To The Terrordome” pushed the boundaries for Rap music. In more than 30 years, P.E. has never slowed its roll or ceased operations. On the road and in the studio, the group with more than 14 albums continues to deliver a message to the masses.
Boogie Down Productions
During its five-year run, Boogie Down Productions moved like a battalion with acclaimed albums releasing every consecutive year. Lawrence “KRS-One” Parker was at the helm of this brigade, always paying tribute to fallen general, DJ Scott “La Rock” Sterling. Together, they released a lone album, 1987’s Criminal Minded. Following the untimely death of Scott, the group upped their ante with more politically-charged content that played a huge role in the Conscious Rap movement. B.D.P. expanded to include D-Nice, DJ Kenny Parker, and the late Ms. Melodie, and a possé of affiliates. Through to the crew’s grand finale, Sex And Violence, each album encompassed KRS-One’s status as “The Teacher” layered by his philosophical wit, humanist lessons, and cocksure Battle Rap prowess. B.D.P. group has three gold albums in its catalog with intelligent (in many cases, self-produced) samplings of Funk, Rock, Blues, and Reggae mixed with hammering snare drums beats that laid the groundwork for Underground Rap’s definitive ’90s sound.
So who is the better Hip-Hop group? Make sure you vote above.