Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Combat Jack vs. Unkut: EPMD > M.O.P. Pt. 1

It's been several days, sorry I kept ya'll. Don't know if its how I claimed it the other day but June has really been hectic, on the productive tip though. Getting that outdoors, away from the computers and firewalled from the Matrix, face to face Spring time. Face to face with some of my fellow internets fam even, the cats that stay plugged in to plug you in 24/7. Took some time off to see whats happening in the real world, and with real life flesh and blood people. Whaddup Maya? The one dude that I should'a connected with but stays mad elusive is the homie Benhameen of Please Don't Stare fame. That knicca stay keeping it busy, and moving too. That's cool though, we'll catch up soon enough, especially since me, him and my dude and official leader of the Internets Celebrity movement, Dallas Penn have been talking recently about joining forces to throw an Internets picnic possibly next month, possibly here in Brooklyn. It's a movement for real. DP, Ben, I had to put it out there.

Then I'm running a Lyor Cohen piece with me and the original T.I. spitting out "fuck you's" to each other and with no smiles, just straight ice grills and what not through my head, letting that one marinate just a while longer. Working on the new Daily-Math.com site too, with the help of my younger brother Blackneck. Blackneck is crazy nice with his tech IT skills. Nice with the keyboard too. Peep his work over at Barack's Alter Ego. No nepotism. Anyways, I'm pimping my blog game up, just a bit. CJ can get wavy too. Peace to Max B.

But I'm straight lying when I'm talking that being cut off from the Internets speak. Twitter's been keeping a Black man plugged in and present like a muh fucker. Straight around the clock like a crackhead in the summer streets plugged in. If you're not yet jacked into the Twitter-verse, shame on you. You need to just grab two silk scarves and go David Carradine yerself, but with your socks on. [||].R.I.P. to Kwai Chang Caine.

So a coupla days ago, I'm processing all the brain candy that Twitter has to offer and I see a tweet from fam Robbie of Unkut. If you don't know, Robbie is that white from Australia who's a grand master historian with this Hip Hop thing. Dude stays uncovering rare historical data about cats and the movement from way way back. Kills it with his interview game too. If you haven't done so yet, do yourself a favor and visit Unkut for straight edutainment.

So in this one Tweet, Robbie's let's fly how "M.O.P. are rap's greatest duo....yeah I said it." I check him to see if he meant that M.O.P. are rap's greatest duo...only after the great EPMD. Only because I assumed it was common knowledge to anyone down with this rap jazz thing that EPMD was only Hip Hop's greatest duo ever, especially a knowlegeable guy like Robbie. I really thought dude was joking, and that I was somehow not in on the joke. Robbie then hits me with how he's all serious and how EPMD fell off on the fuckery tip and I'm like whoah, dude really believes that shit. Then this dude Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur chimes in and co-signs Robbie faulty claim. I never personally met Chuck other than through Twitter and he seems like a pretty smart and witty fellow, at least from what I pick up from his Tweet drops. Word on the streets even, is that he's the guy that created some big time fancy web-site a few years ago called All Hip Hop. You might of heard of it.

Not wanting to get into a rant about the error of their ways, I offered Robbie the opportunity for him to validate his claim over on his site, like there's some possible way he could, while I would continue to do what I do here when I drop that science. Plus I saw this as me doing the community service thing by letting Robbie know that on this one, he had to pump his breaks. No shots to my white, but ya'll know how ya'll do when ya'll become way too knowledgeable on that cultural shit, eff around and start rewriting things, next thing you know, it'll be common knowledge that Eminem discovered Hip Hop.

So for the next few paragraphs, please allow me to break down in nothing less than cold hard fact, how EPMD is not only greater than M.O.P. as a hip hop musical duo, but remain to this day, the greatest Hip Hop Duo Of All Time.

For simplicity's sake, ignore the fact that RUN-DMC ever existed.

