Unkut Vs. Combat Jack: M.O.P = Rap’s Greatest Duo

“M.O.P. are rap’s greatest duo….yeah I said it.” So I threw this out there the other day.

“Huh? This douchebag can’t be serious, can he?” Damn skippy, sonny. Yeah, Run and them are bigger than rap now and let’s be honest, they’re Hip-Hop’s Greatest Trio. Outkast? Meh, they don’t even appear on my radar. Bill and Fame have been delivering that uncut dope without fail ever since they strong-armed themselves into the rap game, regardless of how many times they’ve been cock-blocked by induckstry fuckery. They asked “How About Some Hardcore?” and rap fanatics answered ‘Fuck yeah!’ in no uncertain terms. EPMD might’ve dropped four certified classic albums in a row, but they’ve since tarnished their legacy with the gawd-awful dolo joints and the Days Of Our Lives type ‘make-up to breaks-ups’ shenanigans. When was the last time you rocked the last three Erick and Parrish albums? Exactly.

It was inevitable that people would take umbrage at my declaration of Fizzy Womack‘s and William’s supremacy. One of these characters happened to be Combat Jack, who seems to have spat froth all over his Blackberry while he was trying to “body that latte” for the day. You might catch him trying to explain how great the Mash-Out Posse is over here, but don’t get fooled by his law-school slick talk. He’s just setting-up everybody’s favorite extra-gully duo up for a fall in his closing argument. That’s how these legal-eagle types like to do you, just before they stick you with their bill. I don’t know about the rest of you, but after Carlito’s Way I can’t trust anything these schiester’s spit.

Even when heaping praise on M.O.P, CJ has holes in his argument, which doesn’t bode well for when he tries to explain why EPMD are the greatest duo ever. Lil’ Fame has been officially in the game for seventeen years, having debuted on The Hill That’s Real compilation with two superior solo shots, not to mention ghost-writing a couple of cuts for a dame called Big Ken and a scene-stealing appearance on the posse cut. But this isn’t a history lesson. This is the story of rap’s ultimate underdogs, who refuse to go away no matter the obstacles thrown in front of them.

To The Death was quality, but it wasn’t until DJ Premier started messing with the team (when he remixed ‘Rugged Neva Smoove’) that the true genius of these Brownsville soldiers was unleashed. When Fame and ’em were blessed with the Works of Mart sound, they elevated to the level of top-shelf material that is ‘Stick To Your Gunz’, where they hold their own in the presence of the GOAT himself, Kool G Rap. As for their delivery…who else has the stones to still rep the Shout Rap technique with pride like it was still 1986?

Some doubters might consider the fact that the Mash Out crew haven’t released an ‘real’ album in nine years to be to their detriment. Fact is, in that time they’re dropped at least four ‘street’ albums that must have broken numerous contractual clauses (that’s more Combat Jack’s lane, right?) on some ‘the fuck you gonna do about it?’ type of steelo. They were also paid to hang out in the studio and get effed-up on weed and booze by not one, but two major labels! What’s better than that? Plus they stayed doing tours with the Roc and G-Unit crews…sounds like a win-win situation. Sure, they would’ve felt a little frustration at their predicament at times, but do you think that broke their resolve? While other crews turned to mush and started ordering home invasions on each other in the face of adversary, Billy and Fame kept it one hunned and kept grinding. They let off a little steam by airing dudes out on record, like it should be done.

Although they might not have the catalog of hits that EPMD have under their belts, M.O.P also don’t have the grave-yard of skeletons in their respective closets. They never played themselves in the media with mud slinging and then got back together, twice. Lil’ Fame and Billy Danze have stayed the course through the good and the bad, repped for home team and have never stopped delivering that type of aggressive, window-smashing fight music that the rest of these radio-friendly fucks have been too shook to deliver. Not to mention, they actually made the phrase ‘rap dudes’ sound official.

M.O.P never broke-up. M.O.P never fell off. M.O.P never switched-up. They’re still bring that fire after seventeen years! What’s effing with that? They make music for the everyone who’s ever been shitted on by their partner in crime, betrayed, stabbed in the back and left for dead by the side of the road. While everyone else tries to get corporate and hang out in the V.I.P section to sip champagne, M.O.P are still reppin’ for the blue collar motherfuckers who drink beer on the stoop. They’ve recorded two tracks with everyone’s favorite rapping millionaire and have obliterated every posse cut they’ve appeared on. Other dude’s make songs complaining about bootleggers – the First Family actually step to bootleggers on the street:

Part 2: Why EPMD are great, but not the greatest.

