Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Common vs. Method Man…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.
Common and Method Man have had parallel careers: early 1990s acts who reached the mainstream simply by being themselves. Each has live shows that rival their finest recorded moments in terms of excitement, energy, and engagement. Platinum plaques, major films, and even an Academy Award nomination. After massive Round 1 advances for each veteran, these two Def Jam Records MCs take each other on, in what should be one of the finer match-ups thus far.
Voting For Round 2 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets
Album-to-album, Common may be the most versatile MC who has still found a way to be consistent. For more than 20 years, this onetime “Unsigned Hype” spotlight has been a low-profile contributor to what makes 1994 legendary (care of his Resurrection LP), the conscious movement (care of his late ’90s albums), and the Chicago musical renaissance (care of Be and Nobody’s Smiling). At the forefront of every bend in Rap’s road, Common is sitting in the cockpit, without ever seeking credit.
Often dismissed as merely a “conscious rapper,” thanks to his challenges towards West Coast Gangsta Rap, and love-driven hits like “The Light” and “Come Close,” Common’s albums tell another story. Following his rugged Can I Borrow A Dollar? beginnings, Comm’ has showcased his abilities as an MC—especially on Resurrection, One Day It’ll All Make Sense, and Like Water For Chocolate—arguably a trifecta of solo LPs that rival the quality of any Hip-Hop artist, ever. These albums presented city symphonies, dabbled in braggadocious Rap, and even some good ol’ rappity rap about Rap. This gift made Common a big brother to Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Kanye West then, as much as he’s stepped in for Lil Durk, Louis V, and Vince Staples now. After meeting his own expectations, Common’s veered, bobbed and weaved, and made albums that balance concept, evolving sounds, and a different kind of message than a typical rapper. From the stage to the studio, Common is anything but.
Other Notable Songs:
For more than 21 years, Method Man has hit the microphone like an “iron lung.” The Staten Island MC has one of the genre’s most recognizable voices, with a liquid-like delivery. Off the wall wordplay, distinct cadence, and a disregard for conventions (coughing, sniffing, and hoarse deliveries) made Method Man the most crossover star of Wu-Tang Clan.
One of Hip-Hop’s most jovial personalities is fiercely competitive, and despite a prominent Hollywood career, “Mef” never sugar-coated his songs, or aimed them at radio. Instead the early ’90s innovator struck his most resonant chords in making heartfelt songs about love, survival, and all out warfare. With early cosigns from The Notorious B.I.G., Spice 1, and LL Cool J, Meth—like many Clansmen and his partner Redman, bridged the gap between Hip-Hop of the 1980s and that of the 2000s. Meth has never lost his chip on his shoulder, and has forever gripped the mic refusing to take a beat, or be outdone. This MC brought animated, character-driven MCs back to the forefront, and never lost a step into the 2010s, giving his core what they wanted, and staying the course in the theory that slow-and-steady wins the race, blowing smoke the whole way to the finish line.
Other Notable Tracks:
So…who you got?