Are you excited yet about Round One of Bracket Madness featuring your favorite emcees of the Yo! MTV Raps era? In this corner, we have the pioneers of this rap thing: Chuck D vs. KRS-One. With their well respected contributions to hip-hop its kind of hard to choose between the two. Both bred in the ghettos of New York in the 60s and 70s, their lyrics reflected the awareness of the world they saw around them. But one would be highly mistaken if they attributed the consciousness in their rhymes for weakness. Each one of their flows are undeniably raw. So who do you vote for? Here’s three reasons to vote for either one.
1. Two words: Public Enemy.
Dude was a member of Public Enemy. Need we say more? A rap group like that doesn’t come around twice in a lifetime. “Public Enemy #1″ was a classic track from their debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987. From 1988-1991, the dynamic group released three platinum albums. The same group gifted the world with “Fight the Power.” This song is better than some cats’ entire catalog. I’m just sayin’. Public Enemy went on to sell four million albums throughout their career. Plus, anyone that could put up with the clock rocking Flavor Flav, has to be one hell of a guy.
2. Distinctive sound.
No one in hip-hop has a voice like Chuck. It’s so distinctive it couldn’t even be duplicated. He raps, you listen. From the flow to the tone to the speed, Chuck D has a full command of his sound.
3. Who’s Gon’ Check Me Boo?
Chuck D says what the hell he wants. Going at Jay-Z or Kanye without consequence is not likely. But Chuck D it, and without any qualms. In a short video he makes it clear he isn’t dissing two of the biggest rappers in the game. However, he wants their music to reflect a little more reality and a lot less braggadocio. “Otis Redding was a humble country man from Macon, Georgia who bought a jet to work in, not flash,” said Chuck D. There you have it.
1. King of battle rapping.
This guy has to be one of the best battle rappers in the game. KRS-One and his Boogie Down Productions crew had a vengeance in “The Bridge is Over.” The diss record against MC Shan is said to be the first record where rappers battled each other personally. By a majority vote, he owned that battle. That wouldn’t be his last battle. Growing older didn’t change the godfather of hip-hop. He will still come for you if he even thinks you referenced him negatively. In 2003, he crushed Nelly in “Ova Here.” Poor guy. (Nelly, I mean.) KRS annihilated him and closed the track with “Even St. Louis don’t like you.” You don’t want it with KRS-One.
2. He’s influenced an entire generation.
KRS-One was at the head of the hardcore gangster rap movement. His debut album Criminal Minded (1987) shows KRS-One and Sterling with a heap of weapons. KRS-One opened the door for the East Coast to talk about street life. He has influenced everyone from Biggie to Wylcef Jean to Q-Tip.
3. A master on the mic.
KRS-One spits lyrics like this: “Too sick to get with it/admit you bit/your style is counterfeit./Now tone it down a bit/My title you will never get, I’m too intelligent/I’ll send your family my sentiments, my style is toxic / When I rock and shock and hip hop it unlock your head, I knock it/It split quick from the lyric/Direct hit, perfect fit, you can’t get with it.” No wonder the guy’s a legend.
Now you be the judge of who it’s going to be. Voting ends tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. Get your vote on!
[Photo: Getty Images]