Finding The GOAT Group: Cypress Hill vs. Naughty By Nature. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ annual competition 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 (which has been determined), 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 match-up, 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 count.

Two treacherous trios face off in Round 2. Both Cypress Hill and Naughty By Nature made critical introductions in 1991. Based on opposite coasts, these two squads eventually became embraced in the mainstream and built enduring careers into the late ’90s, and early 2000s—not without playing to Pop sounds at times. Both acts have in-house DJ/producers, a lyrical front-man, and two of the best assist-guys in Rap. This is an even match-up, and one that will likely stuff the ballot box. What is your pick?

Cypress Hill

(defeated Das EFX in Round 1, 80% to 20%)

South Gate, California’s Cypress Hill formed in 1988 and released their acclaimed self-titled debut in 1991. The group, eventually comprised of DJ Muggs, Sen Dog, high-pitched front-man B-Real, and later, percussionist Eric Bobo, blended a hybrid of Funk, Rock, and Hip-Hop straight out the gate, combining Beastie Boys-rooted routines with Latino attitude. Undoubtedly, Cypress Hill’s style and influence are throughout today’s music. The group’s 1993 sophomore album, Black Sunday, topped the charts, also prompting the first of three Grammy nominations. With four platinum (two multi) and one gold album under their belt, these four are kings of the Hill. The first album in nearly a decade, Elephants on Acid, is due out later this year, adding to 30 years of smoke-filled Funk.

Naughty By Nature

(defeated Digital Underground in Round 1, 69% to 31%)

The Grammy-award winning group consisting of Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ/producer Kay Gee created their indelible legacy with multiple timeless singles that transcend the Hip-Hop realm. Naughty By Nature made their calling card with a seamless blend of recognizable R&B samples, boom-bap snares, and joyful call-and-response choruses rooted in Hip-Hop’s party ethos. After years of paying their dues as Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit protégés, Naughty emerged in 1991 with their tryst advocating chart-topper “O.P.P.” They maintained their hit-making formula throughout their ’90s heyday with “Uptown Anthem,” “Hip Hop Hooray,” and “Feel Me Flow.” In the earlier portion of their seven-album catalog, Naughty counterbalanced crossover hits with Hardcore Rap sensibilities on additional hit singles “Ghetto Bastard (Everything’s Gonna Be Alright)” and “Craziest.” Plus, Treach’s signature lightning-quick vocal delivery, erudite street tales, and palatable Pop-worthy medleys were highly influential on the songwriting of Snoop Dogg, The Notorious B.I.G., Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Eminem. Although N.B.N. has paused a few times for internal conflict, 2016’s “God Is Us” is the latest evidence that this New Jersey outfit is still moving as a unit.

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So who is the better Hip-Hop group? Make sure you vote above.