Finding The GOAT: Kool G Rap vs. Sadat X…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 MC’s to square-off came from different parts of New York City, with vastly distinct messages and styles. Kool G Rap and Sadat X both transported Hip-Hop from its sensibilities of the late 1980s into the mid-1990s, without losing a step or compromising themselves. Each represented a very New York experience, giving tales of caution. While one spoke of getting burned by women, another rapped from inside Rikers Island (converse to their real-life experiences). These men maintained one-of-kind voices and strong signature deliveries. Incredibly active in the 2010s, both of these men are popular points of inspiration to some of Rap’s biggest voices of the last 10 years. Read their histories, listen to their songs, and weigh in on who’s GOAT.
Kool G Rap
It can be argued that 1988’s impact of MCs has a lot to do with the true arrival of the Kool Genius of Rap. Kool G Rap, as he’s now known, employed a fast-paced lyricism that made incredible use of cadence. With an unmistakeable rasp and lisp, the Queens MC was the enforcer within Marley Marl’s Juice Crew. From his breakthrough appearance on “The Symphony,” G Rap literally rhymed off the reels. Transitioning from the mid-1980s more simple style, Kool G presented rhymes in a fast scribble, legible to lyric lovers.
Beyond presentation, G Rap is an innovator of content. In his his three albums with DJ Polo, Kool joined Schoolly D and Just-Ice as a pioneering East Coast gangsta rapper. Robberies, dice games, prison bids, rough sex, and drug sales were at play in G Rap songs, a “Rated X” opposition to commercially successful, PG-13 peers including DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Kid N’ Play, Salt N’ Pepa, and even G Rap’s crew brethren Big Daddy Kane. Always against the grain, Kool G Rap has maintained dirty, dark subject matters in his solo outings in the 1990s, through to his recent Godfathers work with Brutal Music maker, Necro.
Before Jay Z and Nas, AZ and Raekwon, it was Kool G Rap that balanced craft with street-stuck substance. An MC’s MC to the fullest degree, Giancana remains a pillar of innovation, technique, and style. Just as he made three-piece suit jackets, unlit cigars, and top hats a popular move for photographs and album covers, Kool G Rap is an architect on the ’90s style that artists are emulating today.
Other Notable Songs:
“The Symphony” (with Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane, Craig G & Masta Ace) (1988)
“Men At Work” (with Kool G Rap & DJ Polo) (1989)
“A Thug’s Love Story (Parts I, II, & III)” (1998)
Coming from one of Hip-Hop’s heralded three-MC groups, Brand Nubian had distinctly recognizable voices within their acclaimed operation. Sadat X’s booming, nasal vocals have not aged a day 15 years later. Instead, the Bronx, New Yorker also known as Derek X was a forefather in bringing Knowledge Of Self to lyrics, surrounded by savvy, stylish lyrics that applied to nearly anybody who could grasp them.
A master of slang, Sadat X was an MC who helped bridge Hip-Hop from its ’88 glory into its ’94 touchstone. He was a conversational master who valued messages, but somehow never aspired to be preachy. Moreover, with Top 20 sales, ‘Datty never rhymed about a life beyond the listener’s means. Instead, the rapper boasted about his skills, while still describing taking trains, walking the streets, and chasing women to mixed results. With this scaled-down aesthetic, X became a beacon to ’90s MCs ranging from Common to Big L, staying incredibly busy as a guest and soloist, outside of his group work. Active as ever, Sadat X’s lessons continue after 25 years.
Other Notable Songs:
So…who you got?
Voting For Round 1 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets