What up yall. As a rasslin’ fan I have always been a fan tag teams. They add an extra element to the matches, illegal moves with the ref’s back turned, tag team finishers, but most of all variety during a match. I was a big fan of the Brainbusters, the Road Warriors, The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, Strike Force, Harlem Heat (pictured), and the Killer Bees. On these teams one member is usually the muscle/enforcer type, the other is usually the more technically sound performer. This is also true in rap. A Hip Hop dup usually gives you sonic variety and a difference in views that usually mesh together to create quality music. It is in the spirit of these teams I present the top ten Hip Hop Duos.
10. Jay Z and Kanye West (The Throne) – This combination of hip hop heavyweights figured they’d put together the best of one world on a record. Jay lyrical ability coupled with all of ‘Ye’s personality and dope production made a solid record. A tad underwhelming but nothing that was out at the time was touching it.
9. EPMD – Erick and Parish Making Dollars is a legendary rap duo. They’ve always been known for handling their “business”. Erick Sermon is a legendary producer and he also had some bars, along with Hit Squad founder Parish Smith they had some joints. These two are also responsible for the careers of Redman, Keith Murray Das Efx, and K-Solo. 26 years strong.
8. Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth – The Mecca and the Soul Brother come in at number 8 on the list. Pete rock is one of the bet Hip Hop producer ever, pair his skill up with C.L.’s cool, calm bars you get great music. In my opinion this duo came up with the greatest Hip Hop song of all time, T.R.O.Y.. I’m a big fan.
7. Raekwon and Ghostface Killah – These Wu-Gambinos go together like peas and carrots (shout out to Forest and Jen-Nay). Their work together on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… was classic. They complement each other well. Rae’s smooth flow coupled with Ghost’s high pitched energetic storytelling and wild random metaphors make for classic records. Ghost is arguably the most consistent with quality albums within the Wu, Rae not so much but he does have a couple of bangers.
6. Redman and Method Man – What makes these two great as a unit, other than dope bars, is the face you can tell that they are actually homeboys. Their friendship is almost tangible. All that AND they made the classic “How High” (the record not the movie, but while I’m on the subject, where the heck is Hits from the street) and two dope albums. This duo has definitely burned *ahem* earned a place on this list.
5. Little Brother – One of my personal favorites who did end up a duo so they deserve a place on this list. There aren’t many emcees that can match bars with Phonte Coleman, and Rapper Big Pooh’s hungry bars complete the cypher. With two CLASSIC albums (The Listening and The Minstrel Show) under their belts their spot here is solidified.
4. Royce Da 5’9” and Eminem (Bad Meets Evil) – These dudes can flat out rap. No one else on this list can go bar for bar with these two as a duo. Eminem has a strong argument for top 5 dead or alive and Royce’s lyrical skill (sans all the penis references) are tough to top. Their full length album they put out proved you don’t have to dumb down lyrics to sell records, just be a little trendy on the beats and hooks and you can sell records with dumb out bars. I love that.
3. Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli (Black Star) – What can I say about the backpack flag bearers. The Black Star album that dropped in ’98 has classic joints on it as well as being a classic itself. People have been begging for a follow up album for almost 15 years. Dope by their lonesomes, this mash up of Rawkus emcees still makes for a quality record today. I hope they finally do another LP; I’ll be the first in line.
2. Mobb Deep – The Infamous… album is still in rotation til this day, I’m tryin’ to tell these young niggas crime don’t pay…I apologize. Anyway, two classic albums in, these two Queensbridge emcees had the streets on lock. They had gritty street records playing in the club and on the radio (Quiet Storm). They stood up for a whole coast when Snoop came down and crushed the buildings. Beefed with Jay, joined the G-Unit, did bids…AND came back with a dope EP (Black Cocaine). Havoc and Prodigy have made some classic music.
AND The Best Hip Hop Duo of all time is………………………………………………………………
- Outkast – Big Boi and Andre 3000 by a mile. They’ve done it all, multiple classic albums, lyrical records (see Dre’s verse on the son Aquemini), classic collabos (Skew it on the Bar B), radio bangers (Ms. Jackson, So Fresh, So Clean, Elevators) , street bangers (Players Ball, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik), up lifting records (Git Up, Git Out), discovered other dope groups/emcees (Goodie Mob), told epic stories(The Art of Storytelling), made a movie (Idlewild) and whatever category SpottieOttieDopaliscious fits in, (I love that record). I mean, who doesn’t like Outkast. Better yet, who’s f’n with Outkast? Not many, no one as far as duos go.
Well there you have it, the best duos of all times. Honorable mention goes out to Nas & AZ, Gangstarr, Eric B & Rakim, Snoop & Dre, UGK, Rob Base & DJ Easy Rock, and Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. They didn’t make the list from either, lack of an actual album, only one rapper or simply not being better than the folks that did make it. There are 15 days until Dallas Cowboys football. If you’re not down with that…Your Opinion Is Wrong. Peace