Finding The GOAT: Game vs. Jeezy…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 are two of the biggest stars of the last 10 years: Game and Young Jeezy (click on one to vote).
Voting For Round 1 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets
Name-changes, major street affiliations, beefs, and backgrounds may have taken a front-seat to the music at times, but few can argue that if there are classic Rap albums between 2004 and 2014, these two men stand a great chance of having made them. With unique styles, one MC emulated the Hip-Hop he listened to while nearly dying in the hospital. The other MC rewrote the rapper’s rule-book, and took his own near-death experiences, and presented them slowly, clearly, and sincerely over some of the coldest tracks ever made. At a time when the music discussion moved online, both of these artists stood in the streets, and crusaded for Gangsta/Reality Rap. Read these quite different backgrounds and histories, listen to their music and cast your vote.
For more than a decade, Game has been one of the most sensational Rap stars. Often in headlines for extra curricular activities, it was Jayceon Taylor who became the first West Coast star in the 2000s, garnering acclaim not for singles, but a widely-considered classic debut, 2004’s The Documentary. Mentored by both Dr. Dre and 50 Cent, the onetime G-Unit member became the talk of the genre through affiliations, but his dues go back to the early 2000s, as a hungry independent MC, who showed his Hip-Hop fan-dom in nearly every verse.
Like KRS-One, 2Pac or the aforementioned 50, Game was a student in realizing that sometimes it takes spectacle to get heard. As an artist in his early twenties, Game challenged cemented stars like 50, Jay Z, and Yukmouth. Bringing Gangsta Rap back into the mainstream conversation, Game also favored lyrics, high concept, and thematic albums. When Heads accused him of crutching high-profile help on his debut, Game stripped down his approach (and the star-power) on The Doctor’s Advocate. When Heads accused him of relying too closely on a West Coast image, “Chuck Taylor” went to the chapel on Jesus Piece. Game has been a malleable, in living color Rap star in the 2000s. He has never shied from controversy, conflict, or giving away his music, ideas, and strong opinions away for free. Game is one of the few 2000-something artists who can claim to have a classic album, multiple hit songs, and a platinum plaque. Polarizing, shocking, and a product of the 1990s industry tactics, Game has certainly done it on his terms.
Other Notable Songs:
Few artists changed the direction, sound and style on as large a level as Young Jeezy. Fifteen years into his career now, Jeezy (as he goes by these days) became a Rap star with complete disregard for challenging deliveries, advanced flows, or grand wordplay. Instead, the Atlanta, Georgia star looked into the lens of the Internet era, and stood tall as an artist who was talking it just as he lived it. A generation removed from the teen gangsta rappers like Ice Cube, Scarface, and Kool G Rap, Jeezy appeared as a hustler who could rap… using music as his distribution channel to market his image, his product, and his realness.
The formula worked. In the era of the beat, Jeezy’s words became quoted scripture to many Heads. Although his drug sales and close encounters with death (which were revealed to be non-fiction in the wake of the mid-2000s Gucci Mane feud) were present on his albums, the rapper spoke in code, spit on snitching, and rapped from a concrete pulpit, providing motivation, inspiration, and anthems for the hopeless. While T.I. skyrocketed to be Rap’s first Trap star, Jeezy reigned as the D-Boy. When so many artists seemingly made songs in the image of what the streets were doing, Young Jeezy’s delivery, his story, and his presentation felt undisputed. The production and emerging sound, thanks in large part to Shawty Redd, made the sins sound cinematic. Jay Jenkins has not only influenced those after him, the platinum Def Jam Records star affected the way Jay Z, ‘Face, and others wrote, rhymed, and shared on the mic.
Other Notable Songs:
So…who you got?