Finding The GOAT (Round 3): Big K.R.I.T. vs. Action Bronson…Who You Got?
We have reached the third round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). With 42 MCs remaining, 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. In a twist, the MC to win by the biggest margin in Round 3 will receive a bye for Round 4.
In the contemporary class, two “1 Train” alums come to a head. Big K.R.I.T. has already toppled two artists who have outsold him, and seemingly resonated with mainstream first, in ScHoolboy Q and J. Cole. However, K.R.I.T. has shown that quality is not measured in sales alone, having released some of his finest music for free. Equally, Action Bronson clawed in from the wild card lists of 10 MCs (with optional write-in) to get to a tie-breaker with Logic, then advancing to Round 2. Then, Bronson bumped another outer borough gritty MC in Joell Ortiz, who has 10 years of experience on the Queens MC. All of this transpired before Mr. Wonderful hit shelves, which can seemingly only work to Bam-Bam’s favor. K.R.I.T. and Action have totally different styles, both rooted in their region’s glory days of Rap music-making. Both artists can hit the masses on multiple levels, whether it’s car-talk or foodie musings, then easily switch gears into introspective or highly personal revelations. Already, both men have proven to be anything but pan-flashes. Only you can state who is truly to enduring contender. (click one to vote)
Voting For Round 3 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets
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:
With humor, flare, and a keen descriptive sense, Action Bronson went from deep underground MC to burgeoning blog artist to mainstream MC in three years. The Flushing, Queens native applied an anachronistic New York City experience to his rhymes about sex, food, and dreams of grandeur. Initially a professional chef, Bronson’s ability to use classic Rap recipes with modernized palette pleasers has made his offerings highly sought after, especially considering his ceaseless output.
With a high-profile full-length major label debut Mr. Wonderful grabbing early praise (and breaking out of the conventions A.B.’s set for himself on previous releases), Arian Asllani aims to body slam the charts as he does with stage-rushers. Although he’s a relative newcomer, the MC who’s been kicking around on mixtapes since 2010 has been a peer tutor to RiFF RaFF, Joey Bada$$, and Chance The Rapper in stride. A clear disciple of Ghostface Killah, Bronson has already begun to carve his own lane with evolved, full-bodied material.
Other Notable Songs:
So…who you got?