Combat Jack’s opening salvo

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74 Comments so far
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> Although they might not have the catalog of hits that EPMD have under their belts….

You can stop right there. OK, seriously, nice effort Robbie, but there’s no way you can argue a winning position on this one.

Comment by ian 06.11.09 @

Great try though. I guess it’s official with me being the original latte bodier. Heh. See you in round two.

Comment by Combat Jack 06.11.09 @

Sorry scrap, but both of you are dead wrong! Outkast by a country mile, and that’s with RUN-DMC included. EPMD is two, and I’m not sure if MOP is in the top ten. I remember wanting to be a rapper because of Erick Sermon, Billy or Fame NEVER gave me that feeling. Hell my mother even listened to EPMD!

Comment by Since....1979 06.11.09 @

I completely agree with y’all.

EPMD have always been about making dollars. MOP is about making street heat, and to do that, you gotta stay strong to your principles, because if you flake, you break. Robbie, real recognize real.

Comment by cenzi 06.11.09 @

Outkast is the best so this argument is pointless…your dismissiveness of them just makes you look like a fool

Comment by Detroit P 06.11.09 @

^ Fuck Outkast. How’s that?

Comment by Robbie 06.11.09 @

OutKast wins for the following reasons:

1. Never having to talk about hip-hop they are (which apparently is a requirement nowadays, talking about how “street” or “hip-hop” you keep it)
2. Making dope music for almost 15 years which…
3. …Incorporated rock, blues, and funk rhythms/beats seamlessly, with unique flows/rhymes to complement
4. Lyrical diversity (which is something I think MOP severly lacks, moreso than EPMD)
5. Making the music they wanna make instead of making “what’s expected of them” = HIP HOP AS FUCK

Although, honestly, I think this whole argument stinks of the “who is better Bird or Jordan” syndrome. Different eras and different styles. EPMD has classic albums, no doubt, but MOP has definitely kept it way more fucking hood (and had none of the break up to make up drama that plagued Erick and Parrish).

Nonetheless, this shit is an awesome debate by 2 intelligent hip-hop heads. Does each side get to present it’s case and then we have closing statements?

Comment by Jack 06.11.09 @

Jack (the commentor) make a great argument for ‘Kast, and I tend to agree that Andre and Big Boi are the best. It seems like your argument, Robbie, makes MOP the most hip-hop of all hip-hop duos, meaning they never strayed from their sound and always stayed true. You make a valid point that “M.O.P never switched-up.” but progression in rap HAS to be one of the key elements of what constitutes a “best of all time.”

Thing is, MOP simply does NOT have hits and they are not relevant outside the street-hop world. Sure “Ante Up” and “Cold As Ice” were huge and most hip-hop heads know every damn word, but what else? And I’m not talking pop hits, I’m talking hip-hop hits. MOP is arguably the best street hip-hop duo, but nothing more.

Comment by Dom Corleone 06.11.09 @

Everything Outkast did after their second album was gay.

Comment by HipHopHistorian 06.11.09 @


That should sum it up for all of you.

Comment by Oliver Wrist 06.11.09 @

It’s kinda funny how everyone’s jockin’ for OutKast, when you missed Eric B & Rakim, Mobb Deep, and GangStarr.
Oh well..

Comment by Guy Fawkes 06.11.09 @

Came in to put in my vote for both Gangstarr and Mobb Deep over M.O.P. but I see V For Vendetta beat me to it. Eric B. and Rakim should be disqualified from the discussion for the simple fact that they were more of a one man group than a duo, since it seems like Eric really only contributed the funding and studio time.

And if Run DMC count as a duo, as CJ seems to think they should, I would also put Phife and Tip above M.O.P. I might even put Nice ‘N Smooth up there, too.

Comment by fresh 06.11.09 @

Outkast for the win.

