The Best Complementary Emcee?

Hip-Hop, for the most part, has always been a team sport. While it’s refreshing to hear soloists like Rakim, Nas, Jay-Z and now Jay Electronica, it has been the one-two punch of many groups such as EPMD, Organized Konfusion, RUN-DMC, The Artifacts, Ultramagnetic MC’s, Tha Alkaholiks, Mobb Deep, UGK or OutKast that we quickly flock to when craving that lyrical tag-team dynamic.

So the question is who do you feel is the best complementary MC of all-time?

I won’t run a poll because it will do no justice given the plethora of 2-man MCing groups out there. Instead I ask for you to tell us, leave your answer in the comment section and let us know who is your pick and why. Keep in mind there are many groups out there, we’re specifically talking about groups with 2 emcees such as The Clipse, A Tribe Called Quest or De La Soul, not duos such as Gang Starr, Black Sheep, Pete Rock & CL Smooth or Boogie Down Productions. –Philaflava

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34 Responses to “The Best Complementary Emcee?”

  1. readybeeill says:

    I am going with either Pos and Dove or Phife and Tip.

  2. philaflava says:

    Big Boi is good call but I’m leaning towards Trugoy myself. I think he carried many of the latest DLS albums and did a stellar job on Stakes Is High.

  3. Thun says:

    I’d have to say Trugoy, though in recent years he’s less complementary and more of an equal partner, yh.

  4. ted says:

    showbiz made ag sound better, but trugoy wins
    best joint emceeing moments;
    cutting heads, the what, stone age (3way(no homo))

  5. MR. LEFT says:

    I gotta go with Rock from Heltah Sketah San. That Cat had me buggin every time he got on.

  6. Teddy C.D. says:

    Wait, so are we talking the lesser of two MCs, or best MC tag teams? Because my pick for best complementary MC would be Phife Diggy, but he brought his own weight to the table–and I wouldn’t consider him inferior to any rapper, as he consistently got better and handled more of ATCQ’s rapping and songwriting.
    Maybe 5 Ft. from Black Moon? He was dope but just didn’t carry as much of the rapping responsibilities as the heavyweight Buck Shot Shorty.

  7. Moodz says:

    Phife Dog & Q-Tip. The best Hip Hop group of all time

  8. Slick Vicious says:

    So the lesser emcee that compliments his superior rhyme partner? Hmmmm… I wanna say either Tek from Smif n Wessun or Prince Po from Organized Konfusion. Cuz both them dudes lyrically stand shoulder to shoulder with phenomenal rhyme partners n bounce off each other, back an forth, completing the others sentences, almost flawlessly…
    Runners up include Rock of Healtah Skeltah an Dave from De La…

  9. Joneski says:

    I can’t front – I gotta say Flava Flav. I know it’s a hella obvious choice – but, I mean, c’mon – sometimes you gotta go with the obvious ones…….when you think of “complimentary MC’s” per definition, BOOM!, my man immediately comes to mind. He wrote the book on that ish! He rocked it in a distinct and totally unique way that nobody had before or has since – approaching the mic from an entire different angle than Chuck D. to create that perfect Rap alchemy. He provided the perfect counterpoint to Chuck’s unrelenting intensity (not that Flav wasn’t intense in his own way). Some heads might be quick to write Flav off as a clown, a joke, not a “real MC” – but DIG IT – imagine those classic Public Enemy LP’s without him……….see what I mean???

    • Teddy C.D. says:

      I was going to dispute this at first, but your last sentence really sunk in… I thought about it and I agree, you can’t picture Public Enemy without the little annoying dude making each song hype. Kind of like picturing X-Clan without Professor X. You’ve got a point there, my man.

  10. I can’t say Dave from De La, because I always thought it was bugged that people considered him as anything less than Pos’ equal. You can’t have De La without both… Probably why they never ventured out to do solo projects.
    I’d have to say Flava Flav, Phife, Prince Po, Havoc, Big Juss (Co-Flow), Vordual Mega (Can Ox—> he’s dope, but was more or less the complimentary emcee/ hook-man on “The Cold Vein”)

  11. Boothe says:

    I thought Mr. Lawnge was a perfect compliment to Dres.

    One of my problems with the second LP is that he seemed to be trying a little too hard with BX reppin’, and they lost all of the charm of the first album.

    Another of my favorite complimentary MCs was The Mighty Ha. A real wildcard. I like when they had him buggin out on the hooks, or doing adlibs.

    • Thun says:

      Nah, gotta respectfully disagree. Lawnge was always pretty terrible, with the possible exception of his verse on “To Whom It May Concern.”

      • Boothe says:

        In terms of skills he was clearly outclassed by Dres, but I thought his presence on tracks (first album) contributed a lot of the vibe of that particular project.

        I can deal with a lack of skill, as long as it works within the recording, and doesn’t bring the quality of the track down. I don’t think Lawnge was guilty of that at all on the first album.

        I’d also add his verse on “Yes” to be good. It certainly worked with the message they wanted to get across on that track.

        “so…hoe… come ‘ere”

  12. H says:

    Suprised no one mentioned Binary Star, or People Under the Stairs…

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