Finding the GOAT: Here Are Your Top 10 MCs + 1

The polls have closed and, after a fiercely competitive and unpredictable Round 4, 10 MCs advance to Round 5 (along with Rakim who had a bye), making a grand total of 11 rappers remaining in the quest to name Hip-Hop’s greatest MC, as determined by you.

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Since Round 1 began in September, more than 200 MCs have been considered and millions of Hip-Hop fans have weighed in on who should advance through the rounds. Round 4, unlike Round 3, was not filled with close competitions. Instead, this round—in almost all cases, separated the regularly-championed GOATs from some artists who now have made strong cases for why they too, belong.

Entering Round 5, Rakim—the bye who was immune to competition is back in action. Interestingly, to fans of one of Hip-Hop’s most popular GOAT debates, Big Daddy Kane is the MC who is able to enjoy a bye immunity in the next Round, thanks to his crushing defeat of EPMD’s Erick Sermon. Kane and Rakim, rivals in the ’80s and early ’90s, are two of the culture’s biggest contenders. Notably, Eminem was breathing down Kane’s neck in his rough-housing of DMX, losing the bye by a mere 2% margin.

The one race that was down to the wire, is one of the closest—and arguably the most important battle in the “Finding The GOAT” series thus far. The Notorious B.I.G. defeated Andre 3000 by less than 1%. In fact, Biggie Smalls beat out the Outkast lyricist by a margin of just 20 votes—amidst thousands, showing just how narrow a margin can be.

Also an important sticking point, Redman did in fact defeat LL Cool J. This particular round eliminates the very MC most closely associated with the term “G.O.A.T.” (albeit thanks in large part to his own campaign). Red’, who has seven less years making albums, and considerably less sales, hit singles, and #1 albums, certainly appeared to be the upset in this “Def Jam vendetta” of sorts between the two collaborators and friends. The margin certainly narrowed in the closing hours of the ballot, down several percent to less than 20%.

Things will change significantly in Round 5. Previously, MCs battled in separate brackets, based on the timeframe in which they rose to prominence. There will be no more separation in Round 5. Each MC will stand on his own, regardless of era. At the end of the round, there will be 6 MCs remaining, with 2 rounds to go in the march to declare one MC the greatest of all-time. And, before it all concludes, we will have some surprises in store for you.

Here is a rundown of the final results, who’s moving on, and who’s eliminated:

The Notorious B.I.G. over Andre 3000 (50.3% to 49.7%)

KRS-One over Guru (71% to 29%)

Eminem over DMX (80% to 20%)

Big Daddy Kane over Erick Sermon (82% to 18%)

Kendrick Lamar over Big K.R.I.T. (67% to 33%)

Tupac over Scarface (72% to 28%)

Mos Def over DOOM (58% to 42%)

Redman over LL Cool J (59% to 41%)

Busta Rhymes Over Ludacris (70% to 30%)

Nas over Black Thought (75% to 25%)

Related: Here’s a Recap of the “Finding the GOAT ” Competition and a Detailed Explanation of How the MCs Were Selected