Rap's Dynamic Duos - Part 1


In another one of his brilliant hip hop essays, KNL looks at some of the best rap duos to have graced our stereos. The duo has been a typical formation for many rap groups, and often the individuals have not been able to re-create the same magic via solo efforts...there's something special in two emcees sharing verses and hooks. So have a read and let us know what you think!

Big Boi and Andre 3000

I don't really need to justify why these two deserve to be on this list. Their sales figures and worldwide mass appeal speaks for itself. Trust me on this one, finding an Outkast hater is for the most part only possible amongst KKK Rallys and related events.

The simple fact is that Big Boi and Andre 3000 are so great because if we knew them individually; we would never have imagined putting them together. Big Boi is known for more of a conventional quick and witty flow with a typical southern slant on things. Three Stacks is rather known for his eccentricity, ability to step out the box, and a flow which is able to adapt for all genres. What Outkast do so well however, is attract more than just hip hop fans to the frey...all you have to do is check out their SpeakerBoxx/Love Below albums to see that on their own they were able to get clubs pumping with tracks like 'I like the way you move' and then start a frenzie with 'Hey Ya'.

Simply put, Outkast are one of the most diverse and adaptable Rap Duos anywhere who are able to stay with the times and if need be, start a new trend. With the amount of bullshit coming outta the South, it seems a shame we forget about one of the most talented groups in MUSIC let alone Hip Hop period. What's more, they managed to keep their relevance high at all times - definitely contenders for that number one spot!

Redman and Method Man

Affectionately referred to as 'Red & Meth', these two were tight way before Blackout! and this relationship shines when it comes to their performance on and off the mic. As well as their successful ventures on the small and big screen; Red & Meth have kept it real on the mic.

What's so special about these two is that both seem to bring out the best in each other; Redman is a controversial, humerous and laid back figure whilst Method Man brings in the classic Wu Tang swagger and slightly more aggressive rhymeplay into the scheme. Both artists are superstars in their own right despite not being able to hold down equally successful solo careers; their work has been solid if not spectacular yet when together the creativity and magic seems to come out as if from nowhere. What does that tell me? That tells me that this is one of hip hops truest duos, two super heros who only have their magic powers when used together...like some hip hop Power Rangers. Or some shit (editor's note - umm, yeah, power rangers).

Mobb Deep

At one point or another, any aspiring MC of the era was infront of his mirror mimicking the Infamous and lip-syncing Shook Ones (...what only me??) With a viscious flow and a tag-team rota on the mic, Mobb Deep bought gangster lyrics and hardcore beats to the forefront of Hip Hop. Prodigy and Havoc had a winning formula, and as small a niche it might have been, these two have milked it accordingly. Whilst they will never be awarded for their creativity when compared to acts like Outkast, what they do have is a now infamous chemistry which had many of your favourite rappers shaking in their boots at one time or another.

So why do Mobb Deep get my vote; well check your gangster rappers now (what's left of them) and tell me who's still bringing it how they did in the mid-90s...Snoop is rocking a turban and flying around on magic carpets...Prodigy and Havoc are still keeping it 100% QB, and even if their recent efforts haven't hit the mark, their lifelong consistency speaks for itself. You heard it from the TheRapBuzz, the infamous, you heard of us!


Boogie Down Productions for me laid down the benchmark, the perfect formula of which many would follow for years to come. KRS-One was the lyrical don whilst Scott La Rock bought the notes and melodies...leaving you with a perfect combination. Many cite the birth of Gangster Rap with Dr. Dre, NWA, Death Row and the West Coast....yes Gangster Rap started there. But Gangster Hip-Hop started with KRS grabbing a gun on his album cover when Dre was rocking a silver suit. But it takes more than being gangster to grace my list...KRS One bought us infamously simple yet catchy hooks combined with compelling story-telling lyrics and a clear delivery.

Criminal Minded was an incredible album which still influences your favourite artist today, the fact remains that BDP birthed what the rich white men are marketing now - and show us what it would be like without ever increasing commercial influence. Let us not forget those battle tracks (see The Bridge is Over and South Bronx) which had even Queen's natives chanting 'Queens keeps on faking it'...because whether you liked it or not, BDP was cold. Unfortunately Scott La Rock was murdered just before Criminal Minded's release in 1987...it is obvious that BDP would have been incredibly huge had he lived on to carry on the magic.


