Finding The GOAT: Treach vs. Xzibit…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 in the bracket capture pure Rap ability and brute emotion on the mic: Treach and Xzibit (click on one to vote). Representing opposite coasts, these hard-nosed, traditional MCs brought core Rap talent to the mainstream, combining plaques with unmovable respect within the culture.
Voting For Round 1 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets
Widely championed and sought after by their peers, both of these MCs have remained talented and active throughout the decades. As the styles, sounds, and trends within Hip-Hop have changed, these two men have not—proving that Hip-Hop is the perfect launch-pad for opportunities in television, Hollywood, and product endorsement. It all starts with the skills though, and that’s why these two square off for GOAT status. Read these histories and cast your vote.
Since the late 1980s, “Trigga” Treach has been a lyrical menace, caged inside the confines of his group, Naughty By Nature. At a time when fast rapping was on the decline for slow, sizzling lyrics that are easily remembered, Anthony Criss branded tracks with not only a Barry Sanders-like flow, but so much lyrical emphasis. Alongside the composed and cocky Vin Rock, Treach stampeded tracks, whether they were Gangsta Rap-minded, softcore porn-inspired, or the age-old battle Rap routines that the East Orange, New Jersey native grew up winning.
Throughout seven albums with his group (the first released on the New Style moniker), Treach helped punctuate hits with so much sincerity. Between his sheer Rap abilities and his undeniable level of conviction, Treachery made fast friends with the likes of 2Pac, Lakim Shabazz, Eazy-E, and Spike Lee. In terms of songwriting, Treach’s strong character shined through in the group, making positive songs that addressed the struggle, poverty, and crime element in the world. The best of all possible worlds, Treach could party-rock in one track next to another about gettin’ down in the sheets next to another record about a hitman-for-hire. In the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, Treach’s abilities never wavered, even when the N.B.N. status and unity was called into question. From presentation to content, Treach is one of the greats—and a true ambassador of skillful, resonant Rap music to the mainstream.
Other Notable Songs:
With dues paid back into the early 1990s, few artists idealized the Internet Hip-Hop era as gracefully as Xzibit. A West Coast MC coached by King T, Ice-T, Tash, and J-Ro, Xzibit was a massive proponent of early ’90s East Coast Hip-Hop to boot. Rather than crutch the imagery and lifestyle of Los Angeles completely, the Michigan-born MC also known as Alvin Joiner made albums and songs that put skills above style. With a bull in a china shop flow, unmistakable rasp, and bullying cadence, X-To-The-Z became a secret weapon in late 1990s Hip-Hop. Xzibit’s precise timing, wit, and ability to relate to anything and anyone made him the most versatile artist out of the Likwit Crew, and by the time Method Man, Dr. Dre, and Eminem showed interest, a superstar was born.
In seven solo albums, Xzibit offered his fans a taste of everything. Never compromising delivery or focus, the Alkaholiks affiliate made records that ranged from sheer lyrical exercises to heartfelt songs about his family and upbringing, to investigative concept records about police corruption, drug experimentation, and other topics. Whether he was working under the tutelage of E-Swift and Sir Jinx, or making radio smashes with Dre and Rockwilder, X’s message and commitment to the craft never wavered. Like Eminem, Xzibit became a platinum underground Hip-Hop star, and even as a TV show host, actor, and internationally recognized figure, this MC not only exemplified hard work, he is a proud pillar of dedication and authenticity.
Other Notable Songs:
So…who you got?