DAR Hip Hop: The 15 Greatest Hip Hop Duos

List Compiled By @TrueGodImmortal, @IUseCondoms, @CherchezLaPorsh, and @JADBeats

Introduction By @CherchezLaPorsh
Ever since Grandmaster Flash took the reigns and created his group with “The Furious Five”, collaborations and groups became an integral part of hip hop. The more talented people you had on songs the better, right? Definitely, but this proved to be challenging. Not all artists could work together, not all of them had the ability to withstand the obstacles that would arise by putting several personalities together. At some point in the 80’s while groups were still thriving and starting, hip hop duos became a new sub category. Suddenly, duos were popping up everywhere. Best friends, cousins, acquaintances, and classmates would team up in pairs to share their musical talent in an ever-growing genre. They aimed to be the best and while some didn’t quite make it, some would leave an impact so great that decades later, we still regard them as the best to do it. Today, we gather to talk the best hip hop duos in history. Not only do these duos have incredible albums, but their chemistry and dynamic is just so impressive and seamless, they blurred the lines of “a duo” and truly worked together as one entity. Let's start with one of my choices, shall we?

*Organized Konfusion 
(Chosen By @CherchezLaPorsh)

-My first choice (not my top pick) goes to Organized Konfusion. Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po formed the duo in the late 80’s. They were mostly known and appreciated as underground artists and it wasn’t until they pursued solo careers that they gained more popularity amongst the "mainstream" audience. Although Prince Po started off writing while Monch would beatbox, it didn’t take long at all before Monch also contributed to it. Their debut album “Organized Konfusion” was released in 1991 and given the nature of the topics and lyrics, this is regarded as a "forward thinking" quintessential album of the decade. These two were incredible together and as solo artists and the duo category isn’t complete without them.

*8Ball and MJG
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-I've always had love for the south. Southern hip hop has always been a part of my life, and one of my earliest experiences with southern hip hop came from 8Ball and MJG. For years, the Memphis duo has remained consistent keeping their brand of slow riding, pimped out music thriving. From Comin Out Hard to Space Age 4 Eva, this duo has maintained their quality and is well deserving of a spot on this list.

*Pete Rock and CL Smooth 
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-Much like Eric B and Rakim and Gang Starr, this production and rap duo changed the game when they brought their flavor in the 90s. With albums like Mecca and The Soul Brother and The Main Ingredient, one of the greatest hip hop producers and a solid MC combined to make history in the genre. When they reminisce over you....

(Chosen By @CherchezLaPorsh and @JADBeats)

-For the duo of Erick and Parrish, music was supposed to be fun. And that's exactly what it was. Over their lengthy career, they kept it light and consistent, reminding us all that this was "business" first. Strictly Business is still a huge listen for me, and I enjoy the album even now. Their samples and production was so top notch, it elevated their music in general. Truly a legendary duo.

JADBeats- EPMD was not the best lyrically or musically but still very dope. Their catalog has to be one of the most sampled ever. Rappers have made classics based off of EPMD's classics.

CherchezLaPorsh- Of course I chose EPMD. Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith proved to be groundbreaking in their sample heavy funk/rock infused beats and great lyrics. What I love most about these guys apart from their dynamic and high energy tracks is their career long running theme of incorporating “Business” in every album title AND having one track dedicated to “Jane” on each album. They kept anticipation of each album high and delivered some of the greatest albums in the late ‘80’s and continued to be a highlight of the golden era.

*Tha Dogg Pound
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-Now, if we're talking the West Coast, there aren't many duos that could compare to the history of Daz and Kurupt. Kurupt is one of the best West Coast MCs ever (by way of Philly, but yeah), and Daz is an underrated producer. Daz can rap as well, and he complements Kurupt well on all of their tracks, most notably on the classic album Dogg Food. For me, that album is a top 10 West Coast hip hop album of all time, and that's more than enough to earn them a spot.