But out of EPMD and MOP, I go w/ EPMD. True, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve listened to EPMD’s last three albums. But at the same time, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve listened to ‘To The Death’ or ‘Firing Squad’ for that matter. Oh, I might’ve enjoyed “Blue Steel” or “How About Some Hardcore” or “Brownsville” or “New Jack City”… but it’s been a minute since I’ve listened to them scream threats at me for more than 4 minutes at a time.

On the other hand… Business As Usual? On the REGULAR.

It’s not even an issue of who’s more street or not- if being street was a prerequisite to greatness, then every rapper with legit street cred would be amongst the greatest, and we know that’s not the case. In terms of music, M.O.P. may keep it street, but that hasn’t made me have any interest in anything they’ve done since “Warriorz”.

Comment by DanjaMania 06.11.09 @

Too damn hard to call. Out of the two I’d have to go w EPMD, but MOP own that street hop.Overall as far as duo’s go you you have to throw Outkast in the discussion, of course Gangstarr and for me you also throw Organized in the mix.

Comment by BurDenDEr 06.11.09 @

Too damn hard to call. Out of the two I’d have to go w EPMD, but MOP own that street hop.Overall as far as duo’s go you you have to throw Outkast in the discussion, of course Gangstarr and for me you also throw Organized in the mix. MOBB can’t be ignored either

Comment by BurDenDEr 06.11.09 @

I’d vote for Tom J and Steve from Knucklehedz before I’d vote for Outkast, I’d vote for Bullys Wit Fullys before I vote for Outcast, the list goes on, and how the beats are made and cadence has everything to do with it, simply cuz the southernplayaistic flow and a lack of dug up breaks sucks compared to NY flave, but I’d still vote Bullys Wit Fullys (an unknown to this blog gangsta duo from the Bay) over the ‘kast offs. remember how much Latyrx used to love Outcast? that’s why Lady Don’t Tek No came about, they were trying

Comment by zues 06.11.09 @

In terms of two rappers M.O.P. definately wins. Signed to two of rap’s biggest rap powerhouses and never softened their image? That takes a lot of heart, the mobb sold out faster than mc hammer. M.O.P. has been consistent since day one. You always know what your gonna get and I would say no one else in hip hop can make that claim.

Comment by goldenera92 06.11.09 @

atcq wins hands down, as they aree the only ones with 2 5 mic CLASSIC albums.
second epmd
third showbiz and a.g.(anyone?)

and so on……..mop best effort is probably the hill that’s real joints with fame on it as he wasnt shouting and he sounded like a young kgr.

Comment by mp 06.11.09 @

Imma go with M.O.P. on this one. However, I suspect that Combat Jack is gonna come back with the a ‘summer jam photo of u in tutu’ type comment when he mentions M.O.P. doin’ that track with LFO.

Comment by mindfield 06.11.09 @

M.O.P. has around 60-70 enjoyable songs if you count their guest appearances. EPMD has maybe 40 tops, and that is actually kind of a stretch.

M.O.P. for the win!

Comment by crusher 06.11.09 @

EPMD made classic albums, MOP mad classic songs on albeit, up and down albums… Outkast? the fuck outta here, initially dope, but they now make popcorn your little sister dances to… it has to be defined by two rappers, otherwise i agree, Showbiz & AG would have to be up there as the illest combo ever… just stick to EPMD and G-Rap, life is better that way! haha

Comment by Arkitek 06.11.09 @

Fam, Outkast stood dope until speakerboxx. That was still four amazing to classic albums.

Mobb Deep, for me, as much as i love MOP, are a better duo, or maybe were.hmm.

Organized Konfusion? Show and AG. All of these have decent shouts. MOP are dope though, dont get it twisted.

Comment by Victor 06.11.09 @

While mixing malt liquor and MOP used to be my favorite past time, I would have to go with EPMD. Just too many classics. But if a Tribe is thrown in, they are better than both. But if we are going with that formula, then it is De La all day. This shit could go on and on…..

Comment by BIGSPICE 06.11.09 @

^^De La and Tribe both have three members. Four on Tribe if you count Jarobi.

I can’t believe the Beatnuts (minus Al’ Tariq) aren’t in the conversation. Especially if we talking about underdogs.
And people have to pay more attention to People Under The Stairs. Every album they have put out is quality.