Now Southern Rap is everywhere you look and hear, infact it's become an irritation and constantly pointed to as the 'hip hop killer'. However when Southern Rap was merely a spec on the radar, Pimp C and Bun B bombarded the industry with a unique swag and use of slang unheard in hip hop prior to their arrival.

Pimp C was particularly potent with his production style which made them stand out from the crowd before they even graced the microphone. Known for being more melodic and featuring what would become typical Southern traits of hip hop production style, Bun B accompanied him perfectly with a decent flow capable of switching tempo but still maintaining constantly sound lyricalism and the odd rewind-worthy metaphor too. They were accepted all over and furthermore became widely acknowledged and respected; Jay-Z's Big Pimpin is a briliant example of the duo adding their unique flow to a super-mainstream hit, and shows their versatility. It's a shame that the South been f***ing up the scene recently, but all it does is highlight UGK's legacy even more. RIP Pimp C

Part 2 on its' way...

Wu-Tang Lego: Da Mystery of Chessboxin'

Wu-Tang Lego: Da Mystery of Chessboxin' from davo on Vimeo.

Simply fantastic. What next? Big Poppa or Californa Love?


The Hip Hop Government Dream Team - Part 2


Department of Labour: Lupe Fiasco

Looking after the people is important, and currently Lupe seems to be in touch with the masses making him an ideal candidate for this position. His blend of touching rhymes designed to appeal to everyone (not just ballers and gangsters) makes him perfect for protectiong the rights of the working man. He is not only a spokesperson for the unheard, he is a breath of fresh air in a Cabinet mostly occupied with fatcats who look like they may have lost touch.

Department of Health and Human Services: James Todd Smith

Despite many believing he was one of the major components when forming the basic Cabinet, politics and a lack of support have pushed James to managing Health issues. Dedicated to keeping himself in tip top shape, Smith is responsible for ensuring that hip hop remains as healthy as possible. Whilst his past work cannot be disputed, his more recent efforts have shown that the emphasis on health has become more superficial; his demanding ego and internal issue with Carter means he is unlikely to find himself playing a major role in the future, unfortunately it looks as if that time has passed.

Department of Housing and Urban Development: Reginald Noble

If you known Reggie, you remember MTV Cribs and the dump he called home. So who better to help improve the state of housing and urban development than Red Man?! With objectives such as ensuring every front door actually features a piece of glass and that everyone’s freezer is stocked with frozen fish gourmet meals; Reggie ensures that hip hop followers will live in better environments. Going back on his previous slogan of “Smash something” and “Dirty”, Reggie is now concentrating on how to clean up properties, instead of breaking them.

Department of Transportation: Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner

This one is a given, now that he’s done with Pimp My Ride, he’s definitely going to be the one in charge when it comes to pimping the Cabinets cars. Highlights include a marijuana farm in Calvin Braudus’ limo, a diamond mine complete with slave workers in Paul Wall’s Escalade and a mini Police HQ in Rick Ross’s Maybach. Some say his transportation aims miss the true hip hop followers and appeal to a lucky few; but with keen support from surrounding officials he is unlikely to go anytime soon.

Department of Energy: Christopher Bridges

This may be seen as a “ludacris” appointment but in reality few names bring as much energy and pump when they release new material. So it was only natural when Chris was handed over the reigns in ensuring the energy is kept running and healthy in the world of hip hop, with successful commercial ties to all of the big names; Chris has ensured his loyal followers are never left behind. Thanks to his worldwide appeal, he’s bringing worldwide energy to the Cabinet.

Department of Education: Nasir Jones

Whilst this was a sure spot for Lauryn Hill, her willingess to hide away from the spotlight brings Nasir Jones into the picture. With an aim of teaching kids the truth behind America’s success and motives, Nasir aims to bring a curriculum rather different from what white America would want. Nasir’s objectives include introducing Advanced Beef Production and Conscious Commercial Success into the curriculum; he is backed by the biggest names but many once loyal followers question his credibility. Can he teach like he used to?

