your emcee dream team.

Who would be in your emcee dream team?

I recently watched a video on YouTube featuring an interview in which Mos Def talked about an idea he had to raise money for charity by having an epic hip hop battle. In said battle, the masters of Hip Hop culture, in its varied forms, would be crowned by actual competition as opposed to vague and baseless bragging, or by trademarking yourself as “The Greatest Rapper Alive.”

The showdown would have a battle of marching bands, followed by a battle of the breakers, a battle of the DJs, and then a battle of the beats (Kanye anyone?). The finale would be a Battle Royale in which two emcee dream teams competed to see which team was the best.

Since the idea was also a way to call out Lil’ Wayne, Mos said he would captain one team and Wayne would captain the other, with each captain being able to assemble the team out of whoever he chose. Mos Def said the other four members of his team would be Doom, Nas, Jay Electronica, and Black Thought.

This got me to thinking, it would be fun to see who people came up with for their own dream teams.

If you had the chance to win a million dollars if the team you formed could defeat all comers, who would be your five emcees? I’m really hoping to get feedback on this, I really want to see who everyone picks.

My dream team is as follows, in no particular order (I know, it is really close to Mos Def’s, but that is part of what got me so excited watching the video. Brian and I instantly mentioned Doom and Black Thought the moment Mos said “Dream Team”):

1. Mos Def


2. Doom (aka, MF Doom, aka, Mad Villain, etc.)


3. Black Thought


4. Q-Tip


5. Childish Gambino

This is clearly the most controversial pick. I very well may regret it, being that Gambino has been on the scene all of ten minutes, and his inclusion on the list means leaving off guys like KRS-One and Nas.

Yet, for now, I stand by the pick. It’s always good to have new blood on the team, and I have never been as impressed, as quickly, and as early in an emcee’s career as I am with the young Mr. Glover. He hearkens back to when Hip Hop was supposed to make you smile. I laugh out loud at his turns of phrase consistently, even though he isn’t some sort of novelty act, he’s just really clever. See that, there I go singing his praises, that should be saved for another post.

So, there’s mine, who is on your team?!?

14 Responses to “ your emcee dream team. ”

  1. towardeverywind

    i will give you my five in a second, but i thought of another interesting question: who do you think Weezy would pick for his team??? You wonder if he knows that he can’t possibly line up talent that gets anywhere near Mos Def’s team. Would there be overlap? Does he really think he and Birdman are remotely good??? I just thought that it was a funny thing to think about. Right?

    My team: (lots of overlap, sorry!)

    Mos Def
    Black Thought
    Childish Gambino
    Busta Rhymes (in his prime, not the fat, i-only-pump-out-bad-generic-rap version)

    Hard to leave off Q-Tip and Busdriver …

  2. My team, with their positions:

    Method Man – Funniest mofo in the land of Shaolin

    Common – FLOW

    CL Smooth – The last name says it all

    Chali 2na – Gotta rep Jurassic 5 on this team. I love his baritone; as the late second team nominee ODB would say, Jacques Cousteau could never get that low.

    Lauryn Hill – Attitude, and a woman’s touch. Duets with Common would be tops.

    • Great list!! All this talk of great emcees just reminds me how great Hip Hop is.

    • Also, I really wish Hill was more active. Once she sort of lost her mind the Hip Hop world lost a really important talent.

      • Yeah, I never bothered with the MTV Unplugged business. I heard it was a collection of rants. Now she’s just makin’ babies with Rohan Marley. Pras has said that she’s the reason there will never been a full-fledged Fugees reunion, but who knows, that’s quite a collection of wills. Pras has also said that he wants to assassinate Jean-Bertrand Aristide, so he may not be the most trustworthy person out there.

  3. As an aside, this has to be one of the all-time great hip hop tracks simply by default: Common on the verses, J Dilla beats, D’Angelo chorus. Top shelf rhymes, production, and voice in one package. This is baby-makin’ music. CHEA!

  4. Do you listen to Gang Starr? Guru was pretty awesome too.

    • Yeah, Brian and I were going through how deep the good emcees were, before you needed to compromise. I mentioned that if Guru were still alive he wouldn’t get an argument from anyone for being on a dream team.

  5. Yes, mine is also similar to you, and Mos Defs (guess I’m in good company!)
    But only by 2… so, not SO similar… 😉

    1. Saul Williams
    2. Black Thought
    3. Mos Def
    4. Talib Kweli
    5. Zack de la Rocha

  6. Kweli. 1st album is ’nuff said as far as I’m concerned.
    Nas(Illmatic era, he didn’t try too hard back then) Who can rhyme like that album rhymes?
    Phife Dawg- a straight up great storyteller
    Mos Def the prophet

    Pete Rock behind the tables.

  7. Unfortunately I forgot about Rakim… I am not really sure how… but i did. I’m glad you didn’t leave him out Mr. Tim.