Comment by tres 06.11.09 @

This has to be a dumb ass debate. EPMD thats is it. Fuck that dumb shit about falling off. Did your father fall off when what he said was not relevant to you anymore?
Measure what they did at that time and compare to MOP. EPMD > MOP. Now i am just comparing those two…cause RUN DMC > EPMD

Comment by JOrdan 06.11.09 @

All I have to say is MOP is on top of they game they had to do something right because WWE rocking they shit everytime John Cena come to the ring WOW even though WWE trying to burn them for they cake if we repping for MOP let fight for them to get there money from them lame as wrestler

Comment by Phillydamon 06.12.09 @

5 GOAT Rhymin (EricB&Rakim Polo&G.Rap, BDP don’t count) duos in no Particular order:
Heltah Skeltah
Mobb Deep

Comment by Gabriel 06.12.09 @

*chuckles evilly*

Comment by Gabriel 06.12.09 @

For extra shits and giggles check out “m.o.p stollin through Brownsville pt 4”
Gully…. them boys really do like to play with their guns

Comment by Gabriel 06.12.09 @

Hell my mother even listened to EPMD!
Comment by Since….1979 06.11.09 @
Yet another reason why MOP>EPMD

Comment by Gabriel 06.12.09 @

I think we should all agree that…

“a duo” = 2 emcees

…regardless of how many producers, djs, or “5th Beatle” members they have.

I would say Tribe in their heyday had the most consistency and cultural impact, but MOP just hits so hard in a genre that is all about hitting hard.

I would also give a nod to Black Moon and Mobb Deep.

Comment by eric 06.12.09 @

If we’re taking duos as ‘two MC’s, no matter how many other people are in the crew’, the order is clear:
De La Soul
Mobb Deep

Of course, if we count Flavor Flav as an MC – yes, it’s a push – then they move in at number two.

Comment by Drew Huge 06.12.09 @

M.O.P. better than EPMD? No. As much as I like Fame and Danze, they don’t have any CLASSIC album under their belt. Plus, while staying true to their style as much as you want they’ve never been as influential as EPMD.
Not to mention the fact that while Out Of Business is indeed an abortion, the other two do have their moments. Come on, as if the M.O.P. street albums were anything special.

Speaking of Kool G Rap: best verse of the past three years? Check it: http://ruggednevasmoove.blogspot.com/2009/06/kool-g-rap-in-gunz-from-italy-kool-g.html

Comment by reiser 06.12.09 @

Still bump alot of their stuff but the best duo?…Nuh-ah :)

Comment by RowanB 06.12.09 @

Yall know my stance on this shit already. EPMD best group of all time. all u tribe fans Phife even said it on his album. cmon now. this is madness. EpMdEE ruled before anybody was even out..before gangstarr before de la before oukast before Mash out Posse. They talked all that gun shit 2 for u gangster rap fans…chris….chris…chris…shelly…shelly…shelly cmon

Comment by Mercilesz 06.12.09 @

Oh and how many EpmDee lyrics/tracks have been sampled later rappers…uh the most in the game…do the math and holla at ur frog.

Comment by Mercilesz 06.12.09 @

Oh and how many EpmDee lyrics/tracks have been sampled by later rappers…uh the most in the game…do the math and holla at ur frog.

Comment by Mercilesz 06.12.09 @

yeah i cosign on outkast being weak, they stop being tight after they went mainstream and lost their crumblin herb rhymeskills, now they’re just wierd, mobb deep is probably a doper duo than m.o.p. but then again their last album was a bit garbage, there should be an article on the best dj and emcee combo, like 7l and esoteric, eric b and rakim, show and a, among others, thats where the argument should truly lie, but again, mash out < mobb deep

Comment by gstatty 06.12.09 @

failing to acknowledge ‘kast (not on your radar?!) completely invalidates your argument.

nice try tho…

Comment by bongolock 06.12.09 @

im thinkin your geography and age mite have somethin to do w/ it but epmd is classic material… mop is up there in terms of consistency but eric and parrish are on a whole other level–the first 4 epmd crown anything mop produced… sorry

Comment by er4se 06.12.09 @

oh yeah sounds like ppl are pissed you dudes left out mobb, gang starr, eric b & rakim, outkast, ugk etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum its between mop and epmd nuccas!