*Mobb Deep
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal, @CherchezLaPorsh, @IUseCondoms, and @JADBeats)

-For Prodigy and Havoc, creating street tales or murder music if you will, just seemed to come naturally. With Havoc on the boards and the mic, Prodigy would shine brightly for a number of years as a top tier MC. Together, they would etch their legacy in hip hop, and they have three straight albums that I think are either classic or extremely close to it: The Infamous (which is one of the greatest hip hop albums ever), Hell On Earth, and Murda Muzik (a debatable classic). Though their albums in the 2000s and 2010s didn't make the same mark, they definitely were solidified from those three albums and as legends.

JADBeats- Mobb Deep is a top choice for me with dark tales of dangerous street life in Queensbridge over grimy, gritty beats. They stuck to that eerie formula keeping their sound authentic.

CherchezLaPorsh- Havoc and Prodigy released their debut album “Juvenile Hell” which didn’t impress fans too much initially. While other duos may have lost their momentum and drive to keep going, Mobb Deep came back as a force to be reckoned with. With an entirely self produced album full of tales from the streets, they captivated audiences. They created some exceptional and timeless tracks with “Shook Ones”, “Temperature Rising”, “Drop A Gem On Em” and so many others. Mobb Deep, although young and fairly new to the industry, created a signature unrefined beat production style that captured the essence of New York and when paired with their mellow delivery and incredible flow, they cemented themselves as one of the best duos in hip hop.

IUseCondoms- Mobb Deep is the best duo to ever do it IMO. It is honestly hard to top Hell On Earth & The Infamous.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-MF Doom. Madlib. Do I need to say much more? Combined they had a classic together and a solid follow up as well. I wish that they would have made more music together, much like I feel about other duos on this list, but to deny the impact and greatness that these two created would be criminal. They are deserving of a spot on this list, even if they'd be at the bottom of it (if we ranked them).

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-This VA duo took mafioso rap and flipped it in a way that we weren't ready for. Their music is essentially mafioso rap and coke rap with a Pharrell backed production. On their first two albums, the stellar "Lord Willin" and classic "Hell Hath No Fury", both Pusha and Malice spit verses of pain, told vivid street tales, and painted pictures with high powered wordplay. Though their run isn't as long as some of the others that made this list, they definitely made a big enough impact to be considered on this list.

*Method Man and Redman 
(Chosen By @JADBeats)

-Though not a duo in the way that some of these guys are here on the list, with 2 albums under their belt, Method and Red are deserving of a spot on this list I'd say. With Blackout and Blackout 2 both being quality projects, one couldn't deny their impact. When two artists with legendary names combine as one, it sometimes doesn't work, but this pairing was a match made in heaven.... smoker's hip hop heaven, but heaven nonetheless.

JADBeats- These were 2 dope MCs from Wu-Tang & Def Squad with crazy energy. Both very different styles that mesh well together and they've had albums together that were dope so for me, it was a no brainer.

*Gang Starr 
(Chosen By @IUseCondoms and  @CherchezLaPorsh)

-DJ Premier is regarded as one of the greatest producers ever. His work over the years has earned him such a distinction, but nothing compares to the work he did with his partner in crime, Guru. The Gang Starr era saw classic albums, amazing production, great verses, and a legacy that will forever stand as unbreakable in the culture.

CherchezLaPorsh- Gang Starr comprising of Guru and DJ Premier is another top choice of mine. Upon the release of “Step In The Arena”, these two almost instantly cemented themselves as a legendary duo and have been credited for pioneering the “hardcore” hip hop scene in New York. The chemistry these two have from Premo’s perfectly aligned beat and scratch samples to Guru’s on point lyrics and impeccably crafted hooks is great. Every album promised to be exceptional and they truly were. The only negative thing about Gang Starr is that Guru and Premier had a falling out that ultimately led to their break up in 2003 and of course the unfortunate and untimely passing of Guru. However, their legacy lives on forever.

IUseCondoms- With the greatest producer ever in DJ Premier and Guru on the mic, they made out to be a great duo releasing classics for 10 years straight. RIP Guru.

