Finding The GOAT: Styles P vs. Method Man…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 helped make Hip-Hop what it sounds, feels, and looks like today: Styles P and Method Man. In an era when New York’s Rap reign was in question, these two men never wavered, fell, or succumbed to temptations to chase a trend. Instead, both of these 1990s alumni promoted competitive fellowship, pride, and re-injecting a message into the music, whether through big budget singles or mixtape cuts. Soldiers of the same fight, these men remain GOATs on many lists, with fierce followers who they constantly seem to appease. Read these quite different backgrounds and histories, listen to their music and cast your vote.
Once living in the shadow of The LOX and breakout soloist Jadakiss, Styles P has risen the ranks within his group, but also the culture at large as one of the genre’s sharpest lyricists. Like ‘Kiss, “The Ghost” seamlessly connects the streets with fans of skills, wordplay, and precise deliveries. Holiday Styles, as he was known early in his career, added to Bad Boy Records’ roster of sharp-shooters, before striking mainstream success with songs both about smoking up, and also raising a fist.
The Yonkers native has thrived in building his core with major label and independent structures, releasing mixtapes, and being a mentor to many artists in and out of New York City. Styles pivoted, with Hip-Hop, from commercially-aimed records to cult-championed records for the streets.
Styles continues to hit the microphone with the impact of a linebacker. Pushing his words with force, the MC maintains a message without being preachy, an artist who can work beside The Roots, Jennifer Lopez, and Yukmouth, all with authenticity and musical grace. After just over 15 years, Styles P’s listeners know that his finest records may be yet to come, in a career paved in skill, determination, and pride.
Other Notable Tracks:
For more than 21 years, Method Man has hit the microphone like an “iron lung.” The Staten Island MC has one of the genre’s most recognizable voices, with a liquid-like delivery. Off the wall wordplay, distinct cadence, and a disregard for conventions (coughing, sniffing, and hoarse deliveries) made Method Man the most crossover star of Wu-Tang Clan.
One of Hip-Hop’s most jovial personalities is fiercely competitive, and despite a prominent Hollywood career, “Mef” never sugar-coated his songs, or aimed them at radio. Instead the early ’90s innovator struck his most resonant chords in making heartfelt songs about love, survival, and all out warfare. With early cosigns from The Notorious B.I.G, Spice 1, and LL Cool J, Meth—like many Clansmen and his partner Redman, bridged the gap between Hip-Hop of the 1980s and that of the 2000s. Additionally, Meth was cemented as one of Def Jam Records’ MVPs, transitioning the label through the Russell Simmons era into the Polygram/Lyor Cohen years, into the “Carter Administration” era with Jay Z.
Meth has never lost his chip on his shoulder, and has forever gripped the mic refusing to take a beat, or be outdone. This MC brought animated, character-driven MCs back to the forefront, and never lost a step into the 2010s, giving his core what they wanted, and staying the course in the theory that slow-and-steady wins the race, blowing smoke the whole way to the finish line.
Other Notable Tracks:
Voting For Round 1 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets