In recognition of hip hop’s 50th anniversary, BET, in partnership with Ambrosia For Heads, is celebrating the culture by hosting a bracket-style competition that allows you to determine hip hop’s greatest crew.
Rather than having “experts” tell you who is the greatest of all time, this is your opportunity to collectively make that decision. After giving the opportunity to any and all fans to provide feedback on which crews should be included, 32 collectives from different regions, styles, and generations have been selected—all vying for that #1 spot. When the final battle is over and the last vote is cast, you will have determined who is your Greatest Rap Crew of All Time.
In this celebration of hip hop and all of its talented crews, your vote decides the winner.
Who’s The G.O.A.T. Rap Crew? TDE vs Sick Wid It | Round 2
E-40’s Sick Wid It crew and the Top Dawg Entertainment family emerged roughly a decade apart. However, these movements—nearly 400 miles apart—have had some overlap. Early in his success, Kendrick Lamar joined 40 and Droop-E on “Catch A Fade,” and later name-checked the MC born Earl Stevens as an influence on “g.o.o.d. Kid, m.A.A.d. city’s” “Money Trees.” 40 and ScHoolboy Q have made several songs together, appearing on one another’s albums. These squads have moved like family, with connections far deeper than rap. While Sick Wid It has become a driving force in Bay Area rap for decades, TDE cultivated a renaissance for Los Angeles’ hip hop at the highest level. Both crews advanced to Round 2 after defeating friendly opponents, with Sick Wid It besting Too Short’s Dangerous Crew and TDE beating Odd Future. To reach Round 3, only one of these California crews can remain.
SICK WID IT(defeated the Dangerous Crew in Round 1)
E-40 defied conventions when he entered the rap game with a style unlike any other. 40’s rhyme pockets and nasal delivery seemed designed to make his music stand out, especially when enhanced by quippy punchlines and wordplay.
Even before establishing himself, the Vallejo, California MC secured a team of talented and unique underdogs so he could run with a pack—they just happened to be family. The Click, consisting of E-40’s brother D-Shot, sister Suga-T, and cousin, B-Legit, congregated for three albums. “Game Related” earned the family quartet a gold plaque and was released the same year as E-40’s platinum “Hall of Game” album.
Each member of The Click forayed into solo careers. At the same time, Celly Cel became a successful homegrown artist, blazing a trail for later acts like Turf Talk and Nef The Pharaoh, who extended Sick Wid It into the 2010s. 40 Water’s son, Droop E, became the crew’s leading producer and a reminder that this collective is a family business. Sick Wid It thrives on balancing consistency with quality, while 40 has been a sought-after feature on hits by Big Sean, G-Eazy, and Yo Gotti.
Suga-T has since penned books and gone into fragrances and fashions. Like his sister, E-40 is a busy entrepreneur in wine and food. However, music still seemingly comes first. Among E-40’s more than 30 titles, he and B-Legit reunited for 2018’s “Connected & Respected.” E-40 and his crew have been Sick Wid It for nearly 35 years, and there’s no antidote.
TDE(defeated Odd Future in Round 1)
TDE is a crew of underdogs that have become Top Dawgs. In the mid-2000s, four unique MCs from Watts, Compton, Carson, and Los Angeles united under the tutelage of Top Dawg Entertainment’s namesake mentor and a passion for rapping. In the ensuing years, Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, and ScHoolboy Q congregated daily in a cul-de-sac studio.
Steel sharpened steel in 2011, which marked a watershed moment for the four MCs collectively known as Black Hippy and the emerging TDE brand. Q’s “Setbacks,” Soul’s “Longterm Mentality,” K-Dot’s “Section.80,” and Rock’s “Follow Me Home” deliberately featured one another and cracked the consciousness of hip hop fans with excitement.
In the next three years, that bond was upheld as these artists toured together, including as part of BET’s Music Matters initiative, added to their collaborations, and scaled their vision up the charts and into the mainstream. Since then, Kendrick has become a Pulitzer-prize-winning artist with 17 Grammy Awards. Jay Rock, also a Grammy winner, has ushered in a new generation of hard-nosed West Coast gangsta rap. Q has topped the charts and shown evolution reflective of his journey. Ab-Soul has closed out 2022 with a comeback campaign and one of the year’s best albums. When previously unknown Chattanooga, Tennessee, artist Isaiah Rashad joined the label, he was quickly treated as family.
Those bonds are also evident with Reason, a Carson MC whose lyrics vowed to command the attention worthy of the brand. Kendrick has since left the label to launch his own company. Words suggest that the bond within the crew is unwavering. TDE had the recipe to satisfy the masses a dozen years ago, and the kitchen is still cooking.
EDITOR's NOTE: Register for the sweepstakes for a chance to win the grand prize of (2) two tickets to the 2023 BET Awards, (2) two round-trip airline tickets, and a 2-night hotel stay on June 25. Up your chances to win by voting weekly.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID OUTSIDE OF THE 50 U.S. & D.C. AND WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C. who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Ends at 12:00 p.m. ET on June 9, 2023. Official Rules: bet.com/grcoat-official-rules. Sponsor: Black Entertainment Television.