Monday, February 11, 2008

Dart's Top 50 G.O.A.T. Hip Hop Groups List (As Of February 11th, 2008)

Here I go again. This time I decided to make a list compiling the Top 50 all time greatest Hip Hop duos and groups. I had to take several factors into consideration while making this list including overall influence on the history of Hip Hop, longevity, lyrical skill, innovation, strength of overall discography or songs made over career span, production (provided they did any or made any classic songs for other acts), guest appearances made by group members and finally random intangibles that make a particular Hip Hop group noteworthy or memorable during their individual eras.

I also had to weigh the individual groups versus the other acts that existed during their active eras. If they were elite squads during either of the two Golden Eras (1986-1989 or 1992-1996) then chances are greater that they ended up in this list somewhere. Some groups didn't make the list because they weren't around long enough they just fell short of making the cut. Here are the All Time Top 3 (in my opinion) followed by the rest of the list below:

1. Wu Tang Clan

2. A Tribe Called Quest


4. Public Enemy
5. Run DMC
6. GangStarr
7. N.W.A
8. De La Soul
9. The Roots
10. OutKast
11. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
12. Cold Crush Brothers
13. Treacherous Three
14. Eric B. & Rakim
15. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
16. Ultramagnetic MC’s
17. Mobb Deep
18. Geto Boys
19. Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo
20. Stetsasonic
21. Funky Four Plus One
22. Boogie Down Productions/Afrika Bambataa & The Soul Sonic Force (tie)
23. Whodini
24. The Fugees
25. Organized Konfusion
26. Brand Nubian
27. Naughty By Nature
28. Das EFX
29. The Fat Boys
30. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
31. Heavy D & The Boyz
32. The Fantastic Five
33. Bone Thugs N’ Harmony
34. The Beatnuts
35. Souls Of Mischief
36. Poor Righteous Teachers
37. Black Moon 
38. The Alkaholiks
39. M.O.P.
40. The Pharcyde/The Beastie Boys (tie)
41. Nice & Smooth/The Jungle Brothers (tie)
42. Freestyle Fellowship
43. Camp Lo
44. Digital Underground/8 Ball & MJG (tie)
45. Kid N’ Play/3rd Bass (tie)
46. Digable Planets/Three 6 Mafia (tie)
47. Onyx/Leaders Of The New School (tie)
48. Company Flow
49. Slum Village
50. Artifacts

Got beef? Then bring it to the market known as the comment box. I'll back up why I put who were (or completely omitted them altogether) there. Next week: Dart's Top 50 G.O.A.T. Hip Hop Producers List. This one will be a nightmare to compile and then order.



Travis said...

Only one I'd beef with too much is Das EFX...I like them, but only three albums are worth a damn and I think the Beatnuts technically are above them in all shape and form...but that's what lists are good for, debate.

Dart Adams said...

Das EFX were singlehandedly responsible for bringing the whole underground concept to the mainstream. They kept EPMD's entire Hit Squad/Shuma Management empire afloat with their sales and drawing power and their influence was HUGE during the 2nd Golden Era of Hip Hop. Their albums "Dead Serious", "Straight Up Sewaside" and "Hold It Down" were all classics during one the most competitive eras of Hip Hop music ever hence their ranking.


Anonymous said...

i have a few issues with the list.

-organized konfusion should be much higher. to come with 3 albums of that quality is insane. not to mention that prince continues to put out underground bangers and monch's first solo was classic.

- bone thugs and harmony is in no way a better group than prt. impossible. prt put out real hip hip hop, bth was just a fad in my eyes. plus you got em down twice so

- gotta go with de la over epmd. they had more vision than epmd. 3 ft, de la soul is dead, and buhloone mindstate is the greatest trilogy to open any group's career. perhaps only tribe and organized konfusion could come close to matching it.

i really love this concept, and i am all about doing lists but i think with your list it would be great to see the factors you took into consideration in some sort of visual form. see how shit was weighted.

zk said...

bone at 31 and 33... interesting. add the juggaknots or micranots or the coup in there, or move black moon or digables up to their own spot or or or...

Dart Adams said...

@ ZK

Good looks for catching the final typo of this list before I posted it. I posted the draft rather then the final list where I moved Heavy D & The Boyz up to #31. They had almost a 10 year run of hits before closing up shop for good.

I don't think that BTNH is "better" than PRT. I'd have had PRT higher but in reality Bone Thugs have had a much bigger influence than PRT even though I think they've made better overall albums in my opinion. I had to take a lot of factors into consideration when making the list and influence spoke over sales. PRT is done and Bone is STILL recording and that put them over the edge.


Anonymous said...

yeah, i think bone had more sales than real influence.they got bit and what not, this is true. they also crossed over and added a pop appeal to their rap and sold. wise is still doing his thing on the solo tip despite prt not recording. gotta get the coup in there.

