Finding The GOAT: Murs vs. Ras Kass…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 DIY mainstays in Hip-Hop. One applied the Punk Rock forces he loved on the industry, while the other went rogue, and still sustained an acclaimed career despite a series of hurdles and bumps in the road: Murs and Ras Kass (click on one to vote).

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



Ras Kass

While Murs releases studio albums frequently, tackling the Top 200, Ras Kass largely took a decade hiatus from true releases. Both of these artists have had major label backing, but found that being DIY is the way of the walk in reaching their cult audiences. Read these unique histories from two world lyrical giants from the West Coast, and cast your vote.



In the last 15 years, Murs has sprinkled Hip-Hop with a host of Punk aesthetics. The Los Angeles, California MC has teamed with a host of producers, labels, and teams to deliver his convictions. Whether Def Jux, Rhymesayers, DD172, Living Legends, Strange, or Warner Bros., this MC approaches his albums with distinction in sound and presentation, but the “save the world” mantra has stayed all along. With a lot to draw from given his experiences in many cities, Murs’ music veers from the subjects typically found in Gangsta Rap, to some captivating music about the female form, to pure B-boy bravado. This unique trait has made the man born Nick Carter fit in alongside practically everybody in Hip-Hop, from O.C. to Slug, E-40 to Jean Grae.

With so much catalog to pull from, Murs’ live show is one of his greatest calling cards. Pure energy, visceral deliveries, and tons of physical movement, Murray leaves it all under the lights, aligning him with MC greats like Schoolly D, Big Daddy Kane, and others. Murs’ ability to distinguish an onslaught of projects, playfully challenge the mainstream guard from his DIY post, and make honest records that aim to do good has made him a driving force in Hip-Hop. On record and on stage, including his indelible role in Paid Dues, and Rock The Bells, Murs is a GOAT, that feels anachronistic and timeless at once.

Other Notable Songs:

“A Friends Blues” (2002)
“Def Cover” (2003)
“Dreamchasers” (with 9th Wonder) (2006)

Ras Kass


If not for the label hurdles and personal roadblocks, Ras Kass might be at the top of the Rap game. This West Coast Hip-Hop icon has some of the most piercing, complexly clever, and deeply researched lyrics in Hip-Hop. Since his 1996 Soul On Ice debut, Razzy Kazzy was a slap in the face to conventional vibe-struck MCs. Back to dense lyrical displays, ranging from Gangsta Rap to dissertations on scripture and history, Ras Kass is highly versatile. This skill made him a fan favorite, who spent much of the first decade of his career shipwrecked from a fully functional career as he deserves.

Highly competitive, Ras Kass has been a fearlessly critical voice in the culture. Whether he was taking on organized religion, discussing racism in the 2000s, or simply throwing vocal jabs at Rap peers, the artist born John Austin took the road less-traveled, at whatever cost necessary. Almost 20 years removed since his cult-championed debut, Ras Kass has thrived on a decade’s worth of mixtapes, independent releases, and crowd-funded albums, making him a revolutionary artist for the digital days. Coming back to form in 2014 with Blasphemy alongside Apollo Brown, Ras Kass’ beautiful mind, and Van Gogh complex make him one worthy of watching (and listening to) for years to come.

Other Notable Songs:

“Come Widdit (Fred Wreck Remix)” (with Ahmad and Saafir) (1994)
“Oral Sex” (1999)
“Write Where I Left Off” (2005)

So…who you got?

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