In my opinion and to my knowledge, the greatest Hip Hop duo currently in existence, with no doubt, is M.O.P. Comprised of members Billy Danze and Lil' Fame and properly repping the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, the "Mash Out Posse" have been masters of that underground hardcore bang sound since 1993 when they dropped their first single "How About Some Hardcore?" The song struck a nerve amongst the rap fans that were fiending for that gritty classic New York boom bap sound. Did you know that the video for "How About Some Hardcore?" was directed by then unknown video director Hype Williams?

16 years in the game, M.O.P. have been in it and fighting tooth and nail to gain the reputation of being the true kings of gully NY that they so much deserve. Endorsed by several of the genre's legends, including DJ Premier and Jay-Z, the closest the group came to receiving both critical and commercial success was with their 2000 release of "Warriorz", a classic cd containing two of their biggest hits "Ante Up" and "Cold As Ice", two joints that banged hard in the gulliest of clubs near you as well as receiving radio airplay. M.O.P. does hold the title in having recorded the hardest rap song ever made. It's been proven by the World's Council of Scientists that "Ante Up" is the hardest song known to man. Really. Heh.

Signed to Loud Records/Sony/Columbia when 'Warriorz' dropped and poised to blow, M.O.P. got caught up in office politics when the label unexpectedly folded, instantly killing all chances of further marketing and maximizing in the capitalization of such a classic of an album. Stranded and left without a home, M.O.P. was soon signed to Roc-a-fella Records, then helmed by Jay-Z and Damon Dash. The group continued to show how much of a winning streak they weren't on when Roc-a-fella Records founding partners split, leaving a huge question mark over the future of M.O.P. as recording artists.

Right after the Roc-a-fella split, things looked kinda bright for M.O.P. when they were signed to 50 Cent's new G-Unit label, along-side Mobb Deep. 50 wasn't playing with M.O.P. either, had them knicca's in the gym doing straight push-ups and calisthenics and what not. That must have been an effin sight to see. But for some reason, the union wouldn't last and the group left the label last year citing "creative differences". They managed to keep the internets buzzing recently, behind the fact that they've been steady working on their new album "Foundation" which is scheduled for commercial release later this year on E1 Records, formerly known as Koch Records. "Foundation" promises to feature joints produced by DJ Premier, Alchemist, Statik Selektak and Jake One. Expect some guest appearances from Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss and Heltah Skeltah. Little known fact, did you know that their second album "Firing Squad" held the title of being the most stolen cd from the HMV music stores in New York City back in 1998? That's really true. And really another example of how gully this group is.

I so want M.O.P. to win. Ever since "Warriorz", I've been praying to the rap gods to bless them dudes with rap star fortune. I've always seen M.O.P. as having the potential of becoming rap's next Run-DMC. They are the ZZ Top of Hip Hop. All they ever needed was for someone like a Rick Rubin to get behind them creatively and marketing wise, give them the right touch to their sound, produce the right videos that would edge them into being recognized by the masses as being the true rock stars that they are. Hopefully they'll be able to pull it off with their next album. Trust when I say I'm keeping my fingers crossed for their win. Not only do they have songs for days, but will murk it dead and bloody with their lives shows. Seasoned veterans that they are, no one is doing that straight up scrunch your face up music as I'm punching your man dead in his face for scuffing my kicks in the mosh pit. Word to Brianna Latrise. They remain the greatest rap duo out today.

But they ain't EPMD. Can't even hold a candle to them cats. And that's no way a shot fired. Just is, like how water is wet.

: Incontrovertible proof of EPMD being the Greatest Hip Hop Duo Of All Time

Robbie must be smoking that meth, which I hear is all the rage down in Australia these days. You can peep his argument for M.O.P. here.

UPDATE: That dude , Chuck Creekmur that I mentioned hit me with the tweet: "For the record I never said M.O.P. > EPMD." I stand corrected.


  1. Welcome back CJ! (I was getting bored of that overrated Jiggerman track.)

    In my humble opinion...

    EPMD runs ramshod over MOP!!!

