The good people at Dead End Hip-Hop brought another great debate to my attention. Before I give my list of the best I want to give the requirements for the best Hip-Hop group. In a group it is important that the artists don’t sound drastically different or too similar, they have to compliment each other. Longevity is key for anyone to be considered the best and that is definitely a requirement on my list. Impact is key also because as artists, especially hip-hop artists it important to standout and bring something new to the artform because the genre is still very young.
Some of my favorite hip-hop groups that will not make my list are: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Mobb Deep, De La Soul, The Pharcyde, UGK, Hieroglyphics, Souls of Mischief, Slum Village, and Little Brother.
There are also a few groups I left off because the group only consisted of one MC like: GangStarr, The Roots, and Public Enemy
MY TOP 5 HIP-HOP GROUPS OF ALL-TIME
1) The fact that I grew up on OutKast I would definitely say they were my favorite group and I give them a slight edge over the Wu-Tang Clan because they have released 6 almost flawless albums as a group. OutKast was the first mainstream Hip-Hop group to come from the south and they separated themselves from the stereotypes that all southern-rap acts lack lyricism. Aquemini is probably one of my 10 favorite Hip-Hop albums.
2) The Wu-Tang Clan is often considered a “crew” more than a “group” but I disagree, when they released Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) they were a group and then decided to build on their solo careers. Everything about the Wu-Tang Clan says legendary. As a group they have released 2 great albums, one being their debut album, and their follow up album Wu-Tang Forever.
3) A Tribe Called Quest with their smooth, mellow sound truly brought a new flavor to Hip-Hop. Their use of jazz instruments in their production really emphasized their smooth sound. Although A Tribe Called Quest has not made an album together in 14 years their release of 5 albums in 8 years was impressive and definitely solidified their place on this list. Not to mention the group consisted of one of the greatest MC/producers ever: Q-Tip.
4) There is no denying the impact that the Beastie Boys have had on Hip-Hop. The Beastie Boys touched a demographic that in their era had yet to be touched and to touch such a demographic while also being the first white act in Hip-Hop was just groundbreaking. No Hip-Hop group has had the longevity that the Beastie Boys have had by releasing their debut album Licensed To Ill in 1986 and releasing their eight album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two in .
5) It is virtually impossible to leave the group who made the West Coast relevant in Hip-Hop and basically invented gangster-rap off of this list. By only releasing 2 albums N.W.A does not fulfill my requirement of longevity but what they stood for and they’re innovative talents will not allow me to disqualify them. Straight Outta Compton was the album that allowed Hip-Hop to grow into what it is today with it’s rebellious nature.