Comment by er4se 06.12.09 @

i actually agree



Outkast are amazing, i dont understand how they cant be on your “radar”

i dont get how people can have opinion and people get pissed. both sides are kinda guilt of this

Comment by Ace 06.12.09 @

I don’t understand how Outkast can be even considered Hip-Hop, their only album with a Hip-Hop feeling was their first one, the rest was messing with progressive electronic R&B stuff with some raps on it. If you count Outkast here then you might as well count Fripp and Eno.
M.O.P. wins it ‘cos if I go blind in my CD rack, any M.O.P. album I pick is a sure shot. And as much as I love them, the same cannot be said for EPMD. I also agree that the Beatnuts should be in the league.

Comment by ceedub 06.13.09 @

EPMD with D.J. Scratch is the best to do it, they stay ahead of Run DMC simply because of the Crown Royal fiasco. EPMD without D.J. Scratch not so great. M.O.P. has some great songs but, never were able to capitalize on the one big record. For every Downtown Swinger, Cold As Ice, Ante Up, Stick to Your Gunz or My N*gg* Hill Figga that M.O.P. has recorded I could name three to four equally good EPMD tracks. Besides the Never Seen Before, Heard Before Remix, So Whatchu Sayin’, and Rampage shits on M.O.P.’s entire catalogue.

Comment by Brooklyn 'Lo 06.13.09 @

i was just having a discussion about this a few weeks back. for me, ‘kast is #1. BLACKSTAR could have been crazy but it was only 1 album.

Comment by abortatron 06.13.09 @

GANGSTARR PERIOD honestly all of da gangstarr albums r classics including the ownerz der last joint premo actually is one of da reasosns for MOP’s success just think about it. EPMD is nice i love der first 4 albums, der classics and der last we mean business isnt bad

Comment by Dmitry aka brooklyn jew 06.13.09 @

This is a great argument. EPMD and MOP are good matches for the “Greatest Rap Duo” title. Valid arguments can be made for both. Nothing in MOP’s catalogue is touchin “It’s my thang”. Nothing in EPMD’s catalogue is touching “Handle your business.” So it’s a tie to me. I WILL say this though..Outkast gets props, but to me…me?….CAMP LO is an awesome and very slept on duo whose careers were stalled due label politics.. Yeah, i said it…CAMP LO!

Comment by Doc Samson 06.13.09 @

i rekon fame holds up as one of the greatest rappers anyway on his own. M.o.P shit on anyone when they collab. Including thier guest spots on the EPMD and PMD’s solo. outkast? wtf? Its like people just have different ears or something.

Comment by gx 06.13.09 @

MOP greater than Outkast. EPMD also greater than Outkast. EPMD and MOP are equal to me, although I like them for different reasons. MOP is definitely the most hood though. Yeah we like it raw!

Comment by Mag7Music 06.14.09 @

M.O.P. > all, easy

Comment by ryan_bigl 06.14.09 @

I think we are talkin about a duo of two emcees here so Gang Starr should not count. Camp Lo is actually dope and mad underrated but they don’t have the longevity of either M.O.P or EPMD. And just out of curiosity, what about 3RD BASS here?

Comment by ceedub 06.14.09 @

southern duos > eastern duos

Eightball & Mjg > EPMD (both have four great albums, ball & g are better rappers)
Ugk > MOP (look at the discography, no need for discussion)
Outkast > mobb deep (better rappers, better discog, outkast are the goats)

Comment by ANU 06.14.09 @



Comment by Ausar 06.14.09 @

mobb deep shits on outkast so badly it aint even funny..shook ones is betta than all outkast albums put together and even ’09 Prodigy rhymes circles ’round them..dont play

Comment by dj blendz 06.14.09 @

Southern duos better than eastern duos? Uless you are talking about dolly parton and kenny rogers you are smoking crack.

Comment by BIGSPICE 06.14.09 @

That Eightball and MJG to EPMD comparison is hilarious.

Comment by keatso 06.15.09 @

Loads of ignorance being spouted. How can someone say that ATLiens, Aquemini and Stankonia aren’t hip hop albums? They are spitting over beats, its defo not r & b. They might not be amazing right now but are EPMD? They have a catalogue as good as EPMD’s.