    (also as far as rap duos go *ahem* OutKast)

    I look forward to your defense of LI's finest EPMD.

  2. Another classic.

    This is my favorite hip hop blog.

    Keep doing you combat jack; keep doing that damn thang!

  3. looking forward for the defense but that shouldn't even be a contest. EPMD and their influence, from Strictly Business sampling all those funk tunes, to the rhyming, comedy and wit involved...ain't no match really!

  4. Yea, cats sleep on EPMD; they had the rap game on lock in the early 90's.

    Matter of fact, they were so dope that Erick and Parrish Making Dollars split into the Hit Squad and the Def Squad and both teams stayed straight banging out hits.

  5. I'm with you so far, CJ, and I love M.O.P. like a vital organ (ll). I think they're underrated artistically too, not JUST the gulliest but more subtle sometimes as well: fucking shit up is their greatest strength but not their only one.

    I know heads had A LOT of hate for Mobb Deep on G-Unit but I for one was disappointed that didn't work out for 'em (even if it means they'd likely be in Interscope contract hell now).

    The (bootleg?) album that came out as "Ghetto Warfare" is pretty damn good. I don't know how closely it matches what the Rocafella version would have been but Jay is on it (no production credits in the booklet, however.)


    It's difficult top the first four EPMD cuz they came first AND-- if you give 'em credit for the production end, including BK's second greatest duo, Das Efx-- might be impossible, even though I want to put BK on top.

  6. I didn't even have time to read this but didn't need to. Put simply, Robbie is wrong....

  7. The ever elusive benhameen is leaving comments! EPMD > MOP.

    now that being said

    Outkast > EPMD

  8. I'd put EPMD, AND Outkast, AND Mobb over M.O.P. and if you were to count Run-DMC (although they're technically a trio with JMJ) they'd be over M.O.P. as well. The Mash Out Posse's OK in my book, but best ever? Nnnnnah.

  9. Imfamous Mobb Deep wins, with Mash Out coming 2nd, and I know I'm partial to Jerz, but I have yet to see a duo CONSISTENTLY bring crowds into frenzy like Treach and Vinnie and that makes them 3rd. Maybe Red and Mef, but do they even count if they've had previous dolo success?

    And if the Internets are having a picnic? I'm flying in from the Chi for that one, B!

  10. Outkast is the greates duo ever...so this argument is pointless...I swear New York niggas and so-called hiphop heads be so dismissive of the south

  11. MOP...rep and respect

    EPMD...rep, respect AND a library.

    Brothers From Brentwood Long Island, win.

    "massive meltdown, bring the red tape"

  12. I'm gonna have to go with Robbie on this one, MOP stays mad consistent with the gulliness. Erick And Parrish been shakey at times.

  13. Yo CJ, I did a breakdown of the top 5 duo's of all time back in November of 2008. It's a good list, all points well defended, and overall a pretty solid read.

    You should definitely give it a read!


  14. OOOh....This is a hot little "event" you set up w/unkut, btw. 2 drops each, winner take all...nice. But...IMHO, his first is better than yours...no hate, cuz I mos def read you on the reg, just saying your second jawn gotta really BODY the whole argument, son.

  15. Outkast. Period.

  16. Red & Meth > OutKast > EPMD

    and thats the truth Ruth

  17. LOL that Chuck Creekmur was already dodging the bullet.

    Stand up Chuck. Get dirty with this rap shit!

  18. Mobb Deep made two of the twenty or so greatest rap albums ever and has one of the three best unreleased catalog of all time (them, Nas, Ghost). So I think you can definitely argue them vs. EPMD. They're better than M.O.P. easily.

  19. CJ
    I have to agree with you on this one. While I am an MOP fan to the fullest (been down since the hill that's real) EMPD has 4 count then 4 classic albums. (IMO the best being Business as Usual which contains the first apperance from Redman and a smokin verse from LL)MOP while their catalog is good and often overlooked they have no one album you can say is a classic.
    Since Business Never Personal and the fall out from EPMD breaking up Erick and Parrish haven't been the same. Since then they each have had up and down career paths, and since they've gotten back together there none of the chemistry they once shared. It's true that once something is broken it can't be fixed.

