Finding The GOAT (Round 3): Busta Rhymes vs. Jadakiss…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 win a bye for Round 4.

For more than 25 years, Busta Rhymes has been a leader of the new school. Similarly, Jadakiss’ self-proclaimed status as “top 5, dead or alive” has been almost universally uncontested. Although they have different starting points, Busta vs. Jada is another Round 3 match-up that could (or should, in some estimations) work in a final contest. After landslide wins in Rounds 1 and 2, these two New York MCs from the nether lands of the city compete with iron clad credentials in advancing to Round 4 (click to vote):

Busta Rhymes




Busta Rhymes

(Second Round Winner, Against Killer Mike 72% to 28%)
(First Round Winner, Against Inspectah Deck 59% to 41%)

Among 25 year veterans of commercial Rap, evolving images and changing sounds appear to be a commonality. However, few have been as successful at being dope over the last four decades as Busta Rhymes. Knighted and named by Chuck D, this Long Island native has blitzed Hip-Hop with one of its fastest flows and most versatile deliveries. He’s constantly been able to say meaningful messages since he was a smiling teen in Leaders Of The New School through to his hulking days rolling with Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, and Eminem.

Like Q-Tip, Ice Cube, or Ghostface Killah, Busta’s breakout begins with shining in a crew (L.O.N.S/Native Tongues) of highly-talented MCs. With an unmistakeable delivery, Busta had a rasp, malleable flow, and unrivaled microphone animation that made him a sought-after guest before guest-work was in vogue. By the mid-1990s, Busta’s outer-worldly vision of album-making made works like The Coming immune to shifting attentions and presentations in Hip-Hop. Busta enjoyed multi-platinum success rapping to masses who were unaware of two great group albums, or his days running in the underground. Rather than adapt East, West, or Southern styles throughout his career, Busta Rhymes has simply rapped his ass off, and favored beats that thumped on dance-floors, headphones, and trunk sub-woofers.

Other Notable Tracks:

“Sobb Story” (with Leaders Of The New School) (1991)
“Gimme Some More” (1998)
“Don’t Get Carried Away” (with Nas) (2006)





(Second Round Winner, Against Cam’ron 82% to 18%)
(First Round Winner, Against Crooked I 69% to 31%)

Jadakiss has built a reputation as one of Hip-Hop’s populist champions. Claiming a “Top 5, Dead Or Alive” status for years, the Yonkers, New York member of The LOX (and a prominent soloist) has combined clever wordplay with street-respected lore in his art. With a hardcore delivery, textured voice, and real life anecdotes that fall into the Gangsta Rap canon, ‘Kiss awakens the senses.

Although Jadakiss seemingly lacks the unanimously agreed upon classic album, the MC’s consistency through albums, features and mixtapes has been supreme since the 1990s. A disciple of The Notorious B.I.G., Jada’ has gone on to be a role model to his contemporaries and artists that follow—highly respected, with crossover appeal despite no compromise. Juggling his D-boy wisdom with insights on race, politics, and more, Jadakiss is versatile, and if the streets of the East Coast are any indication, the Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam soloist has been in the “top of the class” discussion for more than a decade.

Other Notable Tracks:

“Welcome To D-Block” (with The Lox and Eminem) (2004)
“Run” (with Ghostface Killah) (2005)
“Walk With Me” (with Freeway & Busta Rhymes) (2007)

So…who you got?

Related: Check Out The Finding The GOAT Round 3 Ballots & Round 3 Results