Panera Bread and started to think about who may be the greatest rap groups of all-time. It is hard to pick just one but there have to be some that stand above the others. So many artists today are one and done on their hits but think back in the day....groups were hitting on albums one after another and had much more staying power.
Run D.M.C. has to be to the top of the list because they just brought rap to a new level and broke into the mainstream as the first rap group to be featured on MTV. Does that make them the best? I don't know. Jackie Robinson was the first black player to break into the major leagues but many thought Josh Gibson or Satchel Paige were the best black baseball players at the time. So first does not always equal best but songs like Rock Box, Hard Times, Sucker MC's and Jam Master Jay definitely made an impact. And of course they were one of the first to cross over into the Rock and Roll Genre and essentially save and revive the career of Aerosmith. So it's very hard to argue that they are not one of the best rap groups of all-time.
What about Public Enemy? Do you see them stacking up in history as one of the best. Back in the 1990's spin wrote an article discussing the 5 most influential bands and groups of all-time and Public Enemy was one of the bands or groups listed. Keep in mind this list included the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing " featured Radio Raheem who only listened to Public Enemy and featured him playing Fight The Power throughout the movie. Why? In my opinion it was because the message of the song was so strong. Fear Of A Black Planet was song for song one of the best rap albums ever made and was a solid follow-up to It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. They also were one of the groups to bring knowledge and enlightenment to a lot of black and white youth through rap music.
How about N.W.A.? Way before Rodney King received his beat down, N.W.A. was talking about the actions of the Los Angeles Police Department. Here is a group that go no airplay and had their Straight Outta Compton video banned on MTV and were still able to go platinum without Straight Outta Compton. The buzz was just that strong about their music. Ice Cube, MC Ren, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and DJ Yella put the West Coast on the map of the rap world. Straight Outta Compton became an anthem and Fuck Tha Police became a chant. Unfortunately, Ice Cube left the group soon after their album released but the group and Ice Cube both persevered. Dre has become one of if not the top producer in Hip Hop. Eazy-E before his death to HIV also proved his talents on his solo albums. The group influenced a good amount of the acts that later followed from the West Coast.
These are just three of the groups that I see having a great influence on the history of Hip-Hop but are they the best? Who knows and how does one decide. The debate will always be there.
Greatest Rap Groups
Posted on: November 19, 2008 6:58 pm