No Limit Soldiers vs. Rap-A-Lot: The Greatest Rap Crew Competition
In recognition of Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary, BET Digital, in partnership with Ambrosia For Heads, is celebrating the culture by hosting a bracket-style competition that allows you to determine Hip-Hop’s greatest crew.
Rather than having “experts” tell you who is the greatest of all-time, this is your opportunity to collectively make that decision. After giving the opportunity to any and all fans to provide feedback on which crews should be included, 32 collectives from different regions, styles, and generations have been selected—all vying for that #1 spot. When the final battle is over and the last vote is cast, you will have determined who is your Greatest Rap Crew of All Time.
After unveiling the eight crews representing the East Coast bracket on Monday (May 1), and eight crews representing the Midwest on May 2, and eight West Coast crews yesterday (May 3), the voting continues with eight from the Dirty South, which were selected with your feedback. Below, you will find the four Midwest matchups, along with instructions on how to cast your votes for the winners on BET.com and have the chance to win prizes, including two tickets to the 2023 BET Awards.
NO LIMIT SOLDIERS VS. RAP-A-LOT
Located less than 400 miles apart, two crews launched movements that solidified their two cities as among the most important in Hip-Hop, and served as further proof of Andre 3000’s exclamation that “the South has something to say.” In the 1980s, J. Prince curated a Rap-A-Lot crew that garnered critical acclaim over a 20-plus-year path of hit songs, platinum albums, and a refusal to conform. In New Orleans, Master P and his No Limit crew gave way to a meteoric rise that took talent from around Louisiana and beyond and earned them plaques, chart appearances, and industry-wide recognition. In both cases, it was far more significant than a label, as these crews moved like family, emphasizing pushing talent into the spotlight and demanding recognition. Only one of these crews can remain as the Dirty South region’s bracket slims down to four.
MAYBACH MUSIC GROUP VS. DUNGEON FAMILY
Nearly 20 years apart, two major movements started in Atlanta and Miami. In the 1990s, producers/artists Organized Noize began cultivating a crew of MCs with distinct styles, flows, and subject matters. Along with singers and poets, this collective became the Dungeon Family, who began in a basement and took their talents to the top of the charts and mainstream consciousness—from OutKast to Gnarls Barkley. Years later, Rick Ross assembled a talented team around him at Maybach Music Group. Ross chose artists who, like him, had been in the industry but were due for greater recognition. His collective would pull from around the country, including Meek Mill and Wale, and make collaborations that felt like these artists had known each other for decades. In both crews, those relationships still endure as the music continues to be made. However, MMG and DF must face off in a Round 1 matchup where only one of these great crews can go forth.
Quality Control and So So Def represent two Atlanta-based movements 20 years apart. Both crews embraced the voice and energy of the youth and developed artists to grow into stars. These squads, which include artists such as the Migos, Bow Wow, Lil Baby, Da Brat, and Jermaine Dupri provided new sounds, emphasizing collaborations and compilations and branding the crew as not just a label or roster but a lifestyle. Atlanta became—and continues to be a Black music destination because of So So Def and QC. However, as the Dirty South bracket consolidates from eight crews to four, only one hit-making outfit can remain.
Over the last 20 years, Lil Wayne and T.I. have competed and collaborated. Long before “Swagga Like Us,” both artists became dominant voices in Rap, thanks to great albums and acclaimed mixtapes with DJ Drama. While Weezy was a product of a movement years in the making with Cash Money before assembling his Young Money cohorts, T.I. curated a crew around him that was built to last. Those crews have made history together, with Travis Scott and Drake’s “Sicko Mode” being one diamond-certified example. YMCMB and Grand Hustle have weathered the storm and evolved as crews through changing trends and styles. Both brands transcend music and represent aspirational lifestyles and loyalty as they grab talent from around the continent and represent together as family. Two titans square up in this Round 1 matchup as YMCMB faces Grand Hustle.
Go to BET.com to vote on which of these crews you believe should advance to the next round, and to learn of the other Midwest crews that are battling in this round. You can also vote on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #BETGreatestRapCrew and a hashtag with your favorite crew.