    I'm interested to see what each of your arguments will be.

  20. As a cat who was doing his thing on the rhyme tip when EPMD first stepped up, i didn't feel them. But they kept coming with hits like a Mexican fighter. Besides LL there one of the only groups to stretch their 15 minutes into a 15+ year career. Besides that, no other artist has brought bonafide stars into the game.

    Das EFX

    Keith Murray



    Eric Sermon could even make a argument as a Top 5 producer. M O P are in a class by themselves, but not even close next to EPMD. IMHO

  21. im a huge fan of ur blog and i know u contributed a lot to rap music BUT if MOP isn't better than EPMD than at least their albums albums are. i know Eric who is part of the group produced their albums so even if u put the fact that most of mop's production came from other people, their abums are still superior. just my opinion... ur kind of a rap legend in ur own right, mr. jack

  22. Both great, but Rae and Ghost, Outkast, Run DMC, and De La are better as duos.

    And had Cube and D.O.C. ever been a group? Game over.

    I also prefer Monch and Po to EPMD and MOP, but I can see longevity working aginst OK, which is why Mobb Deep doesn't work for me.

  23. I was gonna say outkast but if a duo means 2 guys who are responsible for the entire direction of their group, production wise and rhyming, it has to be mobb deep. In their ptime, they were the only ones who could conceivably go into a studio alone and make a classic without outside porduction. I can't say that about outkast or M.O.P (fame can make a beat but he can't make a classic like havoc can,same for 3 stacks). EPMD are the only other two (in this discussion)that fit the description of a real duo in that sense. yes they had scratch but in their prime, they could do it alone. THAT's a duo.if your not responsible for the music accompaniment, how is that a duo?
    De la is a trio, tribe is a trio, Run-DMC was a trio and if i'm not mistaken, the dungeon family is the pseudo third member of outkast because they ALWAYS handle the music so sorry, it's mobb.

  24. and uhh, gangstarr is technically a duo too. just saying......

  25. And for the record... Business As Usual trumps ANY M.O.P. album.

  26. Rae and Ghost (if considered a duo) take the cake based off Cuban Linx and Ironman alone.

  27. Otherwise, as a whole catalogue Mobb Deep> EPMD

  28. That series of "M.O.P strollin through Brownsville" huntin bootlegggers etc. is fucking great footage check part 4 in particular for straight up hardbody ign'ance

  29. That's quite a comparison. I grew up with listening to both, but find myself having to go further back in EPMD's catalogue for my favourite joints. I got hold of the entire M.O.P discography after hearing Fame tear down 'Blood Sport' on Jay Stay Paid and I'd forgotten how much I liked Warriorz - Fizzy Womack and Berkowitz recording a song called 'Calm Down' is ironic, to say the least - and 'Put It In The Air' w/ Jay off 'Ghetto Warfare' was dumb hard. However without EPMD there is no Redman, Keith Murray, Das EFX or K-Solo....

  30. I used to love EPMD, but how about Organized Konfusion?

  31. Def looking forward to your defense, CJ, but IMO its no contest. If you had any surface level involvement with this music we all love from '88-'94, EPMD was hard to miss. This argument/debate shouldn't include references to respective family trees, although EPMD's is ridiculous, its simply about how you feel when you hear those bangers from each group. How about some Hardcore & Ante Up are dumb hard songs...everybody I know wanted to smack the ish outta anybody w/i 100 yards when they dropped, while Get off the Bandwagon does the same in a calmer way, if that makes sense. But in reality, Shook Ones might be the hardest song ever. Mobb sons MOP on their first 3 albums easily. Bottom line, the only duo that can match EPMD in influence is Outkast & I think they're dope, but as a 40yo man, I gotta go w/what shaped me when I was growing up in hip hop & that's EPMD....maybe that's why Rakim is still my GOAT!