*Eric B and Rakim 
(Chosen By @CherchezLaPorsh, @TrueGodImmortal, and @IUseCondoms)

-One of the most iconic duos in hip hop, Eric B. And Rakim are responsible for two of my favorite albums from the 80s in Paid In Full and Follow The Leader. Eric B would produce the tracks, Rakim would provide the lyrics, and the marriage between the two would be nothing short of flawless. It's impossible to talk great hip hop duos without mentioning Eric B and Rakim. It's a sin in hip hop.

IUseCondoms- Eric B & Rakim.... I mean it's self explanatory. Paid In Full. Nothing else to say.

CherchezLaPorsh- I personally think the best duo in the entirety of hip hop is of course Eric B & Rakim and the reason is simple: they were the most groundbreaking and influential duo instantly and time would prove that no one could ever come close to their caliber IMO. Eric B excelled at creating the best sample cuts and incorporating his own (perfect) technique of scratching and mixing. Rakim's lyrics were nothing short of smooth poetry laced with metaphors and an internal rhyme scheme no other rapper could match. These two set the bar so high, they will forever be regarded as the greatest IMO.

(Chosen By @JADBeats)

-This charismatic yet official street duo have earned their stripes in hip hop over the years. Though they haven't maintained a true level of consistency, Capone-N-Noreaga can't be denied for their contributions to hip hop and their classic debut album "The War Report".

JADBeats- CNN were Queens rappers who have a grimy style. One was laid back, one was energetic, but it worked. They were not the most lyrical but I found their albums "The War Report" & "The Reunion" the most appealing and replayable.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-Is this cheating? Yes and no. Blackstar is comprised of two amazing solo MCs and they've only made one album together, but that album shifted the tides of hip hop for me. From the conscious lyricism to the soulful yet abrasive production on the album, Blackstar captivated me with songs like "Brown Skin Lady", "Respiration", and the beyond amazing "Thieves In The Night". I wish Mos and Talib would have made another album or two together, but I still listen to their only album almost 20 years later regularly.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal and @IUseCondoms)

-RIP Chad Butler, one of the realest to ever do it. Respect to Bun B, one of my favorite southern MCs during the 90s and early 2000s. From their Ridin' Dirty classic to the rest of their catalog together, UGK was one of the greatest things to come from Sohthern hip hop and I could listen to their music all day if I had to. Not to mention, any duo that made "Pocket Full of Stones" and "International Player's Anthem" has to go down in history. Point blank.

IUseCondoms- RIP to Pimp C and respect to Bun B. A consistent duo that really held it down for Texas.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal, @JADBeats, @IUseCondoms, and @CherchezLaPorsh)

-The greatest duo ever in the history of hip hop if you ask me. Young True was inspired to make music by this dynamic Georgia duo and I think they are the all time greatest overall in hip hop (besides Nas, Outkast is top of my all time favorite hip hop list). From their debut to two of the greatest hip hop albums ever in ATLiens and Aquemini all the way down to their eccentric Stankonia album, Outkast has never really disappointed. I'd even go as far as saying that Idlewild was slept on, and I still love Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. If this were ranked (not every discussion needs a ranking), Outkast would be no. 1 and miles ahead of any other hip hop duo. Simple as that.

IUseCondoms- I am not the biggest Outkast fan, but I did enjoy Stankonia a lot and they deserve to be here for legacy of course.

JADBeats- With OutKast, hearing them for the first time was a breath of fresh air. They were gifted rappers who were representing the south with a new style. They were pushing the envelope with an eclectic style. They're one of a kind.

CherchezLaPorsh- No list is complete without Outkast. Big Boi and Andre brought with them a new level of innovation and rhyming. No other group or duo has been able to push the envelope lyrically, with production and with their overall image. Each album had a new concept, a new sound and high energy fun lyrics. Outkast has always been of exceptional caliber and they have the discography to prove it.

Outro By @TrueGodImmortal 
-There were other choices that just missed the list. From M.O.P to Blackalicious to Dead Prez, some of the best duos just missed the list here. Regardless, these 15 choices were not easy to narrow down, but one thing all of these duos have in common is that they are legendary. Hip hop is a beautiful thing, and let this list stand as evidence that this is the best art form ever. Hip hop.



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