Finding The GOAT: Pimp C vs. Devin The Dude…Who You Got?

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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 were label-mates throughout much of the 2000s: Pimp C and Devin The Dude. Multi-threat talents, these two men claim the South, but influenced peers and predecessors alike, with trademark deliveries, consistent subject matter, and distinct world views—all supported by skilled rapping. Read these quite different backgrounds and histories, listen to their music and cast your vote.

Pimp C

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A disciple of Too Short, Pimp C remains one of the coldest, rudest, and most original MCs in Hip-Hop music. While behind the boards, Chad Butler pioneered “Slab Music,” the Port Arthur, Texas native was nice on the mic. The late UGK co-founder adopted the Rap approach of talkin’ slick, braggin’ big, and presenting lyrics in a slow and smooth style rather than flipping words quickly like his contemporaries WC, E-40, and Kool G Rap.

Instead, Pimp C ran with a style that was influenced by Schoolly D, Big Daddy Kane, and Ice-T. He reported from the streets, big on the details and heavy on the attitude. In turn, the onetime Jive and Rap-A-Lot Records star influenced a crop of today’s artists, ranging from Drake and Yo Gotti to T.I. and Lil Wayne. Throughout much of his career, Pimp made a vocation out of dissing nameless peers, talking big, and putting down the little guys. While this tried and true old school technique predates UGK and Sweet James Jones, the honorable Chad found a way to make braggadocious raps succeed in the 1990s, even as an underground hero, and poster-child for underdogs.

In terms of bare skill, Pimp C may be too straightforward for some purists. However, based on pure influence and impact, it could be argued that more than any artist, living or dead, Pimp C’s music, vision, and demeanor was a decade ahead of its time as far as commercial Rap.

Other Notable Songs:

“I Left It Wet For You” (with UGK) (1994)
“Good Stuff” (with UGK) (1996)
“Sippin’ On Some Syrup” (with Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat & UGK) (2000)

Devin The Dude

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For more than two decades, Devin The Dude has carved a unique lane for himself that artists ranging from Dr. Dre to Big K.R.I.T., Jay Z to J-Zone covet. On the come-up, the Houston, Texas-by way of-St. Petersburg, Florida MC/producer was crowded, an act platooning in the Rap-A-Lot Records troops of Da Odd Squad and Facemob. However, after his low-key debut, 1998’s The Dude caught some grassroots fire, the onetime flagship artist for R.A.L was determined.

On the mic, Devin is humorous, if not self-deprecating. A lover of the “3 W’s: wine, women, and weed,” the DJ and beat-boxer brings his complete package to the microphone as a southern B-Boy. Big on old school routines, altered voices, and breaking into harmony, Devin has become a versatile voice whose message has not changed since his introduction in the early ’90s. Instead, at his absolute best, Devin’s writing is able to sprinkle some street corner prophecy into records, making Hip-Hop indelibly soulful at times, on tracks void of rapping, such as “Everythang.”

If Hip-Hop at its best is character-driven, Devin remains the park-bench prophet who smiles through the pain, beat-boxes through the silence, and raps his ass off on his own stellar catalog, as well as a series of multi-platinum LPs, and underground classics.

Other Notable Songs:

“Here To Say A Lil’ Somethin'” (with Odd Squad) (1994)
“It’s A Shame” (with Pooh Bear) (2002)
“Pick My Brain” (2010)

Voting For Round 1 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets

Pimp C

or

Devin The Dude

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