Finding The GOAT Group: Run The Jewels vs. Boogie Down Productions. 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.
Ruling in different decades, Boogie Down Productions and Run The Jewels both stand for aggressive, substance-filled Hip-Hop. The sounds are menacing, as is the stage show—and the affair tends to be an in-house party, with a few key guests. R.T.J.’s inspiration can easily be traced to B.D.P. (who has two more LPs to its catalog). However, while the latter refocused into KRS-One’s solo career, the Jewels formed after lengthy runs from El-P and Killer Mike. The vote is yours in deciding which hardcore Hip-Hop collective makes it to the Sweet 16.
Run The Jewels
(defeated Slaugherhouse in Round 1, 74% to 26%)
The Atlanta, Georgia to Brooklyn, New York connection of Killer Mike and El-P formed in 2013. They subsequently released three albums, all self-titled and numbered, that have been cult heralded. Each achieved more chart success than the last. Within this discography (often available for free), Run The Jewels mixes social commentary into thumping futuristic beats from El. Friends from the MC/producer’s Def Jux days and Killer Mike’s Southern cohorts often make appearances on releases that can be unpredictable, especially with top-notch music videos. R.T.J. have become branding experts, complete with a logo, whimsical side projects, merchandising, and festival runs that have made the pair an elite 2010s Hip-Hop act, out-sizing their solo footprints. Fresh off of two world tours (one with Lorde), Run The Jewels plans to keep snatching the spotlight, and the ears and hearts of Rap fans.
Boogie Down Productions
(defeated Ultramagnetic MC’s in Round 1, 81% to 19%)
During its five-year run, Boogie Down Productions moved like a battalion with acclaimed albums releasing every consecutive year. Lawrence “KRS-One” Parker was at the helm of this brigade, always paying tribute to fallen general, DJ Scott “La Rock” Sterling. Together, they released a lone album, 1987’s Criminal Minded. Following the untimely death of Scott, the group upped their ante with more politically-charged content that played a huge role in the Conscious Rap movement. B.D.P. expanded to include D-Nice, DJ Kenny Parker, and the late Ms. Melodie, and a possé of affiliates. Through to the crew’s grand finale, Sex And Violence, each album encompassed KRS-One’s status as “The Teacher” layered by his philosophical wit, humanist lessons, and cocksure Battle Rap prowess. B.D.P. group has three gold albums in its catalog with intelligent (in many cases, self-produced) samplings of Funk, Rock, Blues, and Reggae mixed with hammering snare drums beats that laid the groundwork for Underground Rap’s definitive ’90s sound.
So who is the better Hip-Hop group? Make sure you vote above.