Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Kool G Rap vs. Ras Kass…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 of Hip-Hop’s sharpest tongues and most cutting pens are Kool G Rap and Ras Kass. From opposite coasts, 10 years apart, these two MCs have embodied the underdog mentality, and treated fans to the music they asked for beyond the major label system. Both MCs are touted among their peers as elite wordsmiths, blessed with bountiful levels of confidence, and endless allegories and stories to tell. In what’s sure to be a real poll showdown, to of the Rap genre’s strongest weapons compare resumes and artwork after strong Round 1 showings (click to vote):
Voting For Round 2 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets
It can be argued that 1988’s impact of MCs has a lot to do with the true arrival of the Kool Genius of Rap. Kool G Rap, as he’s now known, employed a fast-paced lyricism that made incredible use of cadence. With an unmistakeable rasp and lisp, the Queens MC was the enforcer within Marley Marl’s Juice Crew. From his breakthrough appearance on “The Symphony,” G Rap literally rhymed off the reels. Transitioning from the mid-1980s more simple style, Kool G presented rhymes in a fast scribble, legible to lyric lovers.
Beyond presentation, G Rap is an innovator of content. In his his three albums with DJ Polo, Kool joined Schoolly D and Just-Ice as a pioneering East Coast gangsta rapper. Robberies, dice games, prison bids, rough sex, and drug sales were at play in G Rap songs, a “Rated X” opposition to commercially successful, PG-13 peers including DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Kid N’ Play, Salt N’ Pepa, and even G Rap’s crew brethren Big Daddy Kane. An MC’s MC to the fullest degree, Giancana remains a pillar of innovation, technique, and style. Just as he made three-piece suit jackets, unlit cigars, and top hats a popular move for photographs and album covers, Kool G Rap is an architect on the ’90s style that artists are emulating today.
Other Notable Songs:
Ras Kass (First Round Winner, Against Murs 65% to 35%)
If not for the label hurdles and personal roadblocks, Ras Kass might be at the top of the Rap game. This West Coast Hip-Hop icon has some of the most piercing, complexly clever, and deeply researched lyrics in Hip-Hop. Since his 1996 Soul On Ice debut, Razzy Kazzy was a slap in the face to conventional vibe-struck MCs. Back to dense lyrical displays, ranging from Gangsta Rap to dissertations on scripture and history, Ras Kass is highly versatile. This skill made him a fan favorite, who spent much of the first decade of his career shipwrecked from a fully functional career as he deserves.
Highly competitive, Ras Kass has been a fearlessly critical voice in the culture. Whether he was taking on organized religion, discussing racism in the 2000s, or simply throwing vocal jabs at Rap peers, the artist born John Austin took the road less-traveled, at whatever cost necessary. Almost 20 years removed since his cult-championed debut, Ras Kass has thrived on a decade’s worth of mixtapes, independent releases, and crowd-funded albums, making him a revolutionary artist for the digital days. Coming back to form in 2014 with Blasphemy alongside Apollo Brown, Ras Kass’ beautiful mind, and “Van Gogh” complex make him one worthy of watching (and listening to) for years to come.
Other Notable Songs:
So…who you got?