Finding The GOAT: Nipsey Hussle vs. Jay Rock…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 masters who have made a way for themselves outside of the traditional artist roll-out: Nipsey Hussle and Jay Rock (click on one to vote). From opposite neighborhoods, and parts of South Central, Los Angeles, these two contemporaries share a love of combining blinding reality with strong, insightful commentary on race, gang-infested streets, and the marginalization of some members of society.

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

Nipsey Hussle


Jay Rock

Although Jay Rock has one album in stores, both of these men have been abuzz for nearly a decade, not producing results for the stores as much as the streets. Both MC voices have been quality-driven, over quantity, and reaped the rewards for this rare level of consistency. Atypical nods, both of these twenty-somethings are GOAT nominees of the current crop. Read these unique histories from two Gangsta Rap stars of modernity, and cast your vote.

Nipsey Hussle


Still without an official “album,” Los Angeles, California’s Nipsey Hussle has made a strong impact on Hip-Hop throughout the last decade. With his own sound, style, and delivery, Nip’ subscribes to the revolutionary-but-gangsta approaches of artists like Kam, dead prez, and MC Ren. Nip’ addresses complex issues facing his generation, while still presenting his message in digestible pills for the streets. That’s been this onetime Epic Records artist’s forte: bringing substance to music that’s embraced in cars, clubs, and simple chill-out moments.

With a handful of acclaimed and sometimes commercial mixtapes, Ermias Asghedom has presented unpretentious verses that challenge the status quo, both of Rap and society. Like crosstown peers in Black Hippy, Nip’ has updated the portrayal of life in South Central,  Los Angeles, especially in Crenshaw, showing that some things change, while others stay the same.

Other Notable Songs:

“Blessings” (2013)
“Don’t Forget About Us” (with Dom Kennedy) (2013)

Jay Rock


From one of the most rough and tumble places in the United States, Watts, California, Jay Rock has revived Gangsta Rap in a rather unique way. The first artist out of Top Dawg Entertainment and Black Hippy made immediate impact with his tales of treacherous living in 2000s-era South Central, California. The artist born Johnny McKinzie sat around the old Heads in his community, and was introduced with a load of wisdom, self-confidence, and restraint early in his career. With a forceful approach on the mic, Rock has an emphasized cadence, raspy voice, and pushes his bars with a strong sense of urgency.

With only 2010’s Follow Me Home on shelves, Jay Rock has sustained a career in unlikely fashion. Opposite many of his Rap peers, the Nickerson Gardens houses MC is careful with material, favoring low, high-potency output in lieu of frequent mixtapes, appearances, or videos. With his gripping accounts of survival in present day, Jay Rock feels out of step with the times, having more in common with icons like Ice Cube, MC Eiht, and Spice 1 than a lot of his generational peers. Guarded, quiet, and determined, Jay’s music complements his lifestyle. In many ways, the only method of understanding this 28 year-old’s thoughts and experiences is to press play.

Other Notable Songs:

“YOLA” (2012)
“Money Trees” (with Kendrick Lamar) (2012)
“Shot You Down (Remix)” (with Isaiah Rashad, ScHoolboy Q & Ab-Soul) (2013)

So…who you got?

Related: Check Out The Other Ambrosia For Heads “Finding The Goat” Ballots