Eric B and Rakim
It's been a long time...Rakim to me is one of the very best, if not a contender for the top spot and not least because of his viscious wordplay and effortless flow. It's more to do with the fact that this guy was gangster without actively promoting it; he didn't have to get tough on the mic because the music took care of it for him...and thus he was able to gather a wider variety of fans than say Mobb Deep, because you could respect him for his skills as well as his gangster. With Eric B alongside, it meant Ra had someone who fully understood what sounded nice when he was on the mic. As a result, this Duo were able to craft some of the most incredible hip-hop anthems; it's a shame they had to part ways...but nevertheless, we can never forget.
Rakim sounded awesome when laced over Premo beats. Someone who sounded even better though was Guru, of whom with Dj Premier formed the formidable GangStarr. Even after 20 something years in the game, Guru can kick it with many of today's top MCs....with an almost effortless flow and a way of spitting aggressive rhymes without having to raise his voice, Guru's flow melts like butter on a hot Premo track. It is often the dream of many hip hop fans to have their favourite producer hook up with a dope MC; GangStarr is one of the very finest examples. Their catalog of incredible albums and sizzling tracks mean GangStarr are firmly forged into hip hop history.
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
Following on from pairing a dope producer with a sick MC comes a slightly different pair. Snoop Dogg is not really an MC as such, and neither is Dre...but this pair had something that most of the other duos on this list could only dream about - hit making chemistry which refuses to die. When Snoop Dogg signed up to Death Row in the 90s, Dr. Dre took him under his wing and (cleverly) promoted Snoop through himself and then Executive Produced one of the finest albums of all time, Snoop's 'Doggy Style'. What followed was a string of hits and an incredible catalog of platinum selling albums from the pair. Dre used Snoop's hype on The Chronic and Snoop took advantage of Dre's stellar production on Doggy Style, a few years down the line Dre returned with Chronic 2001 of which once again was heavily graced by Snoop...will Detox be the same? I'm pretty sure we can count on it, with Dre and Snoop both helping each other blow up throughout their careers...I reckon we're all itching to see if that same chemistry still exists. Pay homage.
Dr. Dre and Eminem
Snoop helped propel Dre's Chronic. Em did much the same (if not more) with Chronic 2001. And then surprise surprise, Dre graced Eminem's following LPs with Executive Production credits and guest spots to add that 'legend' status. And why not? Team up arguably the best producer alongside arguably the best rapper and what do you have? A dream come true for any fan of good music...Dre's versatility meant Em could switch the mood of his rhymes depending on the instrumental he'd been handed...and whilst Premo beats (no matter how dope) seem to suit a set tone or mood' Dre's ability to experiment meant Eminem now features an incredible catalog of LPs which vary in terms of moods so much you'd swear they came from a different artist. When these two paired up on the mic, they managed to provide a father-son type chemistry which is still unmatched by many of their imitators - Guilty Conscious, My Name Is, Forgot About Dre....must I go on?!
Part 3 on its' way...