The Hip Hop Government Dream Team - Part 1

Image Credit


With Barack Obama taking over office, I’ve been meaning to do this for a long, long time. Now it’s here; the answer I’m sure you’ve all been looking for...what would happen if Hip Hop’s royalty decided to take the step for a Presidential race?! Well folks, here it is!

Department of State: Shawn Corey Carter

With previous experience in seeing Roc-A-Fella elevate to hip hop stardom, and a breif stint in the Def Jam hot seat; Shawn is not short of experience when it comes to leadership. He is just short of leading the campaign due to his knack of annoying certain sections of hip hop’s elite factions ensuring there is never enough support for him to take the higest throne. Positive attributes include a good relationship with important people both inside and outside the hip hop community, crossover appeal and an ability to fatten the party’s pockets through unlimited ventures. Controversies include the fact he is constantly accused of quoting a certain deceased central figure; and his ability to break strong ties with some of his strongest fans leaving some with the opinion that he should be kept at arm’s length only. Internal power stuggles between him and other members of the Cabinet have also increased jealousy among his rivals.

Department of the Treasury: Sean Combs

Sean Combs comes with not only a wealth of experience and important historical consensus thanks to his previous ties with Sir Wallace; he also comes with an ability to look after money better than most of his associates. Who better to look after the economy than one of hip hop’s richest? Known to be extravagant, close sources suggest that Mr Combs will strengthen the budget with some eyebrow raising commercial ventures. Often inviting some of the world’s elite to his famous parties, Sean Combs is reportedly in friendly competition with Secretary of State Carter; however recent popularity stakes have made him less electable and so he has to stick with running hip hop’s economy.

Department of Defense: Curtis Jackson

Young, fresh and relatively new to the game. Curtis’ ability to tie down enemies through good old American repression and threats of violence have made him famous as a force to be reckoned with. Surely rogue nations will think twice before launching those test nukes with Curtis calling the shots? His cocky attitude has had its moments of brilliance, but he is not shy of controversy and confrontation both in and out of the cabinet. He will surely smile for the cameras, and many outsiders may not know it, but in the back of Curtis’ mind is a surefire plan to oust Combs and Carter for the future big spot; watch this space.

Department of Justice: Russel Simmons

With a huge wealth of experience behind him, and one of the very beginners in hip hop’s world domination, Russel is now a famously inept peacemaker and a firm beleiver in honest and peaceful resolutions. His running of the justice department includes famously recruiting Curtis Jackson in his Yoga program to help calm his war starting instincts and hanging up leadership of a powerful venture only to find it slowly dying in the wake of competition. Famous for bringing Todd Smith into the hip hop’s elite, he has since lost his strong ties with many of his once close associates including Todd Smith and Clifford Smith.

Department of the Interior: DMC

Looking after the interior means looking after the indigenous people of hip hop, and who better than one of the freshest originals to grace our ears. DMC’s responsibilities include maintaining a healthy relationship with the original fans of hip hop and trying to make sure the hip hop ideology doesn’t exclude this endagoured minority; his strong relationships with much of the hip hop elite and an all-round respect put him on a plateu unmatched by his peers. Perhaps not feared, but he is definitely respected.

Department of Agriculture: Bubba Sparxxx

Rarely focussed on by the hip hop cabinet, the suprise appointment of Bubba Sparxxx was fuelled mostly by the fact there was not much competition for the job. Roles include ensuring hip hop’s appeal doesn’t escape the countryside and ensuring a healthy crop of future country-rap talent. His close ties with Timothy in the Cabinet mean he is often respected despite his humble and unconventional origins.

Department of Commerce: Pharrell Williams

Focussing on future growth of hip hop, Pharrell is constantly bringing a new sound and nurturing new talent to ensure the genre expands and grows as far as possible. With his respective group the Neptunes, we have witnessed not only 5-star quality but brilliant album releases designed to appeal to the masses. Whilst some purists disagree with the tactics, Williams is an integral piece of the puzzle; not only is he respected by Carter, Combs and Young, he’s also seen as a huge pinnacle in the music industry as a whole.

Part 2 coming soon...

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