Finding The GOAT Group: Dilated Peoples vs. Jurassic 5. Who Is Better?
“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no deserving band of MCs and DJs is neglected. The 2018 contest consists of seven rounds, NCAA basketball-tournament style, leading to a Top 32, then the Sweet 16 and so on, until one winner is determined. For each battle, two groups are pitted against one another with a ballot to decide which one advances to the next round. Though there will be an enormous amount of debate in comments, on social media, in barbershops and text messages, which we encourage, only votes cast in the official ballot (below) count.
In the early 2000s, the Los Angeles Underground Hip-Hop scene mushroomed. Dilated Peoples and Jurassic 5 were ’90s contemporaries, with throwback rhyme routines, in-house turntablists, and a penchant for sampling. These two collectives are oft mentioned in the same sentences, and tour together to this day. Only one act can remain on stage in this competition. Your vote may be what keeps them there.
Evidence, Rakaa Iriscience, and DJ Babu formed in the mid-’90s with a third-eye focused on carving a new lane for themselves. By the 2000s, the trio did just that, with introspective lyrics filled with adages and motifs about photography and pop culture punchlines. While Babu and Grammy-winning Evidence produce plenty in-house, the group has cohesively welcomed Alchemist, DJ Premier, Kanye West, and other producers into its creative cypher. Through five albums to the public, Dilated paved the way for three solo careers and a bond that has bubbled even before 2000’s The Platform through 2014’s Directors Of Photography, and is likely still developing its celebrated discography after more than 20 years in the lab.
Despite its name, J5 is a six-man collective featuring two turntablists/producers. With the baritone Chali 2na often the front-man with the mic, this collective played with harmonies and routines rooted in the earliest days of Hip-Hop. In the 2000s, as the underground longed for ’94 and ’88, Jurassic was recreating the vibes found in the ’70s courtesy of breakout jams “Jayou” and “Quality Control.” Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark deftly dug in the crates for dusty sounds that felt dirty in an age of crisp Neptune newness. Across four albums in seven years, J5 adjusted its stylus to eventually backspin mid-’80s styles later on, still keeping their brand of Hip-Hop fresh and forward thinking. Cut exited the group in the mid-2000s, before J5 entirely pulled the plug and went on a lengthy hiatus after Feedback. Having released new Interscope single “Customer Service” in 2016 in addition to recent touring, phone lines are currently open to the possibility of more Jurassic 5 fossilized Funk.
So who is the better Hip-Hop group? Make sure you vote above.