  32. Mobb Deep "Drop A Gem On 'Em" >>> ALL Outkast.

    Tho' I know that's a ridiculous comparison, the evil genius of Mobb Deep at their best deserve more props than it gets; Prodigy is still interesting too, tho' Havoc's solo albums should have been instrumentals.

    The comments are interesting from an anthropological perspective in that we aren't seeing any Southern reps besides Outkast: UGK are an interesting parallel to MOP, actually, even if it's not a style I personally enjoy a lot; likewise Eightball & MJG.

  33. i have 2 go with what benhameen & Detroit P...
    Outkast are the best hiphop dou EVER no doubt...
    and after them 2 we got EPMD but MOP man i got alot of dou going before the do on the list. just 2 name a few Mobb Deep, Gangstarr & Das Efx.

  34. Good work as always bro.
    As for the debate,I don't even have to wait for your 2nd shot to know.Robbie bodies himself by not giving enough MUSICAL reasons why M.O.P is better.He's gotta resort to taking points away from E & P because of the BREAKUP? Because they had beef for a while with each other while Danz & Fame never did?FOH!!!!What does that have to do with the MUSIC?
    "Absolutely nothing" (c) WAR
    The MUSIC is the only thing that matters and when it comes to that this is no contest,EPMD hands down.
    ...& for the record I love M.O.P. and hate these types of debates.

  35. Co-sign DJ Dan Speak.....w/the lone exception of LOVING these types of debates! It's all subjective anyway, but I just like to hear cats (and chicks) pontificate and provide material (i.e. musical) evidence to support their claim.....MORE PLEASE!!!

  36. epmd over mop most definitely... something tells me robbie mite be a little younger... still tho entitled to his opinion but you cant even touch epmds first 4 albums...

  37. and i would have to go w/ outkast over ugk for dirty south duo lol...

  38. GANG STARR are ** NOT ** a duo in the sense of this discussion.

    BLACK STAR have one (overrated) album (admit it, nobody wants to LISTEN to Talib even if we like, usually, what he has to say), they're waaaaaaay behind Heltah Skeltah too.

  39. EMPD>GangStarr>OutKast>Eric B. & Rakim> Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo>M.O.P>Mobb Deep>Organized Konfuzion>Blackalicious>The Beatnuts>UGK>8Ball & MJG>Das Efx>Pete Rock & CL Smooth (2 LP's & and EP)>>>>>>BlackStar (1 Classic LP that was an extended EP rushed out by Rawkus to take advantage of their popularity...you can clearly hear the filler tracks on that album).

    Anybody else want a limp? © Reggie Hammond


  40. Outkast has handled the majority if not ALL of their production since the SECOND album. That means ATLIENS (classic) and Aquemini (classic) were entirely written and produced by the 2 dope boyz.
    Outkast = GOAT
    NYC bias notwithstanding.

  41. Dmitry aka brooklyn jewJune 13, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    GANGSTARR PERIOD honestly all of da gangstarr albums r classics including the ownerz der last joint, premo actually is one of da reasosns for MOP’s success just think about it. EPMD is nice i love der first 4 albums, der classics and der last we mean business isnt bad

  42. EMPD no Doubt, would MOP still be as banging with Premier?

  43. Everybody claiming Outkast as the greatest duo to EVER do it please take their Birkenstock wearing, coffee shop sippin' asses the fuck out of Hip-Hop...NOW!

    That said, the argument can be made for MOP, EPMD, UGK, Eightball & MJG as well as a few others...this will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

  44. EPMD wins this one. No offense to MOP. A quality team themselves.
    I would even argue that EPMD recorded the best hip-hop song of all time. Or two of the top 5, at least. Who know which ones I'm talking about.

    I wouldn't touch EPMD vs. Outkast argument. Need a few more years to give it the proper perspective.

  45. Seriously.. Gang Starr is the best duo in hip hop.. period

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. "favorite rap group in the world is EPMD...."

    -phife on steve biko(stir it up)