Finding the GOAT Album: Eazy-E’s Eazy-Duz-It vs. 2 Live Crew’s 2 Live Is What We Are
One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as determined by hundreds of thousands of voters. Now, “Finding The GOAT” returns to ask a new question: what is the greatest of all time Hip-Hop album?
“Finding The GOAT Album” will consider 120 albums from three individual eras (40 in each), with options for wild card and write-in candidates. You and your vote will decide which album goes forward, and which one leaves the conversation. While there will no doubt be conversation between family and friends (virtual and real), only votes cast in the voting tool below will be counted, so use the power of your click.
Although foes by the 90s, in the 80s, Eazy-E and Uncle Luke were at the forefront of launching independent movements with sex, violence, and really great Hip-Hop. Eazy-Duz-It was an access point for the would-be millions of N.W.A. fans in the flyover States, thanks to a grand showman with ear-grabbing Gangsta Rap. Meanwhile, Luke, Mr. Mixx, Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice brought a peep-show environment to Bass music. The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are introduced a sound, an attitude, and a total disregard for the notion that gratuitous sex was off-limits from Rap. Both albums were met with strong commercial acclaim, and proved to be precursors to so much of what floods the market more than 25 years later. Which is the greater album though?Click one then click vote.
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Eazy-Duz-It by Eazy-E
Perhaps the P.T. Barnum of Gangsta Rap, it took Eazy-E just over three months to follow N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton with his solo vehicle, Eazy-Duz-It. A spillover from the incredible chemistry between he and producer Dr. Dre, Eric Wright involved his band-mates in varying capacities in his statement introduction. Decades before seemingly all Hip-Hop group members strategically (i.e. immediately) stepped into solos, Eazy helped establish the archetype with a vice-driven thrill ride through Compton. As expected, the trip was filled with violence (“Nobody Move”) and lewdness (“2 Hard Muthas”), but also catchy anthems (“Eazy-er Said Than Dunn”) that the group, up until then, had avoided. N.W.A. might have waved off pop, but Eazy would embrace it.
In his group, Eazy-E—like Flavor Flav, was often a hype-man, to the excitement and distinctiveness of N.W.A. On his own, Eazy proved to be a commanding, energetic and incredibly likable MC. While Ice Cube and The D.O.C. may have penned the rhymes, as MC Ren appeared to rile up the lyrics in a few assisting roles, Eazy knew how to play to the expanding crowd. With his smooth dialect and unmistakable cadence, this debut album presented a self-assured mogul with the world at his fingertips—a South Central James Bond. Politics and sociology were seemingly set aside as compared to Straight Outta Compton, making Eazy-Duz-It the carefree capsule to crossover. This late 1988 album would be an introductory influence to Snoop Dogg and Eminem, the perfect balance of humor, character, and just enough sinister to afford the host to be taken all the way seriously.
Album Number: 1 (solo)
Released: November 22, 1988
Label: Ruthless/Priority Records
Highest Charting Position (Top 200): #32 (certified gold, February 1989; certified platinum, June 1989; certified 2 x platinum September 1992)
Song Guests: N.W.A (MC Ren, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre), MC Ren, The D.O.C.
Song Producers: Dr. Dre, DJ Yella
The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are by 2 Live Crew
In the film Boogie Nights, pornographic film director Jack Horner (played by Burt Reynolds) aimed to keep people in the theater seats after they pleasured themselves. In the medium of audio, Luke Skyywalker and 2 Live Crew achieved this goal from the onslaught. Bringing Miami Bass-Booty music to the mainstream, the South Florida promoter and his Los Angeles, California cohorts brought XXX to Rap. 1986’s The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are pulled no punches on hits like “We Want Some Pussy” and “Throw The ‘D’,” but after the blushes and shock value wore off, it was stellar music to listen to. If porno movies could have plots, they would have played out like this.
Eight songs in length, 2.L.C.’s introduction brought the high-energy excitement of the strip state to wax. Original group founder Mr. Mixx proved to be a visionary DJ, taking old favorites and reworking them into booming records that got bodies in motion. For people thousands of miles from the beach, they could feel the lusty, carefree living of spring break. Before N.W.A., Ice-T, and the Geto Boys began to pipe porn themes into their music, 2 Live Crew zoned Rap’s original Red Light District. The group borrowed from early Rap-savvy comedians Blowfly and Rudy Ray Moore, and made something “fresh for the ’80s—for all the (admitted) ‘suckers’ out there.”
Album Number: 1
Released: July 25, 1986
Label: Luke Skyywalker/Atlantic Records
Highest Charting Position (Top 200): #128 (certified gold, May 1988)
Song Guests: N/A
Song Producers: (self)
So what’s the better album? Make sure you vote above.