Finding The GOAT: Crooked I vs. Jadakiss…Who You Got?
As we continue the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time), we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups in a sequence not unlike March Madness. For the next several months, we will roll out battles, starting with artists from similar eras paired against one another, until one undisputed King or Queen of the microphone reigns supreme.
The next two MCs to square-off have been championed in the streets since the mid-1990s, with critical acclaim and expanded cult followings in the digital era: Crooked I and Jadakiss. From opposite coasts, rivaling label movements, and different tempos on the mic, both of these wordsmiths are highly-feared, and regularly championed by their peers. With strong groups behind them, each artist is currently working toward the classic albums that they clearly have in them. Check out a recap of each artist’s career, listen to their music and cast your vote below.
The Long Beach MC Crooked I may has been making national noise for nearly 20 years. The onetime hope of Death Row Records’ staying power in the 2000s, Crook’ has been mentored by the likes of Big C-Style, Daz Dillinger, and Sway Calloway at various points in his career. However, the LB lyricist has used every opportunity given to shock the microphone and gain audiences on his own two. A onetime artist at Virgin/Noo-Trybe, Death Row, and later, Treacherous, Crook’s skills have massively eclipsed his push from any label.
Like his fellow Sway & King Tech alum Eminem, Crooked I is a tremendous balance of honesty and wordplay. With a rapid fire flow, “Mr. Pig Face Weapon Waist” hit the scene in an era that stereotyped the skills of West Coast MCs as lazy. With twisted “W” fingers, Crooked helped set the table for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Blu, Nipsey Hussle, and Fashawn to help challenge those false notions of Hip-Hop.
Through Slaughterhouse, freestyle series, and his Circle Of Bosses, Crooked I embodies the 2010s notion that it doesn’t take albums to stay sharp, and commercially active. After all of his efforts, this MC is one of the few active, successful artifacts from the late ’90s L.A. scene, with tremendous potential yet.
Other Notable Tracks:
“Girl” (with Tha Luniz) (1998)
“Move On” (with Slaughterhouse) (2009)
Jadakiss has built a reputation as one of Hip-Hop’s active GOATs. Claiming a “Top 5, Dead Or Alive” status for years, the Yonkers, New York member of The LOX (and a prominent soloist) has combined clever wordplay with street-respected lore in his art. With a hardcore delivery, raspy voice, and real life anecdotes that fall into the Gangsta Rap canon, ‘Kiss awakens the senses.
Although Jadakiss seemingly lacks the unanimously agreed upon classic album, the MC’s consistency through albums, features and mixtapes has been supreme since the 1990s. A disciple of The Notorious B.I.G, Jada has gone on to be a role model to his contemporaries and artists that follow—highly respected, with crossover appeal despite no compromise.
Juggling his D-boy wisdom with insights on race, politics, and more, Jadakiss is versatile, and if the streets of the East Coast are any indication, the Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam soloist has been in the GOAT discussion for more than a decade.
Other Notable Tracks:
So…Who you got?
Voting For Round 1 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets