Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dope Duos

With 2 rappers having to share the spotlight on an album, the key to success is both artists having styles/deliveries that compliment each other well, and both also need to be able to transcend between each others verses at ease. There have been numerous quality duos that have graced the hip hop scene over the years, as well as many who are still currently active. I haven't set out for this post to be a broad overview of all the dope duos that have put out a record, instead I'm just going to touch on 5 that I listen to a fair bit and who possess the aforementioned attributes, this is really just the tip of the iceberg but it's a starting point none the less.

Twin Beredaz
(Coast & Quota Key)

Few duos I've come accross have had the same level of cohesion as these two Houston emcees, and surprisingly enough, these two artists didn't even grown up together. Both artists gained the attention of Dope House Records and were doing their own thing for the label until they started hooking up and doing some tracks together, once Coast had been offered a record deal he insisted that the label sign Quota Key as well, and in doing so Twin Beredaz came into effect. Coast, who hails from Epsom Downs, and Quota Key, who hails from 1st Ward, have an uncanny chemistry on record and both flow flawlessly, therefore enabling their music to sound so free-flowing and incredible. In 2002 the two Texas emcees dropped their debut album, the self titled 'Twin Beredaz' on Dope House Records, an album that showcases their ability to record a diverse range of tracks and still come off sounding sick on all of them. Both have since released solo albums and a follow up Twin Beredaz album simply titled "Coast & Quota" has been set to drop for sometime.

BG Knoccout & Dre'sta
There isn't much I can say about this Compton gangsta rap duo that Bullant hasn't already mentioned in his review of 'Real Brothas', so if you've read that then this paragraph is probably going to sound pretty familiar. They gained a lot of attention by appearing on Eazy E's Dre/Snoop diss 'Real Muthaphukkin G's' and later went on to drop the aforementioned album on Outburst/Def Jam in 1995. The fact that these two are actually real brothers goes along way in explaining why they sound perfect with each other on record. With BG Knoccout's fast and funky rhymes and Dre'sta's raw delivery lacing top notch Rhythm D beats, there aren't many albums out there than can match this release's smootheness. Sorry for just rehashing what Bullant has already mentioned, but I couldn't do a post on quality duos in hip hop and leave these two guys out, to me, they possess all the characteristics that make a duo dope. Also if you didn't know B.G. Knoccout was recently released from prison after about a decade inside and is teaming back up with his bro to hopefully drop another gem.

(Bun B & Pimp C)

Underground Kingz Bun B and Pimp C are long time friends from Pt Arthur, Texas, who formed in the late 1980's and who have gone on to forge successful careers both as a duo and with their solo efforts. Both halves of this duo sound totally different, with Bun B bringing his dominating delivery to the table and Pimp C offering his unique southern swagger, UGK's contrasting styles go together perfectly and from their early work up to the latest solos from both, I've yet to hear a UGK release I haven't liked. Although, without taking anything away from Pimp C, Bun B is definitely my favourite emcee of the two, his 2005 'Trill' album is (along with GB's 'Foundation') my favourite Rap-A-Lot album to have dropped in the new century. With their first release dating back to 1987 and with a highly anticipated self titled album due to drop in the coming months, the Texas tandem have established themselves as figureheads of the dirty south hip hop scene.

Eightball & MJG
Hailing from Orange Mound (Memphis, Tennessee), Eightball and MJG met each other in 1984 while attending Ridgeway Junior High. Both had a desire to get involved in the hip hop game, and after years of honing their skills they dropped their debut LP 'Comin' Out Hard' on Suave House Records in 1993, they have since followed up with various other additions to their discography, both as a pair as well as solos. Eightball and MJG, whose music consists of interlacing gangsta rhymes rapped over funky southern beats, is often credited as the inspiration for a lot of rappers who came up in the south throughout the 90's and into the new millenium. Eightball himself doesn't mince words when speaking on his personal opinions of himself, he has been quoted as saying "The difference between us and the other groups people would compare us with is that those groups grew up on us". In 2004 the duo went in search of mainstream appeal signing for P Diddy's Bad Boy label and they went gold with their 'Living Legends' release. Following such high record sales, Eightball and MJG have stuck with Bad Boy and their new album, 'Ridin High', is slated for release this month.

Night Hawks
(Cage & Camu Tao)

First off, I'm aware that Night Hawks is really a one off project rather than an established duo, but I've added them into this post anyway because of the dope concept behind their 2002 self titled release that dropped on Eastern Conference Records. Cage Kennylz and Camu Tao (MegaHertz) take the positions of Det. Sgt. Deke Da Silva and Det. Sgt. Matthew Fox, two fictional characters from the 1981 film 'Nighthawks" starring Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams in the respective roles. Unlike the movie, in the audio version put forward by Cage and Camu Tao, the two New York cops are crooked as fuck and with each track they outline their antics. Cage and Camu Tao are on point throughout this album, and with quality production work from High And Mighty's DJ Mighty Mi and Camu Tao himself, this album successfully recreates the same sinister feel that the movie brings about.

Twin Beredaz - The Best Man
BG Knoccout & Dre'sta - Real Brothas
UGK - Protect And Serve
Eightball & MJG - Pimp In My Own Rhyme
Night Hawks - Night Hawks


SKITZO said...

I grew up on a few of these duo's...
if I had to choose one for a'd be Gangsta Dresta & B.G Knocc Out REAL BROTHERS...
me and the boys use to rap the lyrics back n forward ridin trains on the way to score a represented that west coast flavor to the fullest...MIC CHECK takes that compton sound and runs with it...

when UGK released BANNED it was great for some shock value..rappin about rooting unborn babies....I followed their career up till 1996, Stoned Junky (featuring Lord 3-2) was a true beat to get fried too...taking Curtis Mayfields sample for the chorus...turned out a gem

Marty said...

Yo bullant
Do you wanna exchange links with


Antonio said...

nice selections, but what about the archetype of all hip hop, EPMD?

RipTheJacker said...

I was wondering why I hadn't noticed any Knocc Out solo releases. Too bad he was locked up for so long and missed out on some good years in hip hop.

If he comes out with a new album, with Dresta or not, I hope it doesn't follow the lead of some of these trendy artists these days.

BULLANT said...

@ Marty - No problem, already done.

@ Antonio, Although I have pretty much all EPMD's albums they sort of bore me after the first couple of albums. No doubt they're legends of the game but not my sort of group.

@ Rip The Jacka, I Know exactly what you mean. So many groups come out with that first hard gangsta album and then seem to lose it. I can't really see this happening with these guys, but I have said that before.

Marty said...

Thanks Bullant, got u linked up as well on musicselections.

BULLANT said...

Thanks Marty.

@ Skitzo, You don't by any chance have Insane Poetry's '9mm w/a 13 Clip' or KMC's 'Psycho' (dirty version)?