Finding The GOAT (Round 5): Eminem vs. Busta Rhymes…Who You Got?

With just 11 MCs remaining we have reached the critical Round 5 in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). Now, only five match-up’s—all running this week—separate Round 5 from the final six MCs, including Round 4 bye winner Big Daddy Kane. Since the elimination, bracket-style tournament was launched in September of 2014, including more than 200 overall MCs, there have been four completed rounds, featuring contenders from all eras of Hip-Hop, including Wild Card series (with optional write-in’s). The 11 remaining MCs have been undefeated. Big Daddy Kane will skip Round 5, thanks to his largest winning margin in Round 4. In Round 5, MCs will also take on opponents outside of their era—a first in the series thus far. We are officially less than one month away from “Finding The GOAT,” as decided by you.

Two of Hip-Hop’s greatest masters of evolution are Eminem and Busta Rhymes. Collaborators, friends, and for a brief stint, label-mates, these MCs are two of Rap’s most bombastic and intricate lyricists, capable of rapid-fire assaults or slow flow think pieces. Through Bad Meets Evil, Leaders Of The New School, D12, and Flipmode Squad, these two MCs have carried their fans with them, in light times and dark, no matter the substance, pastiche, or production. Exceptional MCs, both Em’ and Bus’ are also rappers, delivering precision verses and a high level of skill to millions upon millions of fans. While Slim Shady continues to roll over competition with more than double the votes in each of his three show-downs, Busta has been able to box out some supreme contenders in his own right. Who will advance to the next round? Your vote decides. (click one to vote)

Voting For Round 5 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets



Busta Rhymes



(Fourth Round Winner, Against DMX 79% to 21%)
(Third Round Winner, Against Talib Kweli 71% to 29%)
(Second Round Winner, Against Xzibit 87% to 13%)
(First Round Bye)

Eminem may be the MC who single-handedly ended one of Hip-Hop’s laziest eras for lyrics upon his late 1990s arrival. Self-deprecating, impassioned, and wildly imaginative, Marshall Mathers came in through Rap’s screen door as an underground Hip-Hop MC running with The Outsidaz, DJ Spinna, and SKAM2?. However, it was Em’s three-ring battle performances and uncanny ability to freestyle top-quality verses that landed his tape on Dr. Dre’s desk. Once there, Slim Shady combined his hardcore Hip-Hop past with big budget videos, A-list guests, and masterful conceptual production to make him a diamond-selling icon that seemingly was the genre’s biggest superstar since 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G.

Eminem’s career touches upon all facets of Hip-Hop, from battling, to true school, to Gangsta Rap, and everything in between. Arguably, Em has the most innovative flow since the late 1980s, with the ability to rhyme fast, slow, and in between on the same track. Like a percussion instrument, Marshall’s gift of gab employs syncopation and a pinball rhyme style to complement the elaborate content. In his writing, Eminem can be brutally honest about himself and others, while also being whimsical, harshly critical of the world at large, and wildly entertaining in social commentary. He is Lenny Bruce, Mike Tyson, and Masta Ace in one modern man. With classic, cohesive albums, Academy Award-winning (and Grammy Award-winning) songs, and a style that’s the envy of all of Eminem’s Rap peers, predecessors, and pupils, how could he not be the GOAT?

The Hits, Unreleased & Features Of The Best Rapper Alive mixtape by DJ Iron Sparks.



Busta Rhymes

(Fourth Round Winner, Against Ludacris 70% to 30%)
(Third Round Winner, Against Jadakiss 65% to 35%)
(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.

Dilla-Gence by Mick Boogie, J Dilla & Busta Rhymes

So…who you got?

Related: Check Out The Finding The GOAT Round 4 Ballots & Round 4 Results