Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Big K.R.I.T. vs. ScHoolboy Q…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.
Two leaders of the new class each beat some strong opponents, with better commercial performances than their own to get to Round 1. Big K.R.I.T. topped another MC/producer in J. Cole by the extremely narrow margin of 2% to edge out one of the most acclaimed, top-selling Hip-Hop artists of post-2010. Meanwhile, ScHoolboy Q rolled over his homie Mac Miller by a strong performance, bringing 3/4 of Black Hippy members to Round 2, while Ab-Soul was eliminated by “Jumpoff” Joe Budden in Round 1. Things really heat up as two self-made artists from the independent movement, both of whom are now backed by majors, claw at Round 3 in what’s likely to heat up the ballot boxes (click to vote):
Voting For Round 2 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets
Big K.R.I.T. (First Round Winner, Against J. Cole 52% to 48%)
Like the Geto Boys in the ’80s, OutKast in the ’90s, and Little Brother in the ’00s, somehow Big K.R.I.T. has been tasked with proving “the South got somethin’ to say” in the 2010s. The Meridian, Mississippi MC/producer has embraced his regional heritage with strong dialect, cadence, slang, and delivery, but he’s stuffed his Trap music and Slab music with messages as enduring, heartfelt, and empowering as any in his class.
Few unsigned artists have used mixtapes as effectively as K.R.I.T. Admittedly dismissed by his name and background, vehicles like 2010’s K.R.I.T. Wuz Here and 2011’s ReturnOf4Eva were organic, grassroots campaigns that showed the world that Hip-Hop’s next Van Gogh visionary may be upon them. It was in fact Krizzle’s peers, such as Wiz Khalifa, David Banner, label-mate Smoke DZA, and Devin The Dude that showed support before the masses knew how to. Now a Def Jam Records artist, the Cadillac-driving, bass-loving rapper has connected with those before him, those beside him, and those trying to get in the door to finally (and conclusively) kick down Rap’s walls and labels. With him, K.R.I.T. brought merit to the music of the traps, the strip clubs, and the “Dirty South,” while making powerful messages about race, religion, class, and those flyover towns and values that Hip-Hop America too often forgets.
Other Notable Tracks:
ScHoolboy Q (First Round Winner, Against Mac Miller 64% to 36%)
ScHoolboy Q is a different kind of burgeoning Gangsta Rap icon. From the streets of South Central, Los Angeles, Quincey Hanley approached Rap as a misfit. A former high school football star, Q frequently spiked the mic with a disdain for Rap and a disinterest with life. That irreverent approach strongly resonated with the masses, as when he wants to, ScHoolboy Q is a top rapper not only within his star-studded Black Hippy crew (Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar), but within present-day Hip-Hop.
Although Q comes from some of the most violent streets in the United States, it’s his accounts of what’s going on inside his head that have been most enduring. From aiming to be a good father, to shaking some gripping addictions, and dealing with the darkest of depressions, ScHoolboy Q never crutched being a product of his environment, and instead, remains a reverse commuter in an era of Hip-Hop where so many artists claim to be street. Groovy Q is from the epicenter of street life, and just wants to be normal. With two heralded independent albums, and a recently-released show-stopper, ScHoolboy Q adds a new element to his region, and gives every track he touches something special.
Other Notable Songs:
So…who you got?