Finding The GOAT: Buckshot vs. Billy Danze…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 both from the nether lands in the borough of Brooklyn, each Hip-Hop-loving tough guys with a lot on their mind: Buckshot and Billy Danze (click on one to vote). Both early ’90s artists who made immediate impact, these MCs studied the greats before them, and applied those fundamentals into carving unique lanes, making highly-original music, sustaining crews, and releasing records Heads could feel.
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Each of these MCs took a harder road than many of their peers, largely independent, never relying on affirmation from the mainstream. Still, including Eminem, 50 Cent, and Jay Z, the mainstream stars sought out these two active artists. For more than 20 years, respectively, these two icons have kept the legacy of Brooklyn alive, along with the Hip-Hop ideals they hold so strongly. Similar in many ways, and rather different in others, read these backgrounds and histories, listen to their music and cast your vote.
For just over two decades, Buckshot Shorty has been a balanced archetype for a street tough backpacker, a homogenous blend of B-boy and “BDI Thug.” The Brooklyn, New York native released a classic debut in 1993’s Enta Da Stage, alongside DJ Evil Dee and 5FT in Black Moon. Buck led the lyrical way, with accounts of navigating some ruthless streets, earning respect, and bringing hardcore Hip-Hop back to the forefront. That’s been Kenyatta Blake’s prerogative for more than 20 years now. Through his co-founded Duck Down Records, Buck’ has helped reinvigorate DIY, low-profile Rap music that’s always been about everyday issues, love of culture, and advancing the art-form.
Although Buck’s stuck to his script since the beginning in terms of subject matter, the Black Moon MC has been a major proponent of accentuated delivery and evolved style. Outside of the dusty loops and vibrant samples of his original outfit, this Boot Camp Clik founder has played with aggressive, radio-minded musings on his lone solo LP, The BDI Thug, before a run of works with 9th Wonder, dabbling with sweet Soul and vocal play. The MC manipulates his resonant voice to suit any vibe, and has successfully provided an ongoing lyrical dissertation that’s connected with many Heads, including KRS-One who sought out Buck’ for a collaborative album. Slow and steady wins the race. The finish line remains ahead for this Bucktown MC who captured an authentic New York experience, and merged Hip-Hop with Gangsta Rap, shooting fair ones on the mic and on Franklin Avenue anytime it was necessary.
Other Notable Songs:
For 20 years of his own, Billy Danze has been rapping his own diary of a mad-man. The Brownsville, Brooklyn MC born Eric Murray has been a driving force as one-half of M.O.P. Joined by (fellow GOAT candidate) Lil Fame, Billy Danze has been the baritone, easily-stressed, and equally explosive counterpart in Mash Out. A skilled MC who can easily break it down on the mic, Danze helped hold M.O.P. against Metal bands (and even one Metal-tinged album) with a delivery that was so commanding, so incensed, and so righteous.
Outside of the dynamite delivery, Billy Danze’s lyrics have been rather unique. The Bucktown MC has rapped about a life of trying to get over, numbed by liquor and nicotine, and focused on family. This Everyman stance in Bill’s raps have made him timeless, and able to tell his everyday story on any platform, label, and medium, from 12″ single to mixtape, studio album to EP. Like close friend Busta Rhymes, Sticky Fingaz, or Ice Cube, sometimes when Billy Danze is angry, he is at his best: loud, proud, and unpredictable. With the man who also calls himself “Berkowitz” (named after Son Of Sam) having his biggest hits in this realm, Heads know that the MC has deeper, more complex messages, tones, and takeaways, deeper in his catalog. Like athletes John McEnroe, Albert Belle, or Steve Smith, Sr., Billy Danze has a phenomenal career and a legendary stat sheet, just sometimes (and rather wrongfully) overshadowed by an ill-tempered, menacing image.
Other Notable Songs:
So…who you got?