Comment by Victor 06.15.09 @

^ Outkast are hip-hop, but I detest them like a sickness, so who cares.

Comment by Robbie 06.15.09 @

Out of any groups anyone’s mentioned in these arguments at all, I’m only seeing three:

-OutKast, because their first three albums are unfuckwithable


-UGK, ’cause Short Texas bring the ruckus.

Robbie’s argument cleans up in favour of M.O.P nicely, but his refusal to even acknowledge more than three rappers from anywhere outside New York as having anything worthy to contribute to the rap game (that’s not a diss, it’s his well-established personal preference) means he’s doomed to overlook the greatest duo in the history of the rap game. Fruity faux-Prince solo records and wonky Baduizt fashion choices be damned, Three Stacks is a top ten rapper who’s ever lived. And Fat Sacks is cooler than a polar bear’s toenails. Every rapper wishes they had such effortless finesse on the mic.

Tribe and De La would be the first groups I’d name who could hang with them, along with The Geto Boys (Uncle ‘Face being the GOAT rapper, unless you insisted on privileging G Rap or Rakim, or you were smart enough to be one of the six people who knows that the real answer just might be ‘Ghostface Killah’.)

And at risk of region hating rapper racism, Goodie Mob and UGK need to be in on any “greatest rap groups” discussion. Bun B in his prime could slay pretty much anybody breathing without having to try, and the emotional impact of Khujo Goodie’s verse on “Thought Process” dwarfs anything Hav & P, for example, ever did in their whole career.

Comment by Supreme Neck Protector 06.15.09 @

@Supreme Neck Protector: Agreed that ‘Face is one of the best to ever do it.

Comment by Robbie 06.15.09 @

Also, Gang Starr can’t really be part of the discussion to the extent that we might want, because a rap group with a terrible emcee can only ever be half a great rap group.

Comment by Supreme Neck Protector 06.15.09 @

Dissmasters. Nuff Said.

Comment by Dave 06.15.09 @

Andre 3000 on “Myintrotoletuknow” from the first ‘Kast record shits on everything Prodigy has ever done.

Comment by Supreme Neck Protector 06.15.09 @

how is gang starr not the best duo ever??

Comment by bryant 06.16.09 @

Robbie he said “try to answer to the master or the mc rap god it’s
No joke on the lyrics, sorry to be modest”
never got what u were saying when u were making that joke.

Comment by Mercilesz 06.16.09 @

gangstarrs first album was wack and their second was classic

Comment by Mercilesz 06.16.09 @

btw epmd was 17 when they made strictly…that has to count for something

Comment by Mercilesz 06.16.09 @

pity some people can’t read… it is about a duo on the michael! duo = two!

Comment by Arkitek 06.17.09 @

Keepin’ it all the way real… you prob’ly had a better shot arguing for Mobb Deep than M.O.P.

Comment by DanjaMania 06.17.09 @

Comment by Victor 06.15.09
“Loads of ignorance being spouted…”

Dude, you know you’re on unkut.com, right? We all ignorant as f@#k up in here, it is after all “a tribute to ignorance.” MOP for the win by the way.

Comment by Esto 06.18.09 @

Organized Konfusion, anyone?

Comment by Eastern_Digital 06.18.09 @

mobb deep iz good,epmd iz ok but their music was not timeless so imma go with MOP you can throw howboutsomehardcore on right now and evrybody gonna like it except your mother

Comment by EDUBBz 07.12.09 @

Hey Robbie, on point again mate ..In case you hadn’t heard, We’re bringin the boys to Australia for 8 dates this month. Shit is gonna be hectic!! Hope to see ya there.

Comment by rivals 11.05.09 @

You guys forgot all about Dead Prez!!!!Yall are Bogus!!!!”Duo” fellas!!Trio’s are three members to a group & Duo is two members!!!Tribe can’t be in this neither and neither can Eric B & Rakim Technically,because Eric wasn’t an emcee.Neither can De La Soul.Mobb Deep & MOP have a chance.But here are some others that qualify as Duos.Pete Rock & CL Smoothe,Black Sheep,EightBall & MJG,Outcast,Clipse,& the last questionable duo,Norega &Capone.

Comment by meme 06.30.10 @

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