Finding The GOAT: Killer Mike vs. Cee-Lo Green…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 MCs to square-off are from the same area code, and even the same crew: Killer Mike and Cee-Lo Green (click on one to vote). Both Dungeon Family disciples, these men took their far-reaching talents and blazed a trail different than most. Mike stuffed his presentation with a complex summary of messages, styles, and love of the culture. Cee-Lo used his MC skills, his singing abilities, and his infatuation with the lyric to soar like his vocals. Both artists transcended their crew, and still proudly stand tall as an extension of the early days.

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

Killer Mike


Cee-Lo Green

While Cee-Lo Green has become a Pop star well beyond his Goodie Mob beginnings, Killer Mike went from plaques to cult power through a string of championed indie albums, and eventually, Run The Jewels. These two MCs have made it clear that stagnation is merely laziness, and these artists’ days of hunger, ambition, and dreaming of moving the crowd never left them, only enriched. Read about the impact of each MC and cast your vote.

Killer Mike


One part Southern preacher, other part gang leader, Killer Mike’s music has been one of the best things to happen to Hip-Hop in the last decade. A disciple from the Dungeon Family, Adamsville, Georgia’s Michael Render brought fervor, conviction, and passion to the fullest to an early 2000s Hip-Hop scene that preferred swagger over sweat. By the 2010s, Mike’s messages have risen to the top of counter-culture, and his self-released and independent works have eclipsed his gold-certified major label debut.

Just as he is on television and on interviews, Mike Bigga’s music is a brilliant balance of rebellion, information, and ambition. Like a political activist, Killer Kill’s talking interludes on works like 2008’s I Pledge Allegiance II The Grind rank alongside his monstrous hits, whether assisted by Outkast or El-P (as Run The Jewels). Raised on Rap that was militant, challenging, and book-smart, Mike has been an extension of artists that he’s sought out to work with: Ice Cube, Geto Boys, and of course, ‘Kast. In 10 years, Killer Mike has enjoyed sales and underground acclaim, he’s been a successful touring artist and played the feature position effectively. Moreover, the MC mentored the likes of Gangsta Pill, SL Jones, and others through his vast ventures. Explosive, authentic, and complex, Killer Mike may be one of Rap’s GOATS, especially under the age of 40.

Other Notable Songs:

“2 Sides” (with Shawty Lo) (2008)
“Burn” (2011)
“Go!” (2012)

Cee-Lo Green


In all of popular music in 2014, is anybody as self-made and unpredictable as Cee-Lo Green? Twenty years ago, the Atlanta, Georgia native born Thomas Calloway was a versatile force within the Goodie Mob collective. Like Pharoahe Monch, Devin The Dude, or Nate Dogg, Cee-Lo’s booming singing vocals were featured alongside his cool raps. He is an elite MC, who can fire bars at high-speed, be brutally revealing on record, and capture so much of the essence of Southern living.

By the 2000s, Cee-Lo had a handful of acclaimed solo releases in tow. As a singer, poet, and MC, these major label efforts were experimental listens, embraced by fans outside of Goodie Mob and Dungeon Family supporters. However, it was a low-key intersection with Rhode Island producer/DJ Danger Mouse that allowed Cee to explode. With Gnarls Barkley becoming a force to be reckoned with on charts and airwaves, Cee-Lo became the colorful Pop star, with hauntingly powerful vocals, colorful costumes, and neurotic themes in his songs (something that his previous fans were well aware of). He also became a judge on “The Voice,” with a solo renaissance and even more hits. With all this mainstream fame, what did Cee-Lo do? He reunited with the M.O.B., and made a potent, subversive album in 2013’s Age Against The Machine. While Cee-Lo’s Rap skills have merely been part of a total package, his ability to transform, his second-to-none live shows, and his impact on countering a cutthroat industry structure surely make him a GOAT-worthy nod.

Other Notable Songs:

“Soul Food” (with Goodie Mob and Sleepy Brown) (1995)
“G.O.D. (Gaining One’s Definition)” (with Common) (1998)
“Sometimes” (2004)

So…who you got?

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