Dart Adams said...

@ 2020proof:

The Coup was down around #60 and had the Juggaknots made more than two albums that were released damn near 10 years apart from each other they'd have made the Top 50 easy. Keep in mind that The Beastie Boys didn't even make the Top 50 after everything was finally factored in and The Artifacts and Slum Village bumped them out in the end. The Micranots and Atmosphere were both in the 60's.


Craig Belcher said...

Credible list. The omission of JJ Fad is startling, however.

Anonymous said...

nice list but would of had dilated peoples tied with the alcoholics

elgringocolombiano said...

props on the list Dart. Not too many heads, including myself, listen to enough different groups in order to compile a list like this that combines different eras & regions.

IMHO based off of a good+ discography, these groups should take some spot in the Top 50:

Cypress Hill
Delinquent Habits
Dilated Peoples
Jurassic 5
Little Brother/Foreign Exchange
Lords Of The Underground

Dart Adams said...

@ elgringocolombiano:

My take on the following groups:

Cypress Hill (they made it)
Delinquent Habits (not enough of an impact overall, no one can even name a crew member)
Dilated Peoples (down at #61)
Jurassic 5 (down at #58)
Little Brother/Foreign Exchange (one more excellent album and their a lock...Onyx would be bumped off)
Lords Of The Underground (out at #69...only one great album. Their 2nd album was a major step down. Tied with the Fu-Schnickens)
Panacea/RPM (They need 3 or 4 more solid albums to get consideration)
UGK (out at #63)

Remember folks:

The Beastie Boys and Salt N' Pepa didn't even make the list!


Wade Word said...

Can't argue with a man than puts WTC first.
Thanks for the knowledge as always,

DocZeus said...

Beastie Boys and UGK are HUGE omissions to this list...

Other than To The 5 Boroughs, they do not have a wack album. And Licensed To Ill, Paul's Boutique and Ill Communications (which is sort of a rock record but still...) are straight classic.

As for UGK, Ridin' Dirty is better than anything 80% of the rest of the rest of the list ever did. No Noz.

Dart Adams said...

@ doczeus: While the Beasties album "Licensed To Ill" was well recieved, "Paul's Boutique" WASN'T. It was almost two years before anyone in Hip Hop really went back and listened to it as most heads dropped them with the Capitol move for 3rd Bass.

While "Paul's Boutique", "Check Your Head", "Ill Communication", "Root Down" and "Hello Nasty" were all damn good you can argue that past "Ill Communication" the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of their fans weren't even into Hip Hop at all. Their influence on/in Hip Hop was pretty much negligible even though they kept making quality material.

The Beasties have been getting played strictly on Pop and Rock radio since "Hey Ladies" came out...hence them not making the list.


POPS said...
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POPS said...

my suugestions...

move up: fugees

add: goodie mob, black star, smif-n-wessun, capon-n-noreaga, little brother, the LOX

Dart Adams said...

@ pops:

move up: fugees (only if they had recorded another solid or great album)

add: goodie mob (not enough quality albums, "World Party" was terrible)

black star (they only recorded one rushed album together that was extended from an EP. Even Mos and Talib don't think the Black Star album was the best they could do)

smif-n-wessun (if this album was as good as Reloaded was they would've had a shot)

capone-n-noreaga (they only had "The War Report" and the disappointing reup "The Reunion" chance at Top 100 forget Top 50)

little brother (they're another album away from consideration)

the LOX (their next album would have to be "It Takes A Millions To Hold Us Back" for them to gain Top 50 consideration)


DocZeus said...


It's true that the Beastie fans are primarily white rock fans and always pretty much have been, you can't ignore that the sum of their musical output is pretty much better than everybody 25 and down. Who cares if they really exist in their own little niche of space. I've always kind of admired that these guys basically run in their own lane.

I mean really though Camp Lo, Nice & Smooth, Company Flow, Digable Planets, Freestyle Fellowship, Poor Righteous Teachers, Souls Of Mischief, LONS and even the Pharcyde all had only one really good record and then never did shit, again. God bless all of them for it, though.

Dart Adams said...

@ Doc Zeus:

Influence, Skill, and the fact that all of those groups stood out and pretty much dominated in an era where there was the most legitimate competition for groups (2nd Golden Era) all put them over the top. A new generation of emcees where listening to their joints and being inspired to write their own rhymes/make their own tracks.

The Beasties were dope in my opinion but if they ended up on the cover of Rap Pages or The Source between 1994-1999 heads were like "What the fuck?". They just missed the cut along with Salt N' Pepa.


Dart Adams said...

Fuck it. The Basties are in at #40. You're right Doc.


POPS said...

whoa. i/ma gonna have to disagree on the beastie boys verdict. i'd rather 3rd bass.

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