Finding The GOAT Group: Run-D.M.C. vs. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth. 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.

In the Sweet 16, the “Down With The King” collaborators fight for survival, as only one legendary New York Hip-Hop group can still keep bidding for the crown. Run-D.M.C. has soundly defeated two 1980s peers in the previous rounds. Now, they must face a duo that was inspired by them, and later helped the Hollis, Queens trio tap into the ’90s flow and feel. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth saw their margin of victory shrink a bit at Round 2. Now, the pair with two albums, an EP, and a handful of loosies must face the Kings Of Rock (and 2009 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees) and their sprawling history. This is a major match-up that spans across decades in the Hip-Hop greatness. Make sure your voice is correctly heard by voting in the ballot below:


(defeated Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five in Round 2, 82% to 18%)
(defeated The Fat Boys in Round 1, 94% to 6%)

The original kings of Queens have been often imitated, but never duplicated in how they turned the music community on its ear when some still viewed Rap as a fad. Run-D.M.C. became top-selling acts with music that melded hard rock guitar riffs with towering vocals and street-savvy content. Run, Darryl, and Jam Master Jay gave Hip-Hop music and fashion a facelift as they took a hardcore sound to the mainstream. They accomplished several firsts as a Rap group: the first with their video “Rock Box” featured on MTV in 1983, the first Rap group on the cover of Rolling Stone, and the first with a platinum-selling LP with 1986’s Raising Hell. Through seven studio albums, Run-D.M.C. cemented their place in music history and are among the five Hip-Hop acts inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Their first two albums, the self-titled effort and King Of Rock, catapulted them into the conversation of Rap’s elite in 1983 and 1984, respectively. But their biggest hit to date “Walk This Way” revived would-be Rock legends, Aerosmith, to become one of Rap’s most important songs to date. Run-D.M.C. was an undeniable force in the marketing world with product placement tune “My Adidas.” Although JMJ was murdered in 2002, this group’s legacy burns bright. It’s like that, and that’s the way it will always be.

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth

(defeated The Pharcyde in Round 2, 60% to 40%)
(defeated Camp Lo in Round 1, 85% to 15%)

The Mount Vernon and New Rochelle duo (respectively) have earned a legendary place as soul controllers of Hip-Hop. Pete Rock held his finest productions for his group, and sometimes blessed the mic. Meanwhile, C.L. Smooth’s buttery vocal, conversational flow, and songwriting from the heart resonated perfectly right alongside the samples and drum programming. The duo’s 1992 full-length debut, Mecca And The Soul Brother, is one of Hip-Hop’s top-notch examples of MC/producer chemistry. After one more LP two years later, the group ceased album operations. However, some a la carte reunion tracks have lived up to the legacy. As reports linger that another album is coming, Pete and C.L. have long cemented an elite place in the Rap sphere.

Here Are The 16 Hip-Hop Groups Competing To Be Named The Best Of All-Time

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