Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Snoop Dogg vs. MJG…Who You Got?
We have reached the second round in 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 “playoffs style.” Since Fall 2014, and 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 two MCs to step into the Round 2 ring are contemporaries, who put on for their cities with lyrical, energetic, and informed Gangsta Rap. Both Snoop Dogg and MJG took inspiration from the verbal “game” of neighborhood and film street pimps and applied it to Rap. Each MC had flare, and the ability to be fiercely aggressive and coolly mellow, with easy transition between those styles. These men bridged the gaps, and made music that remains the blueprint of many artists today, in and around the genre. Still active, with stages as big as ever, these two ceaseless artists strut through the hallowed hallways of Rap, seeing their impact daily. So…who you got (click one to vote)?
Voting For Round 2 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets
Snoop Dogg (First Round Bye)
Snoop Dogg rivals all of his peers in immediate impact. The Long Beach, California native appeared under the tutelage of Dr. Dre on just one soundtrack single, and had the whole world yearning for more. Calvin Broadus, a student of Dana Dane, Smooth B, and Slick Rick, combined charisma, storytelling, and conversational flows with his own environment: gang-infested streets, crooked cops, and laid-back escapism enjoyed with weed and female companionship. Starting with a show-stealing role on Dre’s Chronic, Snoop let loose one of the most cohesive, anticipated, and even more satisfying debut albums in 1993’s Doggystyle.
In the more than 20 years since he first delivered a classic album, Snoop has both chased repetition, and evolved with a host of new styles. Experimental yet authentic, the 213 alum is a touchstone to the wild West Coast days, adaptable to any rhyme partner, production style, and subject matter. With courageous creativity, Snoop has toyed with Bounce (Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told), dabbled with raw percussive elements (R&G), chanted Reggae (as Snoop Lion), and shed light on his love of jheri-curl R&B (Ego Trippin’). When the Heads called for it, Snoop revisited his roots on reconstructive G-Funk albums such as Top Dogg and Blue Carpet Treatment too. Always a chart-topping draw, Snoop may be one of Hip-Hop’s true ambassadors, and most versatile-yet-genuine voices.
Like their associates UGK, Eightball & MJG has more than 20 years of music that has displayed its tremendous influence with time. The longtime Suave House Records artists (who later had paperwork with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy, and T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records) are innovators to the possibilities of southern Hip-Hop, and standards in establishing the Memphis, Tennessee scene. In Round 1, MJG narrowly edged out another iconic Gangsta Rap veteran, Spice 1, by a mere 2% clinching margin—in one of the tightest GOAT votes thus far.
MJG in particular created a careful balance of aggressive lyrics and boisterous deliveries, with a penchant for subdued, “pimp-type” production. Marlon Jermaine Goodwin (thus the stage name) took what he witnessed in powerful rhyme styles from Run-DMC, Boogie Down Productions, and Geto Boys, and made music that was distinctively his (and Eightball’s) own. With nearly two dozen albums, MJG proved to be a regional star, inventive with his songwriting that repositioned the everyday life in a Soul City into outer space. It is that dichotomy of imagination and straightforward reality Rap that made ‘Ball & ‘G so influential, and never stagnated after 30 years running together as a unit.
Through artists like Big K.R.I.T., G-Side, and Playaz Circle, MJG’s style and trial of influence has been uncovered (just as crosstown band Three 6 Mafia has enjoyed). With that, MJ’ has innovated further, and found the ability to supply his source to those its affected, working now as much as ever, both in solo and group capacity.
Other Notable Tracks:
“Space Age Pimpin’” (with Eightball & MJG and Nina Creque) (1995)
“Throw Your Hands Up” (with Eightball & MJG and Outkast) (1999)
“Worldwide” (with Eightball & MJG) (2007)(with Eightball & MJG) (2007)
So…who you got?