Finding The GOAT: Who Is the Greatest MC Of All-Time & Why Do We Care? (Video)

Chances are, if you are a Hip-Hop fan, at some point in your life, you’ve been embroiled in a conversation about who is Hip-Hop’s Greatest Of All-Time (GOAT) MC. Whether it was in a lunch room, on a school bus, in a barber shop or in a board room, there are few exchanges more spirited, engaging and polarizing. It is one of the culture’s most timeless debates…But why?

In September of 2014, Ambrosia For Heads launched its “Finding The GOAT” competition in order to host the great debate, literally among millions of passionate Hip-Hop fans. If the question was ever to be answered, what better way than to do so with as many Heads as possible weighing in? And, as has always been the case, we suspected the conversation, while at times heated, would ultimately lead to the type of exchange that builds respect and brings us closer together.

Nine months later, however, what started off as a way to spark a dialogue and have some fun, has morphed into something different. The discourse has taken place, for sure, but, for us at least, this contest has taken on a deeper meaning. In addition to providing another reason for old friends (and new ones) to connect about the culture they love, this has become an opportunity to celebrate over 200 MCs who, one verse at a time, have impacted each and every one of our lives. Whether it was from witty punchlines, relatable stories or the seeds of revolution, these men and women have left a mark with their words, and far too often we wait until they are gone to say “Thank You.”

In many ways, this was our Act Too–our opportunity to revisit songs we had not heard in years and reflect on the greatness that graces our ear waves each and every day. We also had the good fortune of learning a tremendous amount along the way.

Near the end of the competition, we decided to capture some of those lessons in visual form and it’s resulted in a 4-part mini-documentary. The film is not so much a recap of what’s happened in the GOAT competition, as it is an examination of some of the themes that arose within it. Part 1, which premieres today, is a look at the concept of the GOAT itself and why it is so deeply-rooted in Hip-Hop culture. Part 2 examines the role of nostalgia and how it may or may not color our judgement of past and present artists. Part 3 casts a scrutinizing eye on Hip-Hop’s ever complicated relationship with women MCs. Lastly, Part 4 explores those oft unheralded GOATs who never seemingly are mentioned on most Heads’ “Top Five” lists, but who most certainly deserve to be.

As we wind down the competition over the next few days, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank YOU. This series would not be what it has become without you. Here’s Part 1, The Question.

Related: Finding The GOAT: What We’ve Learned So Far & Why No MC is Safe